The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Education Bulletin - Vol.3 Summary

in Japanese(How to download files)


The Development from Beginning to Intermediate Level in Composition in a Second Language


This study examined how second language learners develop in terms of compositions. 74Korean learners of Japanese as L2 were divided into three levels (beginner, beginner-intermediate, intermediate) by their language proficiency. The texts composed by these three groups were analyzed in terms of quality (“content,” “organization,”and “style”). The results showed that “organization” and “style” had more sub-categories whose scores rose than “content” did. From the viewpoint of the theory of Vygotsky, “organization” and “style” are mediums that develop “content”. Therefore, it is necessary to educate learners in “organization” and “style” earlier than “content” in order to develop better “content”.

<Research Papers>

A Survey about the Language-Learning Beliefs among University Students in Sri Lanka: Considerations on Improvements for Japanese- Language Education

WADA Kinuyo

This paper reports the results of a survey about language-learning beliefs among university students in Sri Lanka. The BALLI inventory was used for this survey and the items were from nine categories: 1) foreign language aptitude; 2) the difficulty of language learning; 3) the nature of language learning; 4) learning and communication strategies; 5) motivations; 6) the role of the teacher; 7) the teaching methods and classroom activities; 8) the medium language; 9) the relations between language learning and culture. The result shows that Sri Lankan learners need teaching methods, classroom activities, and syllabuses focused on communication. Also, they are dependent on their teachers and trust the teachers’way of teaching. In addition, based on the results, this paper considers how Japanese-language education in Sri Lanka might be improved from the viewpoint of learners’beliefs.

<Practice Reports>

The Formation of a Japanese-Language Education Network in Indonesian Secondary Education: Toward Self -Support of Japanese-Language Education


The Japan Foundation extends support to a Japanese-language education group in each country according to the policy of positively encouraging Japanese education in each region to become“ self supporting.” In secondary education within Indonesia, various types of support are extended by the Japan Foundation, Jakarta, to the senior high-school Japanese-language teachers’ societies organized in each place, and Junior Japanese-Language Experts are dispatched to six Indonesian areas. At first, through this report, we introduce the theory of “networking” as a basis of support and the stress the necessity for it. We also give four examples, such as East Java, Central Java, West Java, and Jabodetabek, and analyze the present conditions and the problems of creating “Japanese education networks” by the Indonesian senior high-school Japanese-language teachers’ formed in each region.

A Project for Developing Textbooks for High Schools in Indonesia


This paper, which reports on a project of developing textbooks for high school students in Indonesia, was conducted between 2003 and 2007. The project consisted of three phases: Planning, Doing, and Seeing. The goal of this project was to develop materials to conform to the National Curriculum of Indonesia and to design them so that teachers can teach smoothly and effectively. The project has been conducted by high-school teachers; the Ministry of National Education, Indonesia; university teachers; and the Japan Foundation, Jakarta. As a result, four tips are recommended for conducting a project for developing materials that are expected to be widely. They are: 1) to work collaboratively with local authorities of education, 2) to share goals and schedules among all members; 3) to apply a tool for confirming progress and to share the information on progress periodically; and 4) to apply techniques of formative evaluation and situated evaluation.

Report on the Practice of Japanese-Language Courses for Children Returned from Japan


This is a report on the practice of a Japanese-Language Course for children between the ages of 2-14 who have returned from Japan. The course was provided at the Uzbekistan-Japan Center for Human Development between February 2005 and June 2006. We consider returnees as “children crossing borders” who live in the culturally and linguistically diversified environment of Uzbekistan. The course aims at a comprehensive development of the language within children, with no distinction between first, second, or foreign language. Activities, such as picture-book reading, making toys, and playing games, are designed to develop cognitive abilities, socialization skills, and identities. Through this report, we would like to point out the importance of support for children and describe activities for this purpose.

“TV Commercials for Japanese Classrooms” The Production and Evaluation of Video Materials for Japanese-Language Learners Overseas

(PDF:59KB) (Japanese)
YAMADA Shigemi, KUBOTA Yoshiko

This paper attempts to clarify the aim and features of the new video materials named “TV Commercials for Japanese Classrooms, 2003 & 2005 ”produced by The Japan Foundation for Japanese-language learners overseas. It also aims to evaluate the materials based on the results of the questionnaires as answered by users in 61 countries; as well as some practical reports.
The aim of these authentic materials is to introduce not only the Japanese spoken language and the latest trends in Japanese society, but also the cultural backgrounds of the TV commercials. The results of the analysis are as follows:

1) Regarding the frequency of practical use, it seems there is variety among the users in different countries.
2) There is a variety in the educational institutions and Japanese language levels in which the materials are used. Especially, they are frequently used at the beginning levels.
3) The materials are mainly used for the introduction of Japanese culture and society.
4) The materials are also used for fun.
5) There is a tendency to demand the easiness of understanding. It is also observed that the aspect of entertainment toward Japanese TV commercials is also becoming important.

These findings may lead to the conclusion that the new materials are overall properly evaluated, but the difficulty of understanding TV commercials is left as a problem that suggests the need of proper selection of TV commercials and the need of teachers’support system.

