KATSUMI SUZUKIA Content Analysis of Two Culture Points in Selected Japanese Beginning-LevelCollege Textbooks(Under the Direction of Dr. DeszÖ Benedek)There are two major culture points in the Japanese language: socialverticality (tate-shakai) and in-group/out-group distinction (uchi-to soto). Theseculture points are not only important in Japanese society, and representunfamiliar concepts for most English native speakers. A key factor insuccessfully learning the language is to understand the culture points and knowhow to utilize them in actual language use from the beginning stage. In thisdissertation, the six most popular textbooks used by college-level Japaneseprograms in the United States were selected based upon two surveys. Thisdissertation examines how each textbook deals with the two culture points fromdifferent angles such as topics, functions, situations, grammar points, andmodality of presentation. Every textbook has both strong and weak points interms of incorporating the teaching of the culture points. Teachers of Japaneselanguage and culture should know how well their textbooks incorporate theculture points in order to improve their students' communicative competence.INDEX WORDS:Teaching Japanese, Teaching culture, Textbook analysis,Cultural content analysis, Politeness, Speech styles
A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF TWO CULTURE POINTS IN SELECTEDJAPANESE LANGUAGE BEGINNING-LEVEL COLLEGE TEXTBOOKSbyKATSUMI SUZUKIForB., Toyo University, Japan, 1987B.A., Shorter College, 1990M.Ed., The University of Georgia, 1992A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of The University of Georgia inPartial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the DegreeDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYATHENS, GEORGIA2001
2001Katsumi SuzukiAll Rights Reserved
A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF TWO CULTURE POINTS IN SELECTEDJAPANESE LANGUAGE BEGINNING-LEVEL COLLEGE TEXTBOOKSbyKATSUMI SUZUKIApproved:Electronic Version Approved:Gordhan L. PatelDean of the Graduate SchoolThe University of GeorgiaDecember 2001Major Professor:DezsÖ BenedekCommittee:JoBeth AllenThomas CooperLinda HarklauMasaki Mori
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThere are so many people to whom I would like to express myappreciation. I would like to thank Dr. DezsÖ Benedek for his guidance in theDoctoral program in the Language Education Department and the opportunityto work for the Japanese Language Program. I would like to thank all theteachers in the Japanese Language Program for helping me become a betterteacher. I deeply appreciate all the professors that have given me abundantinstructions in foreign language education. I would like to thank Dr. GenelleMorain for supporting me through the pre-prospectus meeting as my majoradvisor. I would like to thank Dr. Hyangsoon Yi for being my mentor and forher hard work in commenting on my dissertation. I would like to thank all of myfriends, who have encouraged me to believe that I could actually finish writingthe dissertation. Among all of my proofreaders that I would like to thank, Dr.Kathy Negrelli and Mr. Naveen Thomas deserve most of my appreciation.Finally, yet importantly, I would like to thank my family for letting me to cometo the United States and supporting me during all these years.iv
TABLE OF CONTENTSPageACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .ivCHAPTER1INTRODUCTION.1Statement of the Problem.3Purpose of the Study.6Research Questions.6Significance of the Study.7Definitions of Terms.8Limitations of the Study.152REVIEW OF LITERATURE.17Japanese Language Instruction.17Teaching Culture in Foreign Language Education.31Textbook Analysis in Foreign Language Teaching.403METHOD.47Research Questions .47Textbook Selection.48Analytical Frame.52Procedures.564FINDINGS.60Topics.60v
viFunctions.64Situations .68Grammar Points.72Modality of Presentation of Culture Points.82Analysis of the Treatment of Topic (1-a).87Analysis of the Treatment of Function (4-b).1045DISCUSSION.112Research Questions.112Overview of ES .141APENDICES.149
CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTIONThis study is a content analysis of cultural aspects in selected Japanesebeginning-level textbooks written for foreign language classroom instructionto collegiate English speakers. Ramirez & Hall (1990) state that, “textbooks arewritten to provide students with a knowledge of the language and culture ofthe target group” (p. 49). Roseel (1982) also emphasizes the importance ofteaching both language and culture because, “in the learning process,language and culture cannot be separated from one another” (p. 112). Thistextbook content analysis focuses on the interrelationships between culturaland linguistic teaching.During the n i h o n g o - b u u m u (Japanese language boom) of the 1980'sthrough early 1990's, enrollment of students in Japanese language courses inthe United States (hereafter U. S.) increased rapidly. After the nihongob u u m u period, the popularity of studying Japanese at universities in the U. S.increased steadily as well. The results from a 1990 Modern LanguageAssociation survey reported that the number of college students studyingJapanese in 1986 was 23,454, a 45.4 % increase from 1983, and that the numbergrew to 45,717 in 1990, a 90 % increase from 1986 (Jorden & Lambert, 1991).According to the Japan Foundation survey in 1998, the total number ofstudents of Japanese in the U. S. increased from 93,083 to 114,933 in 19951
