Learning in Japan
Since many of the researchers associated with this group have conducted and are currently conducting research in Japanese, we provide here a number of important findings related to learning during study abrod in Japan.
- Beginning learners may gain more than students at home in speaking, listening and reading (Huebner, 1995).
Beginners were more motivated to learn kana than students at home (Huebner, 1995).
- Students had difficulty with speech acts of apologizing, paying compliments and making requests (Marriott & Enomoto, 1995)
- Students struggled with polite and honorific forms while abroad, but began to use them correctly shortly after returning (Hashimoto, 1993).
- Students made changes in their use of polite forms (address forms, verb endings, etc.) over time, but still deviated greatly from norms at the end of their stay (Marriott, 1995)
- While learners developed and understanding of the social politeness norms in Japanese, they struggled to come to grips with these norms based on their own identities (Seigal, 1995).
Students claim that host families were most helpful in terms of language learning (Hashimoto, 1993).
- Students acquired dialect and a variety of types of speech during time abroad (Hashimoto, 1993).
- Through collaborative storytelling and idea exchanging, students and host families stereotypical folk beliefs about each others cultures are transformed (Cook, 2003).
- Intensive domestic immersion can produce gains in reading comparable to study abroad (Dewey, 2001, 2003).
- Self assessments may be more valid than previously thought for assessing gains in language over time (Dewey, 2002b).
- Students use English frequently and usually interact in Japanese less than expected (Dewey, 2002a).
- Students strongly desire that study centers help provide opportunities for spoken interaction (Dewey, 2002a).