Chapter 7: English and the global perspective
7.5.3 Relating to the Japanese language (prospectus)
Anonymous English 102 Writer
The topic chosen to be discussed and explored in the research paper essay is the Japanese language, from how its taught to some experiences I have had with attempting to learn it as well as other students struggles and successes. I have an interest in this topic and what it offers because it could be helpful for me to get a deeper understanding of different teaching techniques and how some students have successfully learned it in the past. The concepts of the Japanese language spark an interest within me as it is very different from English as a communication medium. However, I have had multiple struggles with starting and being able to keep up learning the language on my own which is why I am exploring different methods of language learning. The topics and ideas presented in the research essay will probably apply to anyone attempting to learn a language and might just help them reach their goal. Adding on to that with the ability to open the door to learning some new facts and information about the Japanese language itself as well.
Learning Japanese has a lot to do with the topic of writing studies especially considering a big portion of the language itself has a writing system within it. When taking on the task of learning a new language the learner is taking part in some aspects of writing studies as well. Learning the language requires the ability to read and write which in turn leads to taking part in writing studies. Plus, even in learning the speech the learner is partaking in communication thus allowing for growth in the knowledge of writing studies even without knowing it. Within the classroom setting a lot of communication is taking place as well from simple communication with the teacher to more complex communication through activities such as art explorations and interpreting shows from the culture such as anime. Some of the reasons I am struggling with learning the language could also be related to communication or rather the lack of communication that I am able to obtain as I am trying to learn it on my own time. The concepts of communication and writing studies play a substantial role in the actions of learning the Japanese language.
Some questions related to the topic I want to answer in the research essay are one, what is the importance of proper communication within the Japanese learning environment as a student and a teacher. Another question would be, what methods can be used to get passed the most challenging hurdle in learning Japanese, Kanji.
The academic fields that take interest in learning the language all fall within the teaching relm besides potentially a few outliers. Some of these academic fields are Japanese language professors as well as teachers of historical aspects of japan and the stories held within. These academic fields would find interest in these topics as they relate directly to what they teach. The topic does not encompass more academic fields mainly because all the other groups would not want to bother with the struggles of using a second language so they are all explored in the main language, in my case the English language.
There are a lot of existing articles on learning the Japanese language as well as the struggles of learning it in the classroom as well as some different methods of teaching the language. This paper aims at combining those topics together to explain and enlighten someone willing to learn the Japanese language. The paper will show a lot of available options in terms of learning it as well as other experiences in attempting to learn it hopefully allowing the reader to figure out a strong plan of learning to get them to their goal.
To start off my research essay I will introduce the reader to the topic which is the struggles and different varieties of learning the Japanese language in a foreign setting. The introduction will include simple information about the language itself as well as what makes learning it so appealing to me. I will elaborate on this by explaining why I am so fascinated by the language as well as stating some reasons learning the language can be so daunting and hard. I will also introduce how this topic relates to degrees and professions within the language learning aspect. The intro will also have some sort of hook maybe through a hypothetical situation or by starting off with a question to catch the reader’s eye.
From there I will move into the body of the essay where I will start to break down the first research question. By starting out explaining some struggles and peaks of learning Japanese in the classroom using source two it could peak the readers interest in learning Japanese. Then by explaining some of the lowest points it informs the reader of the hard parts of learning the language and how to avoid or prepare so they don’t lose too much motivation. From there I will add some information using source four talking about anxiety within the classroom having the more challenging information first will inform the reader and allow them to think of ways to combat these challenges when taking it on themselves. Then after a transition I will use source three to elaborate on how some of the mainstream textbooks do not incorporate enough informal conversations which is a skill new learners want to learn and improve on. Then I will move on to talking about the relevance of anime using sources one and seven to connect to the previous point about new learners and why anime is a good tool to use when teaching Japanese to learners just starting out. I will transition to some of my own experiences here as well as I am definitely a new learner eager to be able to speak the language who has only a small interest in learning how to read at the start of learning.