2(Breeze, 1999). The number of elementary Japanese classes offered in the fallat the University of Georgia (hereafter UGA) increased from two to four in1992. The popularity of and interest in the Japanese language among UGAstudents is evidenced by consistently full course enrollment.Japan’s economic and political influence in the world, especially in theU. S., seems to be one reason why students wish to learn Japanese. Asidefrom the fact that some undergraduate institutions have a foreign languagecourse requirement, many students want to study Japanese because they areinterested in the culture. According to the results of a questionnaire filled outby UGA students registered for the elementary Japanese class in the fall of1995, more than half of the respondents indicated that their interest in theculture was one reason for taking the course (UGA Japanese LanguageProgram, 1995).English speakers often find learning Japanese difficult due todifferences in the writing system, grammar, and culture (Jorden and Lambert,1991). In the report of a survey by Jorden and Lambert (1991), it was noted thatthere is a pattern of significantly greater attrition rate in the second year ofpost-secondary Japanese language courses than in the first year, both in 19861988 (67 %) and in 1989-1990 (62.1 %). However, in the Japanese LanguageProgram at the University of California, San Diego, there is a very lowattrition rate at the end of the first year. More than 90 % of the studentsremain in the second year. This might be due to Tohsaku’s philosophy -- “Ifit is not fun, it is not a Japanese class,” presented at the Georgia Association of
3Teachers of Japanese (GATJ) workshop at the annual conference of theAmerican Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in Atlantain 1994. How does one make a Japanese class enjoyable? If students find thelanguage too difficult to learn, they might not enjoy the class. If the class istoo easy, they might not think that the class is interesting. Finding thisbalance between challenge and enjoyment can be difficult.Seelye (1984) claims that culture should be taught from the beginningin order to keep learners’ motivation high. Teaching culture might provideteachers a “fun” component to incorporate in Japanese language classes. Inaddition, motivated by a desire for cultural immersion, students may also feelthat it is not so difficult to learn the mechanics of the Japanese language.Statement of the ProblemSince Japanese has a quite different linguistic and cultural basis forEnglish speakers, learners cannot rely on their native linguistic and culturalknowledge in learning Japanese. While teaching at the UGA JapaneseLanguage Program, this author encountered frustrations among Americanstudents when they could not use their L1 knowledge for learning Japanese.Presenting only an English translation of a Japanese text to students oftenproved insufficient. As Jorden and Lambert (1991) stated, some of theJapanese expressions cannot be translated well because their equivalents donot exist in the English language. For a better understanding of language,culture should be integrated into the teaching of language. The best way ofteaching culture is not to teach culture separately from the language itself, but
4as a part of the language. However, according to several authors, culture hasbeen taught as an “extra” in the curriculum for many years (Byram, 1989 andLafayette & Schula, 1975).There are two important cultural elements reflected in the Japaneselanguage: one is that Japan is a vertically hierarchical society (tate shakai); theother is that there is a clear distinction between in-group and out-group inJapanese society (uchi to soto). These cultural issues need to be taught in theJapanese language class because they are reflected in the language (Makino,1996) and may be a foreign concept to native English speakers (Jorden andLambert, 1991). Knowing how and when to teach these two culture pointsmight be key to the successful teaching of Japanese.Because students learning Japanese in the U. S. are not necessarilyimmersed in Japanese language and culture, their textbook is most likely themain resource for them to learn the language and culture. Textbooks helpthe Japanese teacher decide how and when to introduce the culture points. Atextbook can be considered, “an approximated form of the [cultural] filterwithin the foreign language classroom” (Pfister & Poser, 1987, p. 41).However, Cooper et al. (1985) claim that, “textbooks usually settle forpresenting the surface meaning and ignore other subtle, but culturally crucial,dimensions” (p. 69).There were two surveys on Japanese language textbooks in 1995. Onewas done by the South Eastern Association of Teachers of Japanese (hereafterSEATJ). SEATJ asked all participating Japanese language programs which
