The present study investigated the tendency of the pronunciation of /e/ preceding the moraic nasal (/N/) by Turkish learners of Japanese (TL). We analyzed the transcriptions of Japanese speech of 50 TL and of 650 other learners of Japanese with different native languages in the International Corpus of Japanese as a Second Language. Results showed that although the frequency decreases with level of proficiency, /e/ preceding /N/ is sometimes transcribed as /a/ even in speech by advanced TL. Furthermore, this transcription was hardly seen in speech by other language speakers. These results suggest that TL tends to pronounce /e/ preceding /N/ as /a/, and this tendency, which seems to be caused by phonetic features of the Turkish language, is particularly unique to TL.
In this study, I conduct research on the orientations and motivations of Japanese language learners who were in the intermediate level class at a language school in Aichi. Questionnaire surveys revealed that the respondents (N=58) were low on integrativeness and high on extrinsic motivation, compared with others on other levels. In contrast, learners with high motivation to learn Japanese were found to hold high ambition and be a good resource person to other students.
"Universal Design for Learning in classroom (UDL)" which creates an environment where everyone can learn easily, regardless of disabilities, is said to be effective in teaching lessons to those who don't need special support, and leads to improvement in academic ability. In recent years, teachers are required to devise lessons in Japanese language education where Japanese learners are diversifying. Therefore, I tried to adopt UDL in an international class with a level difference. In this paper, I summarized the specific measures and awareness of UDL based on class records, and subsequently report the questionnaire survey of students.
It is said there is a correlation between reading comprehension and writing. The idea that logical thinking can be promoted through reading has resulted in trials linking reading to composition. However,there are many reports of student compositions lacking logical sentence progression, giving rise to the need to teach logical writing in smaller units. Targeting international students, the presenters investigated how they grasped the logic in an essay and an academic paper in order to consider the best method of teaching reading to facilitate writing in a logical progression. It was found that using essays which are not rigorously logical were effective in learning to write logically.
The authors' JSL program has included elementary school visits since 1993. This has been a great opportunity for JSL students to have real conversations outside of classes. However, the purpose of this activity for the elementary school has changed over time. In 2000, a class for “Integrated Study” was introduced and motivated the elementary school teachers to add a “learning about international understanding” goal to the visits. Changes were made to make the visits a full mutual learning project. In 2020, English becomes a regular subject for the fifth and sixth grades, thus it is time to reconstruct this project.
The purpose of this research is to investigate the type of speech acts young people use when evaluating others. It is necessary for foreign students living in Japan to communicate with Japanese students and they need to understand how the Japanese students communicate each other. The trend of how they communicate can be seen based on the speech acts they use while evaluating someone. However, the speech acts they use are complicated that it might be a trigger of a friendship discord. Therefore, this research is to clarify the popular speech acts types. The speech acts were divided into four groups following Brown and Levinson's “politeness strategies” and it was proved that the young people tend to use positive strategies such as "jokes" or "empathy" speech acts.
In the last few years, as ICT equipment spreads in educational institutions, practices of interactive distance instruction have also increased when teaching Japanese. Many studies have been conducted on this subject. However, most of them are on Japanese lectures or on cultural exchange. Only a few studies have ever tried to practice collaborative content-based classes between an overseas university and a Japanese university. The present study describes an experiment on interactive distance instruction through WeChat, between a Japanese grammar class (Showa Women's University) and a Japanese linguistics class (Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications). In the results of a questionnaire, the following educational effects were obtained: (1) for Japanese students, unexpected questions from overseas students made them think about Japanese grammar that they had not otherwise noticed, and (2) through interactive distance education, overseas students can be trained in critical thinking.
Due to the fact that learners with different native languages are mixed in one class, interpreting skills are scarcely trained in Japanese language classes in Japan. Meanwhile, the CEFR defines the use of multiple languages as a part of the “mediation” ability, and its descriptors include skills equivalent to informal interpretation, suggesting certain leaning needs. This action study examines the introduction of interpretation training activities in a university-level Japanese class with participants of different native languages, and analyzes their evaluation to the activity.
