Exploring the Experiences and Japanese Foreign Language and Literacy Development of University Students in the U.S.
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work206 pages
DepartmentDoctoral Studies in Literacy
ProgramDoctor of Education (Ed.D.) Contemporary Curriculum Theory and Instruction: Literacy
SubjectsJapanese language and literacy
Foreign language teaching
Japanese--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers
This qualitative study of a U.S. postsecondary institution’s Japanese language program sought to comprehend in detail the ways by which university students develop and experience Japanese language and literacy. Utilizing the lens of Sociocultural Theory, three contexts within the single case study were examined in the form of three differently-leveled Japanese classes in the Japanese program. The participation of twelve focus students allowed for exploration of the research question and sub-question: how do university students studying Japanese as a foreign language in the United States learn and experience Japanese language and literacy, and how do these students’ perceptions and interpretations of their Japanese language learning experience contribute to the shaping of their identities? The findings of this study revealed that students underwent a variety of processes while taking a Japanese course: Students relied on experiences with in-class learning through interactions with the instructor and their peers. They used sociocultural resources available to them both inside and outside of class to create opportunities to engage in Japanese learning through multimodal means. Students also brought their own experiences and perceptions in to their learning, with language backgrounds, relationships, and emotion playing a role in their Japanese language and literacy development. This study also illuminated that some students made attempts to integrate aspects of Japanese into their own identity as Japanese language learners. Findings inform instructors of Japanese and other Less Commonly Taught Languages of ways to improve sociocultural language and literacy development.