5textbooks they are currently using. According to the results of the survey bySEATJ, the two Japanese textbooks used most often were An Introduction toModern Japanese (1977) and Japanese: The Spoken Language (1984). Theother survey was done by Mangajin, an informational magazine aboutJapanese popular culture and language learning (1995). In this survey,Mangajin asked the members of the Association of Teachers of Japanese (ATJ)to fill out a questionnaire in order to find out what is the best Japanesetextbook available in the United States. The results of Mangajin’s surveyshowed that the most popular textbook was the new book, Y o o k o s o , whichbecame available in the textbook market in 1994. Another survey conductedby this author in 2000 reports that the most widely-used textbook among 15different U. S. colleges is another new textbook, N a k a m a , which waspublished in 1998. Although switching to a new textbook requires additionaleffort, these surveys imply that teachers of Japanese have preferred the newertextbooks during the last five years. A need for guidance in selecting and inevaluating textbooks for effective cultural teaching is essential during thistransitional stage of switching to a new textbook in Japanese languageeducation. However, no such guidance is currently available for teachers ofJapanese. Given this, the present study examines how two critical culturepoints, social verticality and in-group/out-group distinction, are introducedand taught in textbooks.
6Purpose of the StudyThis study examines how two culture points, social verticality (tateshakai) and in-group versus out-group distinction (uchi to soto), areintegrated into language lessons in selected introductory college-levelJapanese textbooks designed for classroom instruction to speakers of English.Research QuestionsMy research questions concern the relationship between language andculture in textbooks, specifically looking at the following issues:(1) How do textbooks handle the issue of vertical stratification inJapanese language and culture?(2) How do textbooks treat the issue of in-group versus out-group inthe relationship between language and culture?The first issue illustrates how the superior-inferior relationshipcontrols language usage in Japanese culture, and the second issue depicts howthe perception of in-group versus out-group determines the pattern of usage.This examination includes not only grammar explanations but alsodialogues, linguistic exercises, and quizzes in some selected textbooks,focusing on approaches used to teach language and culture. In this study, thetwo issues were treated separately. However, they were occasionallyexamined together when they were closely related to each othersociolinguistically. It is not rare to find cases where both of them manipulatea speaker’s decision-making in his/her language usage.
7Sub-questions under the main research questions are the following:(i) What kind of topics that appear in dialogues are related to theteaching of the above two culture points in each textbook?(ii) What kind of functions that are practiced in drills and exercises arerelated to the teaching of the two culture points in each textbook?(iii) What kind of situations that are practiced in drills and exercises arerelated to teaching of the two culture points in each textbook?(iv) What kind of grammar points are taught to present the two culturepoints in each textbook?(v) What kind of modality of presentation is used to explain the twoculture points in each textbook?Each of these subcategories will be discussed in detail later in the this chapterunder “Definition of Terms.”In this study, selected Japanese language beginning level textbookswere analyzed with respect to quantitative findings and qualitativedescriptions of the ways in which the two culture points are presented inlinguistic and visual modes. My analysis focused on the degree to whichlanguage and culture are integrated in the selected textbooks, and how thetextbooks achieved this integration.Significance of the StudyCultural content analyses of textbooks in other languages such asFrench, Spanish, German, and English have been conducted. However, anexamination of an integrative way of teaching culture in Japanese language
8textbooks has never been done. This study looks at the interrelationshipbetween linguistic and cultural teaching in selected textbooks, particularly theteaching of vertical and in-group/out-group relationships. Findings fromthis study will help Japanese language teachers look more carefully at theteaching of cultural points in the textbooks which they are either currentlyusing or might use in the future.Definition of TermsCulture pointsAs explained in Standard for Foreign Language Learning (1996), culturehas three aspects that are interrelated to each other: perspectives (meanings,attitudes, values, ideas), practices (patterns of social interactions), andproducts (books, tools, foods, laws, music, games). Culture points are definedas shared principles that govern people’s behavior and language use within acommunity. In this study, I specifically deal with two culture points(described below) that are deeply rooted in the speech of native Japanesespeakers.Culture points in JapaneseThere are two significant culture points often reflected in the Japaneselanguage: (1) the vertical social hierarchy (tate shakai) in Japan and(2) the circle drawn by Japanese to distinguish between individuals whobelong to their “inside world” or their “outside world” (uchi to soto).