This is a report of an upper intermediate level Japanese language class in which Japanese volunteers assist in peer-learning. The main activity of the classes consists of having discussion in small groups. Several students are appointed each class to determine the subject for the next class. They are responsible for researching the topic before class and preparing a presentation on the topic. The appointed students who took charge of the lesson gain a sense of accomplishment and can reflect on their performance using feedback received from the class. In this paper, I use interviews to show how students were able to achieve the learning goals.
In the current era where information equipment is widespread, research was conducted regarding the extent to which beginner Kanji learners -whose native language does not include Kanji characters in their writing system- are seeking recognition, reading, meaning, usage, and reproduction of the shape of Kanji characters. As a result, it was found that all of them seeked to learn to read Kanji words and to convert Kanji through typing. It was also revealed that many students sought the ability to handwrite Kanji, demonstrating their desire to be able to use Kanji through both handwriting and typing.
As an activity of Japanese extensive reading class, we conducted a project for international students. The students were asked to produce reading material for beginners, in collaboration with Japanese students in the Japanese language teacher training course. This paper reports how this project was conducted, and what the students learned through this activity, especially focusing on Japanese students. According to the reports submitted after the activity, most of the Japanese students seemed to have learned practically how to write easy Japanese, and enjoyed communication and collaboration with the other students.
From a prescriptive viewpoint, it is incorrect to use soo da with a noun as in ii hito soo da 'seem to be a nice person'; however, this expression cannot be rephrased with other evidential forms such as yoo da, mitai da and rashii, as these lack an intuitive meaning that soo da carries. Through a questionnaire survey, this study looked at which of these forms would actually be chosen by native speakers and advanced learners of Japanese in a context where they intuitively state that someone seems to be a nice person. The result has shown that a large majority of the native speakers chose soo da, implying that ii hito soo da is indeed an established expression; in contrast, the learners’ selectivity of soo da turned low, suggesting that they might be unaware of the same expression.
This study looks into the difficult learning environment following the Syrian crisis of 2011. The target of the study is A, whose motivation has been constantly fluctuating since starting to study the Japanese language. We will break down the factors that evidently contribute to the change in motivation. This paper is an analysis based on a life story research with two semi-structured interviews which revealed that“teacher's words” were one of the major factors and a turning point in the change of subject’s motivation.
In academic writing instruction for first year university students, the students have very little experience with report writing, so the authors created three model reports to make it easier for the students to understand. A 'good report' was provided to use as a good example. Two 'bad report' examples were made by compiling problems, such as citation and organization, from reports written in the previous year to see if the students could identify the problems. To clarify the problems, Bad Report 1 focused on problems with organization and Bad Report 2 focused on citation problems. This paper is a report of the results of using these three model reports in class.
Reading comprehension is challenging for many learners of Japanese as a second language. However, reading a certain amount in the target language is essential for learning sentence patterns and vocabulary. Thus, efforts are underway to provide beginners with lessons related to; 1) reading aloud, speed reading, careful reading, and text-copying, with the use of reading comprehension textbooks; 2) answering reading-comprehension questions in Japanese-Language Proficiency Test; and 3) reading texts of about 200 characters incorporating the sentence patterns taught in classes. This article reports on such initiatives.
The study analyzed the use of “ACTION TUAT,” a multimodal communication website designed for international students and researchers to learn how they can interact actively with people around them in Japan. It uses two evaluation methods: 1) Google Analytics to investigate the user features and track their website activities; 2) qualitative text data obtained by questionnaires from Japanese language learners. The results show that: 1) we should consider the timing of its publicity for different audiences, 2) further enrich the relevant content materials, and 3) incorporate user-supplied video material to improve the integration of community building and contextualized language learning.
Japanese language teachers in Japan have various duties other than teaching. Depending on the Japanese language school's purpose and scale, the language teacher's management and operations are also different, but the prospect of how they will be involved in administrative duties is indispensable for the formation of a Japanese teacher's career. In this study, based on the results of the survey conducted in the previous study, we created a draft roadmap for when and how the Japanese language teachers should be involved in management and operations.
