AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 100

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Session 100: Foreign Language Study I

The Studying Japanese Language of the Missionaries in Prewar Japan
Hideyo Takemoto, Fukuoka University of Education, Japan

The study clarifies the situation of the studying Japanese language of the missionaries who came to Japan in prewar Japan through the analysis of the missionaries who especially studied Japanese language at the school. The number of missionaries who come to Japan increased after 1900. Missionaries did not study Japanese in the home country. After they came to Japan, they were personally studying language from the Japanese. However, the demand to try to study Japanese language at the school came out from missionaries. Isao Matsuda privately founded the Japanese language school in 1904. Missionaries came to study Japanese language at the school. This school would be authorized to the Ministry of Education in 1913 and be called Nichigo Gakko. The majority of the students were missionaries though the object of the school was to be to teach the Japanese language and culture to foreigners. Nichigo Gakko changed the name with Nichigo Bunka Gakko in 1930. Besides Japanese language teaching, the Japanese culture research, the second generation's education, the Japanese language teacher training, and the Japanese language projects overseas started. The students had to complete the three-year course at school. However, the students who were on the register did not take the three-years course and were able to go in and out freely. It is difficult to understand the student's entrance and graduation from this situation completely. I investigate the missionaries' names from the articles of the Christian magazines and analyze the studying language of the missionaries.

Multi-Language Study and Use in Laos: Local, Regional, and Global Contexts
Christine Elliott, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA

As Laos moves into the 21st century, it is English, in particular, that is playing an expanding role in Laos’ economic development, system of education, and integration into Southeast Asia and the world community and is being positioned by the Lao government as the language of progress and modernization. Yet, although English is currently the overwhelming choice among Lao for second/additional language study, many other languages have played and continue to play important roles in Laos in a variety of contexts. Further, globalization and greater access to technology are increasingly shaping what languages are being used, how, and when. This paper looks at language and literacy in Laos from the perspective of a group of Lao university students at the National University of Laos. Their past and present language and literacy activities are analyzed in terms of local, regional and global contexts and changes and linkages within and among these contexts. Data to be examined include student and teacher interviews, classroom observations, document analysis and in particular a survey of Lao university students’ language and literacy activities. Examining students’ literacy practices both inside and outside the classroom is an important step in understanding what university students are doing with language and in what ways these language based activities support the government’s goals of human resource and economic development as well as integration with regional and global networks and institutions.

Hung H. Huynh Cong Minh, University of New South Wales, Australia

Recent research on the role, the development, and the effectiveness of reading comprehension instructions has provided substantial results concerning the methodology of teaching foreign languages. Cognitive load theory has assisted researchers to recognize cognitive effects in reading comprehension that can lead to improvements in reading skills. The aim of this presentation is to analyse the expertise- reversal effect in reading comprehension. An experiment was designed to investigate whether the expertise reversal effect applied to reading comprehension in ESL/EFL by comparing two participants’ groups: novice and expert’s groups. Participants were allocated to one of the two groups and received one of the three instructional text formats: original, reduced, and expanded versions. Each version included a reading text with pre-text and post-text questions. Results indicated that reading instructions depended on levels of participants’s expertise. Appropriate reading instructions that facilitate learning with inexperienced readers can have negative results with experienced readers.

Teach Chinese/Japanese Characters with an Electronic White Board Program
Sayuri Kubota, Eastern Michigan University, USA

The session will introduce a free software program which is used to teach Chinese and Japanese characters. It can show each character in order and randomly as well as the writing process of each character via a classroom projector, and save the writing process and replay the stroke order. This program overcomes the limitation of the traditional use of paper flash cards and white/black board for Chinese and Japanese character instruction. The limitations include: small paper flash cards are difficult to see unless seated in the front of the room; an instructor demonstrating the proper way to write characters at a whiteboard can physically block the students’ view; students cannot always follow the stroke order if demonstrated only once or twice. The program can be used with such device as a pen-based/touch-screen PC and the Smart Board.