An Attempt to Introduce Portfolio Evaluation in Foreign Japanese-Language Teacher Training: A Practice Report on the B course Teaching Methodology Class of the Long-Term Teacher Training Program for 2005

KODAMA Yasue, KIYAMA Tomoko, ARIMA Junichi

This study introduces the portfolio evaluation system used in the B course teaching methodology class of the 2005 Long-Term Training Program for Foreign Teachers of the Japanese Language at the Japanese Language Institute, Urawa, with the circumstantial and the theoretical backgrounds and analyzes the actual results.
Instead of a formal written test that requires knowledge of teaching methods and a subjective report on the class, which holds the problems of validity and reliability, the teaching methodology class for this year required trainees to choose their own goal, depending on their teaching problems, and provided evaluation sheets to reflect the process of their achievement. The trainees explained how they achieved the goal along 4 stages evaluation criteria on the sheets, showing the change in teaching plans and teaching materials as evidence of their improvement. This evaluation system advanced the standardization of teaching-skill evaluation while at the same time respecting each trainee’s individual strengths in teachings way of achieving the goal; however, how to evaluate one's individual strengths in teaching remains unresolved.

The Meaning of “Standard Making” in EachCountry and the “Standard Making” Problem in Japan: Comparison and Analysis in Europe, the United States, Australia, China, and South Korea


Standards for Japanese-language education started to be produced in several countries in the latter half of 1990’s. The word “standard” in this study describes a comprehensive and systematic indicator of the following:
1) the linguistic performance ability that the learner should acquire,
2) how one should teach in the classroom,
3) how one should organize the learning environment, and
4) how one’s linguistic performance ability is measured.
Standards have already been established in Australia, the United States, China, South Korea, and Europe.
This paper first looks back on the social background from which standards are developed and analyzes the role that the standards play. Secondly, this paper analyzes specific country’s standards from four different point of view: 1) philosophy, purpose, and target; 2) goals of language learning and communication mode; 3) assessment and evaluation; and 4) competence in intercultural understanding. Finally, this paper discusses the situation in Japan regarding standards for Japanese-language education, and considers how the process of creating standards in other countries played a role in this development.

A Report on the New Curriculum of Elementary Japanese-Language Classes in the Kazakhstan Japan Center

ARAKAWA Tomoyuki, WAGURI Natsumi

Kazakhstan is in a lingering situation in which Japanese culture has little presence and people do not need a practical knowledge of Japanese. In the Japan Center, the time for teaching the Japanese language is limited to elementary classes, as we also place a special emphasis on introducing Japanese culture. Therefore, we considerer the time allocation to teach grammar in the textbook entitled Minna no Nihongo according to the importance of and difficulty in learning each grammar point. For example in lesson 14, we allow in the class plenty of time for Practice-A, number2, “Hidari e Magatte Kudasai, ”since “Te-form” is regarded as the most important grammatical point in this lesson. On the other hand, we allocate little time to and only introduce number4 , “Tetsudaimashou ka,” as it is not really regarded as important.
This report can serve as the first step for the development of a new type of textbook for students of Japanese language and culture abroad.

Examining the “Self-Evaluation Support System” in Japanese-Language Program for Researchers and Post-Graduate Students: The Recognition Gap between Students and Teachers


The Japanese-Language program for researchers and post-graduate students implemented by the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai, has introduced a “self-evaluation support system ”in order to support students in managing language learning and research activities through the self-evaluation cycle of setting the goal, monitoring the process, and adjusting the goal as needed. This paper attempts to examine this system through interviews with students and reflection by teachers.
The results show that the most students found that the system was effective for both language learning and research activity. During the program, students sometimes felt uncomfortable with the system, and some received messages that teachers did not intend through the procedure of the system. In one case, however, a student became to realize the positive aspect of the system by interacting with the surroundings, as well as with the teacher who changed her role.
To realize a self-directed learning environment, teachers should be careful about the method and timing of supporting students, and should know that the teacher is a part of the learning resource and it is possible to change through interaction with students.

Cooperation on theTeacher-Training Programs Overseas and in Japan


This paper is a report on the training program for Indonesian teachers of the Japanese language.
The visiting program was designed to teach the language and culture to secondary-school teachers
who have never visited Japan and have less confidence in their language skills.
One hundred teachers are, in cooperation with Indonesia’s Ministry of Education, being invited
over the next 5 years.
The qualified participants are given a 2-week-long preparatory program in Jakarta prior to their
visit. They are selected from among those who have taken the Ministry-sponsored training program.
This paper outlines the consecutive course design and its procedures, and shows a close collaboration between overseas teacher education and that in Japan.
It evaluates trainees’ satisfactions well as their comprehension and achievement on learning goals
at the very end of the program.
It would appear to be necessary to further examine how what they have learned leads to behavior change and class development.

Japanese-Language Education for Overseas Librarians through the Collaboration of the Staff Librarian and Language-Education Spe-cialist: “Libraries in Japan”


The Japanese-Language Program for Librarians operated by the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai, sets the understanding of the Japanese library as well as the improvement of the Japanese-language proficiency necessary for library work as one of its course targets.
Since beginning the special subjects of vocabulary, conversation, and listening for librarians in 2003, the emphasis placed by the subject of “Libraries in Japan” has been more on acquiring the knowledge necessary for understanding libraries in Japan rather than on learning the language skills necessary for library training and visits. As a result, lessons and teaching materials collaboratively prepared by the institute librarian and language-education specialist have increased, which has led to the good results of better acquisition of technical knowledge by the participants.
In this article, we will report on the subject of “Libraries in Japan”, a joint collaborative endeavor in 2005, and also examine its possible future directions, considering the results of a survey for the participants and the libraries where they had training.


A Report on the Researcg Project of
“Japanese-Language Education Database for Nursing and Care giving”

(PDF:33KB) (Japanese)
UEDA Kazuko

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