This presentation raises the question of what improving language skills is, and what teachers should do to support it, based on the practice of language education, such pedagogies as those practiced by Yoshio Toi, Hama Omura and Nancy Atwell. Toi, Omura, and Atwell prepared carefully to improve their student's verbal ability and were conducting lessons with detailed plan, focusing on what kind of verbal ability would be needed for the students in practical society. On the other hand, in Japanese language education for non-native speakers, few classes have a long-term perspective. In the presentation, we would like to introduce these three practitioners’ elaborate practices and discuss with the participants about the teaching of Japanese language education.
The authors conducted an exploratory group project class for learners of advanced and super advanced levels. The goal was to cultivate autonomous and collaborative attitudes, learning academic survey methods and Japanese expressions. The reflection sheets after the project revealed that the learners were generally able to achieve the goals. However, some felt uncomfortable with group collaboration, and questioned the amount and quality of their learning. The interview results indicated that the class design needs revision. Although learners felt the significance of autonomous and collaborative activities, the design did not reflect learners' diverse experience of academic research.
This paper reports a new attempt to facilitate the autonomous and active learning in the setting of mixed class field-trip, consisting of both Japanese learners and Japanese native students. Previously, we had observed a few problems during the field-trip, e.g. lack of autonomous learning, decision making, and communication between both types of students. According to Kinugawa (2009), problems as such are often rooted in the lack of a suitable environment and students’ psychological and conscious disassociation from the performance of interaction. We adopted a game style activity, orienteering with photography, where we sat minor activities and goals. As a result we managed to facilitate autonomous and active learning. We will discuss the effectiveness of the activity after comparing comments by students with earlier studies.
Providing Japanese language education for non-native speakers in Japan is a serious problem to solve, and Japanese society faces a teacher shortage. Discussions concerning the future direction of Japanese language teacher training tend to focus on the importance of teaching practice. However, practices of teacher training done in each institution are not disclosed in detail. Since sentence patterns are infinite, it is considered to be important to provide trainees concepts of teaching applicable to all sentence patterns. This paper reports our development of teaching materials to foster trainees’ abilities to think of appropriate ways for learners to boost their communicative competence based on the process of second language acquisition.
We have developed the textbook to learn the various expressions used in discussion such as expressing an opinion or rebuttal. We have also analyzed recorded discussions to verify those results. As a result, in order to deepen discussions and accumulate ideas, it is necessary for all members to understand the flow of discussions, such as advancing the discussion while confirming the pros and cons between members. In order to do so, providing not only meta instructions and phrase practice but the process of debate and conclusion is equally important. In this presentation, based on past practice and analysis, we present concrete discussion tasks to deepen discussion and accumulate ideas.
The author is responsible for a class called “Creation” at Nihon University. In this class, learners and Japanese volunteers work together to make a short video. In doing so, learners learn Japanese vocabulary, expressions, and cultural characteristics by themselves. Moreover, Japanese volunteers learn various things through projects, including cultural differences and new perspectives. In this presentation, I will introduce the outline of this class and discuss student-centered learning with the attendees.
Microsoft-provided “PowerPoint Slides of Letters Studied in an Elementary School” was used to teach Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji in integrated elementary Japanese classes. The study built on a previous survey that showed that such PowerPoint slides helped students who had difficulties learning kanji. The usefulness of the slides was verified through students' evaluation of the classes as follows: (1) the majority
of students felt that the tool was "very useful" "useful" (2) half of them used it for self-study; and (3) a few students considered it ³neutral´ in several categories.
Tourism Japanese, or the Japanese language intended for workers in the tourism industry, is an indispensable field of the Japanese language education. Even though it is carried out in various educational institutions abroad, its implementation becomes difficult due to the scarce research on the field. Therefore, the writer wants to propose guidelines dedicated to tourism Japanese that teachers can refer to when creating syllabuses and teaching materials, and learners can use as a motivator by knowing their tourism Japanese proficiency. This proposal focused on hotel staff from various occupations related to the tourism industry, introduces tourism Japanese can-do statements based on CEFR and JFS, and presents roll cards created from these statements.