9(1) Social verticality (tate shakai)One primary culture point reflected in Japanese language is thatJapanese society is vertically stratified. Individual inter-relationships arebased on this social verticality. Speakers of Japanese are also aware of thesevertical relationships. A speaker must know the relative status of the personto whom he/she is talking and referring. If the person addressed or referredis older or higher in status than the speaker, he/she must be able to use keigo(polite language). There are three types of verbs related with keigo: honorific,humble, and polite. While the use of polite verbs show the speaker’s respecttoward the listeners, the use of honorific and humble verbs show the verticalrelationship between the speaker and the subject of the sentence. Whilehonorific verbs raise the status of the subject of the sentence, humble verbslower the status of the subject of the sentence.(2) In-group/out-group distinction (uchi to soto)Another significant culture point is that Japanese people are consciousabout being an “insider” or “outsider” to a given social group. There aremany circles of groups and their boundaries and sizes change based on eachsituation. Japanese speakers use keigo (polite language) to “outsiders.” Aspeaker uses the “insider” vocabulary to talk about his/her own groupmembers and the “outsider” vocabulary to talk about others. Japaneselinguistics distinguish “giving to me/insiders” from “giving to somebodyelse” by using different verbs with the same meanings.
10Speech styles are decided by the speakers based on these culture points.There are three main levels of formality in Japanese speech: (1) informal(represented by the use of plain forms), (2) formal (represented by the use ofm a s u form of verbs/ desu form of "to be" verbs, and (3) very formal(represented by the use of keigo: polite language).In this study, I focused on these two culture points to examine howcultural information is integrated with language teaching in selectedtextbooks. In order to know when and how to teach these two culture points,an analysis of language and cultural teaching in textbooks might be useful forboth teachers and students of Japanese.Components of CommunicationThe New York State Syllabus: Modern Languages for Communication(1987) outlines three components of communication: functions, situations,and topics. As Graph 1 shows, these three components of communication areall interrelated. For this study, I relied mainly on the expectations forbeginner proficiency (A-level). Each component is defined further:Graph 1: Components of scheckpoint A(beginner)checkpoint B(intermediate)checkpoint C(advanced)
11(1) FunctionsFunctions are the "purpose of communication" (New York StateSyllabus: Modern Languages for Communication, 1987, p. 6). There are fourmain categories.1. socializing(a) greeting(b) leave-taking(c) introducing(d) thanking(e) apologizing2. providing &obtaininginformationabout:(a) facts(b) events(c) needs(d) opinions(e) attitudes(f) feelings3. Expressingpersonal feelingsabout:4. Getting othersto adopt a courseof action by:(a) facts(b) events(c) opinions(d) attitudes(a) suggesting(b) requesting(c) directing(d) advising(e) warning(f) convincing(g) praising(2) Situations (Communicative Modes)Situations show "in what context communication occurs" (New YorkState Syllabus: Modern Languages for Communication, 1987, p. 6). Thecategorization of this component was taken from the Framework ofCommunicative Modes in Standards for Foreign Language Learning (1996),which recognizes the subcategories of situations in New York State Syllabus:Modern Languages for Communication: (1) Interpersonal (direct two-waycommunication); (2) Interpretive (one-way receptive communication); and(3) Presentational (one to many modes, productive communication withoutimmediate personal contact).
