Advanced Level Curriculum: Speech Acts – What to Say and How to Say It – With Implicit Culture Behind Language


This paper addresses the importance of creating awareness of the implicit culture behind language, particularly in advanced Japanese language course curriculum, by implementing the practice of appropriate language used in real life situations (speech acts such as apologizing, requesting, complimenting, refusing or thanking). It is critical that language curriculum pay closer attention to ‘invisible’ culture; ways of thinking, and ways of communicating, which are mutually complementary to ‘visible’ culture; festivals, pop-culture, etc. This paper proposes some possibilities for enhancing advanced Japanese curriculum based our analyses and critique of materials from printed textbooks and on-line resources for practicing speech acts in Japanese. Our curriculum proposals include such crucial points as: (i) how to include discourse markers or fillers such as ‘a, anoo’ for making a request, and using ‘e’ or ‘a’ for reacting to a complement, (ii) how speakers need to react to aizuchi while they are carrying out their tasks, and (iii) what to say or not to say in response to a compliment, and for other speech acts. Through this proposed curriculum, the students will become more effective speakers in Japanese settings, and be able to apply situationally specific cultural knowledge.

Author Information
Yumiko Kawanishi, UCLA, United States
Mayumi Ajioka, UCLA, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2013
Stream: Education

This paper is part of the ACE2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21