This study analyzes the beliefs surrounding Japanese language learners whose learning has stagnated after two years. We used the five categories of BALLI—“Foreign language aptitude,” “The motivations of learning,” “The nature of language learning,” “The factors affecting learning,” and “Desirable teaching method and classroom activities”—and compared the results with those from advanced learners. This study mainly found that stagnated learners are motivated because they hope to form a relationship with Japanese people and enjoy Japanese subcultures. However, they struggle to learn because the grammar and the Chinese characters in their mother language are different. Further, they prefer passive and teacher-led earning methods more than advanced learners.
As an attempt to establish an effective way of using natural conversation in Japanese language pedagogy, this study investigates which aspects of interaction learners notice when they see a video of natural conversation between native speakers of Japanese. As the result of classifying instances of noticing obtained from 24 participants who paid attention to grammar in the video, noticing of structural aspects was lowest at the beginner level, with advanced beginners noticing the most. Additionally, few of the beginners noticed pragmatic aspects, and intermediate and advanced learners noticed more in terms of the amount and types. The causes of the above results are discussed, and appropriate ways of showing natural conversation to learners are considered.
As Japanese undergraduate classes are mainly conducted as lectures, foreign students studying in Japan must have adequate Japanese language skills in order to participate, and STEM students in particular need to be able to understand mathematics lectures. However, very few foreign students are accustomed to hearing mathematics lectures conducted in Japanese prior to their enrollment. The author of this study researched problems that foreign STEM students encounter when listening to video lectures on mathematics. Participants encountered difficulties in five main areas (1) problems caused by instructor's explanation (2) problems caused by instructor’s writing (3) problems caused by their mathematical reasoning (4) problems caused by their mathematical knowledge (5) problems caused by observer’s mathematical oral expressions.
It is important to promote learners' noticing when improving their pronunciation, but it does no seem to be effective to have learners listen to their pronunciation and let them self-correct. In this research, first, learners read aloud a passage and record it. Next, they were asked to listen to the recording and to write anything they noticed on their pronunciation. Then, the learners listened to another recording that was recorded by the same L1 learner and received explanations on the pronunciation problems. Lastly, the learners read aloud the same passage again. After the entire process, the number of pronunciation mistake decreased. The results indicate the importance of the instructor's intervention to enhance learners' self-monitoring ability.
There are mainly two reasons for the Question Formula Technique (QFT) activities. First, develop communication and problem-solving skills that are particularly important in business Japanese education. In addition, it is to promote autonomous learning to adapt to a diversifying society. The goal is for learners to feel the pleasures and benefits of dialogue and collaboration with others through the QFT activities, to find solutions to their own problems, and to gain awareness of communication issues. In this presentation, it is considered the results by the activities of QFT and the comments from the students' reflection.
With the monumental increase in the use of smartphones, students have been observed to be using smartphones inside Japanese language classrooms. Using a smartphone in the class has been generally admitted so far, as it is said to help students with their studies. However, this study would like to examine the specific purpose for which students are resorting to their smartphones during the Japanese language class. In this study, a survey of Vietnamese students was conducted, with regard to the frequency and purpose of their usage of smartphones in the Japanese language classrooms. I have described the results of the survey in this report.
In our daily life, we often ask others something and others do the same. Also, the degree of burden we feel differs, depending on the scene and relation of requests. Since the cultural background and customs are different between Japan and China, awareness regarding the degree of burden may differ even in the same scene and relation, which may give rise to misunderstanding. Prior studies on requests so far are many, and not a few of them refer to the degree of burden. However, these studies were made after the researcher decided the degree of burden, focusing on verbal expressions of requests. Yet those dealing with how the research cooperator himself/herself grasped the degree of burden are rarely seen. Therefore, in this study I made questionnaire investigation by differentiating the degree of burden felt by Japanese and Chinese and present results.
