By the use of the priming paradigm, this study attempted to reveal whether or not highly proficient Japanese learners of English as a foreign language (Japanese EFL Learners) possess implicit knowledge of the constraints on prenominal adjective orders. Recent studies on real-time sentence processing and implicit grammatical knowledge in a second language (L2) have focused in depth on the real-time utilization of syntactic and morphosyntactic information of a target language. However, the counterpart of semantic constraints such as the order of prenominal adjectives (a nice small pen vs. a small nice pen) has remained quite obscure. In the present study, thirty-two participants (sixteen native speakers for the control group, the others for the experimental group) engaged in different sentence-level priming experiments with the following conditions: (a) the primes with the preferred prenominal adjective orders and the stimuli with the same pattern (P-P), (b) the preferred primes and the violated stimuli (P-V), (c) the violated primes and the preferred stimuli (V-P), and (d) the violated primes and the stimuli with the same pattern (V-V). The results revealed that the Japanese EFL learners did not exhibit the priming effect or the effect of the order violations, unlike the control group. This suggests that the Japanese EFL learners were very insensitive to the violations of the semantic constraints, and thus their implicit knowledge of these constraints can be said to remain rudimentary; nevertheless their proficiency levels were high, at least in the Japanese EFL setting. The difficulty of learning about semantic constraints and some pedagogical implications were also discussed.
The purpose of this study is to assess the relevance of students’ experiences, consciousness and emotions during technological activities in learning of “Technology of materials and their processing” within technology education. We focused on the emotions of “healing effects”, “process-derived stress” and “apathy-derived stress” during technological activities. The survey included 464 junior high school students (8th-9th grade) in Japan. Results showed that experiences of success, creative solutions, making an effort and the feeling of making useful things for daily life produced a “healing effects” in students during technological activities. However, experiences of difficulty, failure, helping others and being helped by others brought “process-derived stress”. Moreover, a lack of ‘successful experiences’ and insufficient ‘feeling of usefulness’ caused “apathy-derived stress”. These results suggest that positive experiences such as ‘successful experience’, ‘creative experience’, ‘making an effort’ and ‘feelings of usefulness’ were important for maintaining students’ motivation during technological activities. Based on this finding，it is necessary for technology teachers to use instructional strategies selectively and suitably for management of students’ emotions with considering students’ consciousness in technology classroom.
This study attempted to uncover, using untimed and rapid grammaticality judgment tasks (GJTs)1, how constraints on verb semantics are represented in Japanese EFL learners’ explicit and implicit knowledge. Non-assertive predicates were chosen as target structures, and the participants were eighteen Japanese graduate students. In the untimed condition, the participants were allowed to take as much time as they wanted, whereas in the rapid condition they were instructed to perform as rapidly as possible. The results of a two-way ANOVA revealed that the main effect of grammaticality was statistically significant, though the main effect of task type was not. In addition, no significant interaction between the two factors was found either. This indicates that the participants were not able to correctly reject the ungrammatical sentences in either condition. Thus, it can be concluded that the participants had neither explicit nor implicit knowledge of the rule of non-assertive predicates.
Studies on automatization maintain that less proficient L2 learners require more effort for language production because of the limited processing capacity of their working memory that arises from their limited language skills. Meanwhile, highly proficient learners show more independence from the cognitive demands on their capacity than less proficient ones. From this standpoint, the present study focused on cognitive demands estimated by learners’ judgment of difficulty ratings in writing tasks to look into the developmental order of L2 performance along with complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) through quantitative analysis of a written L2 corpus of Japanese EFL learners. The result indicated that Japanese EFL learners develop their fluency before achieving complexity in their written production.
This study aims to develop instruction to improve the quality of English pronunciation. The participants were 101 second-year junior high school students. The participants were divided into two groups, both of which were taught the same English rhythm and intonation. However, for the accuracy of individual English sounds, one group was taught explicitly using explanations (Explicit group). The other group was taught implicitly by providing spoken modeling and encouraging the students to mimic the modeled sounds (Implicit group). The participants recorded certain sentences on voice-recorders three times (Pretest, Posttest, and Delayed test). The recordings were assessed by three native English speakers and two non-native English speakers. The assessment scale had three categories: Fluency, Sentence rhythm and intonation, and Individual sounds. Quantitative data were analyzed using ANOVA. The results showed that the main effect (test timing) was statistically significant in all three assessment categories, but the post hoc test revealed that the difference between Explicit and Implicit instruction was not significant in all categories.
The present study aimed to compare complaint expressions in English between Thai and Japanese learners. The participants of the study were 11 Thai and 10 Japanese learners of English. They completed Discourse-Completion Test (DCT) composed of eight settings asking participants to express complaints in four situations (+Power/+Distance, +Power/-Distance, -Power/+Distance, and -Power/-Distance) based on Brown and Levinson (1987). Answers to the written DCT were analyzed in terms of directness of the expressions and the use of modality markers. The results revealed that both groups as a whole express their dissatisfaction in an indirect/reserved manner, only pointing out the uncomfortable situation without criticism. The use of modality marker showed that Thai learners were characterized by making concessions with the interlocutor to seek compromise whereas Japanese learners tended to express their subjective opinion, using “I’m afraid that ...”.
The purpose of this study was to analyze changes in Senegalese teacher trainers’ views of science lessons through a training program held in Japan. The program was conducted to enhance their concept of science lessons through lectures and lesson observations at primary schools. We asked them to choose metaphors to represent images of science lessons. The results of the analysis of the metaphors are as follows: (1) At the beginning of the training, trainers already partially held a view of science lessons that was expressed in metaphors fitting the category “Unpredictable development,” similar to experienced teachers, and this view remained almost the same at the end. (2) The number of metaphors categorized into “Lesson Components” increased at the end; additionally, an alternative view of science lessons, that is, teachers, pupils, and subject matter as elements of the lesson were integrated in order to achieve learning objectives was strengthened among trainers.