After that I will start to break down the second research question which just mainly talks about the struggles of learning kanji starting off with source eight to explain the concept of a flipped classroom. From there I will use the concept of the flipped classroom to bring in information from source ten which talks about the use of studying kanji online before class which would give students a set plan rather than just briefly going over some in class and relying on the student to learn the rest. I will then continue with that point by bringing up source nine which elaborates on a method of online kanji studying by using the CALL method. Continuing the same point as before but by using source eleven to bring relevance and a real-world application to kanji learning. The pandemic has caused many classes to move online so learning kanji has to have a way to be done online, this is what source eleven explains. Finally I will wrap up this paragraph by using source five which was a study done in the nineties where they used satellites to do remote Japanese learning.
To end everything off I will restate everything in a condensed and all-important conclusion, so the reader stays informed for the future. I might also include a rhetorical question at the end to cause the reader to think about the topic a little more. All in all the concept of learning the Japanese language includes a lot of methods of communication and writing studies hidden within the topic.
Chan, Yee Han, and Ngan Ling Wong. “The use of anime in teaching Japanese as a foreign language.”Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Technology 5.2 (2017): 68-78.
This Scholarly article talks about some of the different ways to engage Japanese as a Foreign Language students within the classroom using anime. The article shows the benefits of showing it in the classroom and how it can allow for more activities and ways to learn the subject. This article is relevant to this topic because it shows a different method for a way to teach Japanese to keep it interesting and engaging. Having a bigger variety of methods to teach would make learning it more appealing to more students.
Matsumoto, Hiroshi. “Peak learning experiences and language learning: A study of American learners of Japanese.” Language, Culture and Curriculum 20.3 (2007): 195-208.
This Scholarly article elaborates on the different points of learning Japanese that were the best and most insightful as well as the worst or lowest points for students studying it. It shows that having a strong connection to a Japanese speaker really helps to be able to take in and use the information taught about the language in a real-life situation. This article ties into my topic because it shows many students’ successes and struggles in learning Japanese in the classroom and would be really insightful to any reader wanting to look out for these moments.
Matsumoto, Yoshiko, and Shigeko Okamoto. “The construction of the Japanese language and culture in teaching Japanese as a foreign language.” Japanese Language and Literature 37.1 (2003): 27-48.
This Scholarly article shows that learning Japanese as a foreign language can cause struggles of not knowing when to be formal or informal in normal conversations. As the article states the current textbooks being used to teach Japanese to American students really does not touch on the normal everyday conversations that are most common in Japan. This article ties into my topic because it shows how not all textbooks are a good option for learning Japanese and how to explore more informal conversations.
Kitano, Kazu. “Anxiety in the college Japanese language classroom.” The Modern Language Journal 85.4 (2001): 549-566.
This Scholarly article talks about some causes of anxiety in the Japanese oral classroom and how students struggle to overcome these issues. There are two main reasons for anxiety in the classroom the first is that students tend to not like negative evaluations and the second is the perceived level of speaking ability of the student. This article is relevant to my topic because it shows some downsides with learning a completely different language and how students are able to overcome these challenges.
Oxford, Rebecca, et al. “Japanese by satellite: Effects of motivation, language learning styles and strategies, gender, course level, and previous language learning experience on Japanese language achievement.”Foreign language annals 26.3 (1993): 359-371.
This Scholarly article elaborates on a study conducted with the use of satellites to allow students to communicate with and talk to their Japanese teacher over long distances. It shows the effects of trying to learn a language over long distance and allowed the ability to allow for new schools to be able to offer Japanese when it would be much harder to offer normally. This paper relates to my article because it shows methods for successful teaching from a distance and is especially relevant now regarding the pandemic and having to take classes online.
Miller, Roy Andrew. “The” spirit” of the Japanese language.” Journal of Japanese Studies 3.2 (1977): 251-298.