Since 2016, this author has been studying how grammatical knowledge can be applied in classroom situations in a Japanese teacher training program. This paper reports on exercises to explain grammatical errors in ways effective for hypothetical adult and youth learners. Over the course of multiple practice and review sessions, explanations offered to hypothetical adult learners became more concise, although the explanations tended to be drawn directly from the teacher class learning. In the case of hypothetical young learners, students learned to employ simple explanations free of difficult grammatical terms, though the selection of examples and sentence structures displayed the need for further improvement.
The difficulties of Japanese language learners who write academic reports for the first time are examined. The learners' reports are analyzed from the perspective of prominence, cohesion, logicality, and coherence (Komori & Naito 2015, Naito & Komori 2016), and it is found that the numbers of problems concerned with cohesion are the largest, especially conjunctions and lexical cohesion. The second most common problems are concerned with prominence and logicality. Regarding prominence, how to highlight the new information is difficult and as to logicality how to support opinions with evidence is difficult. Regarding coherence, maintaining consistency among and within the parts of the report—the introduction, body, and conclusion—is difficult.
This study is focused on the issues of speech level and speech level shift in Chinese Japanese
textbook“Integrated Japanese”. As a result, it was proven that speech level and speech level shift weren't positioned properly in the whole textbook and composition of the textbook. And the grammatical description of the textbook doesn't have explicit knowledge of speech level and shift, so it is difficult to learn Japanese for Chinese learners. In addition, it has been observed that there are few occurrences of speech level shift in the case of conversations and drill practices in the textbooks, and no explanation is given even if it appeared. It is considered that explanation of Japanese teacher is very necessary for this point.
This article investigates how Chinese Japanese-learners understand Japanese opinion essays in the context of Chinese education, which do not include the genre of opinion essays. There is no preceding study on this topic. In this research, two opinion essays written in Japanese were presented to Chinese Japanese-learners and three questions were asked: (1) “Which genre of Chinese essay would this opinion essay be best categorized?” (2) “Why do you think so?” (3) “What do you understand opinion essays to be?”The findings suggest that an opinion essay may be categorized as more than one genre of Chinese essay by Chinese Japanese-learners.
This study shows the effectiveness of “task sheet” used in a class as practice to reinforce what is learned in the class. Some merits and demerits of “task sheet” will be discussed, as well as some examples in other textbooks. Also, the results of the questionnaire by the students in the basic Japanese classes will be presented and analyzed. The results show that most of the students think that the task sheets areeffective. In addition, the usage of task sheets in order to have better classroom activities will be considered.
The actual situation of autonomous learning using ICT outside of the classroom is not known. However, in order for Japanese language teachers to support leaners efficiently, it is very important to understand the actual situation of autonomous learning. Therefore, a questionnaire survey was conducted for learners of the Japanese language school. Based on this survey, factor analysis was conducted, and as a result, three factors were discovered, "setting goal", "resource utilization", and "self-evaluation". In addition, cluster analysis revealed that the learners were divided into four groups, and that they had characteristic autonomous learning.
Helping students to connect to Japanese society to use with a new language is considered as important part of foreign language learning process. This is a report of the Japanese Social Issue Project held in Advanced Japanese Course at an American University in Japan. After reading, students thought about what they could do for Japanese social issues, presented their ideas and exchanged opinions with others. Students gave feedback to each other through the project. The topics were varied such as agriculture, and the equality of the sexes. The questionnaire on this project was administered at the end of the semester.
We asked learners in an pre-advanced Japanese conversation class to introduced themselves with a focus on their "life plan and learning Japanese" as an orientation activity. The aim was to raise awareness of learning targets through planning of Japanese learning in relation to life plans. In the class, learners introduced themselves using a picture they had drawn depicting how learning Japanese is positioned at different life stages. Categorization of the self-introduction contents revealed that some learners were able to present a learning plan that was well incorporated into their life plan, but most learners presented a learning plan that was not well focused or not closely related to their life plan.
