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Title:The effect of instruction on the acquisition of Japanese discourse marker ndesu
Author(s):Kim, Jung Sun
Director of Research:Sadler, Misumi; Golato, Peter
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sadler, Misumi
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Shih, Chilin; Sadler, Randall
Department / Program:E. Asian Languages & Cultures
Discipline:E. Asian Languages & Cultures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Japanese pedagogy
Japanese discourse marker
pragmatically-oriented approach
Abstract:The present study investigated the effects of explicit pragmatic instruction on the acquisition of the Japanese discourse marker ndesu by second language (L2) learners enrolled in third- and fourth-year Japanese courses at the university level. The research was based on a quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest, and delayed posttest design using an experimental group (pragmatically-oriented) and a control group (textbook-based). The present study was specifically designed to examine the effect of a pragmatically-oriented intervention introducing a unified concept of ndesu in which the pragmatic aspect was emphasized (e.g., specific context, speaker’s intention) by comparing it to a textbook-based approach offering several representative functions of ndesu with no mention of how each function is related to each other. The study aimed not only to determine how much the pedagogical intervention facilitated learners’ ability to apply the unified concept of ndesu to the functions they had learned, but also to access their ability to understand the functions not yet introduced. Furthermore, this study explored whether certain critical demographic factors (e.g., course level, duration of stay in Japan, hours of exposure to Japanese culture, and contact hours with native speakers) affected students’ knowledge of ndesu. To investigate the effect and applicability of a pedagogical intervention of ndesu, and the relationship between various factors and knowledge relating to ndesu, two groups were compared to examine the effect of the pedagogical intervention providing a unified concept of ndesu. The pragmatically-oriented group received instruction providing a unified concept of ndesu, whereas the textbook-based group was instructed by following the textbook Nakama (Hatasa, Hatasa, & Makino, 2009) that provided an explanation of each ndesu function. The results showed that both groups had a positive, immediate effect for learning ndesu, that is, explicit ndesu instruction was effective regardless of the type of instruction. Moreover, the pragmatically-oriented instruction group performed better than the textbook-based group in the posttest. Although a short-term effect was shown, a long-term effect was not retained as indicated on the delayed posttest for both groups. For each item type, both groups performed similarly on test items they were familiar with. However, the pragmatically-oriented groups performed significantly better on the items where ndesu should not be used. The result also showed that among the demographic factors (e.g., course level, duration of stay in Japan, hours of exposure to Japanese culture, and contact hours with native speakers), only general proficiency (i.e., course level, pretest score) affected the participants’ previous knowledge and learning of ndesu.
Issue Date:2016-11-29
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Jung Sun Kim
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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