English adjective order is determined by the features of specific adjectives although not by explicit syntactic rules. Using a noun phrase correctness decision task, the present study investigated the effects of rearranged adjective order on the ability of Japanese university ESL students to correctly process English noun phrases. Error rates and reaction times indicated no difference between high and low English reading comprehension groups. Since only the most basic of English adjectives were selected for stimulus items, and since error rates were high among ESL students at both high and low levels, Japanese university students are seen to lack knowledge of rules outlining the correct usage of adjectives in English. The present study further examined the effects of three conditions of adjective disordering - 'short-distance' disordering, 'long-distance' disordering and 'short- and long-distance' co-disordering - from correct adjective ordering. Only extremely (i.e., 'short- and long-distance' co-disordering) disordered noun phrases were more accurately rejected than less disordered phrases and items exhibiting 'short-distance' disordering and 'long-distance' disordering showed no difference. This finding may suggest that the key to correctly identifying incorrect adjective order lies not in the distance of disorder, but in the number of adjectives which are disordered.
By employing an error identification and correction test targeting base form and progressive usage, the present research aims to examine the role of first language as well as lexical aspect in the acquisition of tense and aspect by Japanese and Chinese EFL learners from a comparative angle. A four-way ANOVA was conducted with the test score as the dependent variable, and first language, language proficiency, lexical aspect, and error category as the independent variables. The results indicated a possible relation between Japanese learners' higher acceptance of erroneous progressive usage and their native language influence. However, similar L1 influence was not observed on Chinese learners who might have developed a linguistic alertness towards base-form usage due to their tenseless native language. In addition, besides language proficiency, effect of lexical aspect was also found with minor difference from the aspect hypothesis. Further discussion was made with regard to the results as well as pedagogical implications.
The present study explored the effects of four factors (Cultural Difference, Grammatical Proficiency, Power and Distance) which are supposed to influence EFL learners' development of pragmatic competence when using apology strategies. The participants were 34 Japanese university students and 87 Chinese university students. A grammar proficiency test and a discourse completion test (DCT) were used in this study. The ANOVA results indicated that among the four factors, Power has the main effect on both Japanese and Chinese EFL learners' performance of apologies and that interaction of Cultural Difference, Power and Distance was also statistically significant. In contrast, grammar proficiency was shown to have no clear relationship with EFL learners' pragmatic performance in both groups. Japanese and Chinese EFL learners showed other similarities and differences in the specific use of apology strategies and possible reasons are discussed. It was suggested that the teaching of intercultural competence in the EFL environment will help to prevent a breakdown in cross-cultural communication and more model conversations covering all variables and situations should be provided in English textbooks.
The purpose of the present study is to clarify the relationship between EFL learners' autonomy and the use of learning strategies by Japanese university students. In order to examine the use of learning strategies by EFL learners with different levels of autonomy, a learning strategy questionnaire based on the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL; Oxford, 1990) was used. The results show that there was a correlation between learner autonomy and learning strategies. The results show also that more autonomous and less autonomous learners used the same kind of learning strategies. For example, the compensatory strategy was the most frequently used strategy, while the affective strategy was the least frequently used strategy by EFL Japanese learners. However, the results suggest also that there were quantitative differences in the use of learning strategies depending on learner autonomy. Implications for the teaching of the use of learning strategy depending on learner autonomy will also be presented.
The present paper aims to give a short sketch of an innovation in the field of foreign language teaching (FLT) at secondary school level in the Netherlands. Recently, this country has been trying to construct a 'coherent' system of foreign language education by connecting together different parts of the system with the use of a mediating tool called the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF). Until now, however, the reform has not yet been formally evaluated in a comprehensive manner. Thus this paper attempts to conduct interim research on the process of its implementation. The final section argues that the introduction of the CEF has reinforced the interrelationship among the FLT subsystems, which include attainment targets, examinations, teacher training programmes and learners' actual learning. From this, it is indicated that an external descriptive framework like the CEF has a clear potential for reinforcing the coherence of language curriculum development.