This report focuses on students' way of learning kanji and the role of activities in the beginners' class for reading and writing. It is said that the main difficulties of kanji learning are "the shape of the character, its meaning, and its reading." In consideration of these points, various activities were carried out in class, such as kanji puzzle, dictation, and kanji card games. Then, a questionnaire concerning both these class activities and the learning methods used by the learners was conducted. As a result, it was suggested that useful activities differ depending on the learner.
This report focuses on students' way of learning kanji and the role of activities in the beginners' class for reading and writing. It is said that the main difficulties of kanji learning are “the shape of the character, its meaning, and its reading.” In consideration of these points, various activities were carried out in class, such as kanji puzzle, dictation, and kanji card games. Then, a questionnaire concerning both these class activities and the learning methods used by the learners was conducted. As a result, it was suggested that useful activities differ depending on the learner.
Japanese language learners of Tohoku University International Graduate School of Accounting Policy (IGSAP) think that Japanese food is safe. Their primary food selection criteria were taste and affordability, and they were not concerned about food labeling or the origin of the ingredients. Although they do not want some ingredients in their foods, they are inadvertently consuming them without knowledge or information. This paper reports that the students could select foods that they actually want after engaging in activities of reporting on their daily meals, discussions, and teaching others about foods. Based on this example, I suggest a method for introducing and managing substantial food information in Japanese class.
The typical aim of classroom activities in a foreign language class is to have learners practice the target grammatical structures and words and, therefore little attention has been paid to benefits of increasing the level of engagement among the learners in a classroom activity. When engaged, language learners showa higher chance of understanding class materials better, establishing clearer learning goals of their study, and developing their learning autonomy. In this paper, the outcomes of activities that the author incorporated aiming to increase student engagement, such as “collaborative, reflective one-minute speech” and “verb conjugation game with rhythmic movement,” will be discussed
In this paper, I report on the influence of the short-term exchange program from the perspective of learners. During the short-term program in 2018, I obtained learners' free descriptions daily. Three learners of them were selected and analyzed. The results showed that the learners appreciated the student volunteers' help, and they had motivation to study Japanese and to continue learning after the program. Overall, learners had good experiences through this short-term program.
As of October 2019, there were 124 international students enrolled at the University of Aizu and only one Japanese language teacher. Under the government's policy of actively hiring foreign human resources, support for foreign students in job hunting is attracting attention in line with the cooperation of related ministries and agencies. In a span of 10 months at this computer science university, the following issues were observed: underutilization of Japanese language classes, lack of recruitment opportunities, and problems with meeting students' needs. Various solutions are explored in order to better facilitate international science students' Japanese language learning and job hunting in Japan.
A large number of immigrants have come into Japan for working, but with insufficient oral training. This often causes oral communication troubles at work. In this study, we show two approaches to solve this problem, where learners are provided with chances of oral interaction with native speakers to know how and when their spoken Japanese become unintelligible to native listeners. The first approach is inter-learner shadowing. Learners' utterances are shadowed by native listeners, and their native but regionally-accented utterances are shadowed by the learners. By measuring smoothness of shadowings automatically, it is possible to clarify what kind of spoken words in foreign-accented and regionally-accented Japanese can become unintelligible. The second is inter-learner tutoring, where every learner can support others learning his/her mother tongue as conversation partner or teacher. For this approach, we developed a smartphone app.
Kinesthetic learning is based on body movements. This teaching method can be used in pairs or with the whole class. It can be effectively and quickly implemented in class, even for a short period of time. Physical movement gives students a break from a routine language practice as well as lecture-style passive learning, and it often increases students' concentration. In addition, students who do not actively participate in class can easily join in this activity. Kinesthetic learning also provides advantages such as enhancing cooperative relationships and communication skills with classmates. In this presentation, I would like to demonstrate how to use hand and finger movements to teach elementary level particles of Japanese and discuss its effectiveness from the theory of kinesthetic learning.