This Scholarly article talks about how the Japanese language is a growing and everchanging thing as are all languages. The language of Japanese is one which is not at all in the process of losing popularity but rather it is a language which is encompassed in a large amount of spirit. This paper relates to my topic because it elaborates on how the language is everchanging and growing which shows that anything is possible within how to perceive and thereby learn it.
S Junjie, Shan, et al. “Analysis of dialogues difficulty in anime comparing with JLPT listening tests.” Procedia computer science 112 (2017): 1345-1352.
This Scholarly article talks about how the popularity of anime has had a massive growth recently and causes more and more people to want to take on the challenge of learning Japanese as a foreign language. This article relates to my topic because it talks about how studying anime in the Japanese classroom can really help students gain more knowledge regarding speaking and comprehension of the Japanese spoken language. It also ties into the other article about how learning using anime can boost student motivation and willingness to learn.
Prefume, Yuko Enomoto. Exploring a flipped classroom approach in a Japanese language classroom: a mixed methods study. Diss. 2015.
This Scholarly article shows that the Japanese language is one of the hardest and most time-consuming languages to learn as a native English speaker. It elaborates on different methods of improving or optimizing methods of teaching for students to be able to gain more insight into the language. The main method talked about was the flipped classroom method to teach it and if it would be a more effective and less time consuming than the current method of teaching being used. This article is relevant to my topic because it elaborates on teaching Japanese and how it could be improved and expanded upon.
Van Aacken, Satoko. “What motivates L2 learners in acquisition of Kanji using CALL: A case study.” Computer assisted language learning 12.2 (1999): 113-136.
This Scholarly article talks about a study done to understand student’s mentality towards learning Japanese kanji and some different methods which were used to help expand the students’ knowledge of them. The article explains that using the CALL method it allows students to learn at their own pace. This article is relevant to my topic because it elaborates on some ways to interpret learning all the extensive kanji symbols. This could tie into the article mentioned above about the high and low points of Japanese and how kanji makes the language extremely daunting to learn.
Mori, Yoshiko, Motoko Omori, and Kumi Sato. “The impact of flipped online kanji instruction on written vocabulary learning for introductory and intermediate Japanese language students.” Foreign Language Annals 49.4 (2016): 729-749.
This Scholarly article shows a study to test if learning kanji in a flipped online class setting could improve the ability to interpret and hold on to the characters. The paper talks about how kanji is not really taught extensively in class and it ends up falling on the students independently to try and learn them. The paper relates to my topic because it elaborates on how learning kanji can be a very hard and extensive process that can turn a lot of students away from wanting to learn the language.
Rasiban, Linna Meilia. “Web-Based Kanji Characters Learning: Undergraduate Students’ Conception.” 4th International Conference on Sustainable Innovation 2020–Social, Humanity, and Education (ICoSIHESS 2020). Atlantis Press, 2021.
This Scholarly article elaborates on the use of web-based applications to be able to learn kanji remotely especially because of the current pandemic going on. The paper talks about a study in which people used an online kanji learning tool known as Mrs. Kanji. This application as well as other web-based applications were elaborated on and the benefits they have especially because of the pandemic. This article relates to my topic because it elaborates on the ability for students to learn kanji online which would allow for the ability to learn them outside of the classroom. On top of that it would also relate my topic to the current events as it relates to the pandemic.
Scott, Greg, “How to Learn Kanji: 7 Tips from a Guy Who Did It and Survived”Enux Education Limited 2021, https://www.fluentu.com/blog/japanese/how-to-learn-kanji/
This web-based article shows seven different tips for learning kanji from the author who has always struggled with learning and memorization. It provides a very real world look into the mind of an active studier who took on the challenge of learning Japanese as an adult without the ability to learn it in a classroom setting. This article relates to my topic because it explores different methods of learning kanji as well as the struggles associated with it.