121. Interpersonal2. Interpretive3. Presentational(a) Interaction with providers of common public services inface-to-face communications(b) Informal everyday conversations with individual peers and adults(c) Forms to be filled out for the use of common public services(d) Informal notes for communications in everyday life situations* Information (bulletins/announcements) provided over loud speakers* Information with providers of common public services by telephones(a) Information provided to the general public on forms, signs,billboards, posters, labels, programs, timetables, maps, plans, menus,etc.(b) Announcements, ads, and short reports of general interestin newspapers, magazines, and other publications, short, informalnotes; stories and poems(a) Talks, speeches, and mini-dramas presented(b) Essays, reports, taped account presented(3) TopicsTopics indicate the "subject of the communication" (New York StateSyllabus: Modern Languages for Communication, 1987, p. 6). Topics for thebeginner's proficiency level are divided into fourteen categories:1. Personal Identification(a) BiographicalInformation(b) PhysicalCharacteristics2. House & Home(c) PsychologicalCharacteristics(a) Types of Lodging(b) Rooms & OtherLodging Components3. Family Life4. Community/Neighborhood5. Physical Environment(a) Physical Features(b) Climate & Weathername**, age, nationality,address & telephone number,family, occupation, place &date of birthheight, weight,comprehensive, facialfeatures, body shape, colorof hair/eyes, disabilitiescharacter, personality, likes& dislikes, tastes & interestshouse, apartmentidentification, mily members, activitiescommon activities, localstores/facilities, recreationalopportunitiesbig city, small town, village,suburb, country, geographyof areaseasons, temperature/precipitation/wind
135. Physical Environment6. Meal Taking /Food/Drink(c) Quality ofEnvironment(a) Types of Food(b) Mealtime Interaction7. Health & Welfare8. Education(a) Parts of the Body(b) Illness(a) School Organization(b) School9. Earning a Living10. Leisure(a) Types of Employment(b) Work Condition(a) Available LeisureTime(b) Activities(c) Special Occasions11. Public & PrivateServices(a) Communicationsopportunities for reception &entertainmenteveryday family fare,regional and nationalspecialties, fast food & drinkpreparationsregular family meals, eatingwith friends/relatives, eatingoutidentificationsymptoms of illnesstypes of schools, subjects,schedule/school year,*examination/gradingextracurricular activities,*relationship amongstudents/between staff andstudentscommonly knownoccupations, *summer/parttime employment*work roles/responsibilitiesafter school, weekends,holidays, vacationshobbies/sports/otherinterests, use of media,***visiting peoplereligious events, traditions &customs, ***gift-giving, familyoccasionstelephone, mail(b) Government Agencies post office, *police, *embassy12. Shopping(c) Finances(a) Shopping facilities &products(b) Shopping patterns(c) Shopper'sinformationand consulates*banksshopping centers, specialtyshops, neighborhoodmerchants, department store,marketstime (opening hours .),currency, interaction withsales staff, staples &everyday purchases,*weights/measurements/sizesprices
1413. Travel(a) Transportation14. Current Events(b) Holiday travelpatterns(a) Political, social, &economic aspects(b) Cultural aspects(c) Relations betweenUnited States and targetlanguage countriesmeans of transportation,maps, **directions,timetables & fares, signs &instructions, interaction atticket tination, *activitiesmiscellaneous newsarts (theater/cinema/music),people in the arts, specialevents*opportunities for exchangeSome topics marked with (*) were added to this list from the upperproficiency levels because they seem to be relevant to college-level students.These topics are “examination/grading” from level B (8-a: SchoolOrganization), “relationship among students and relationship between staffand students” from level B (8-b: School), “summer/part-time employment”from level B (9-a: Types of Employment), “work roles/responsibilities” fromlevel B (9-b: Work Condition), “police” from level B and “embassy andconsulates” from Level C (11-b: Government Agencies), “banks” from level B(11-c: Finances), “weights/measurements/sizes” from level B (12-b: ShoppingPattern), “destinations” and “activities” from level B (13-b: Holiday TravelPatterns), and “opportunities for exchange” from level B (14-c: RelationsBetween United States and Target Language Countries). Some topics markedwith (**) that seem to be relevant to the category, but not listed, were added tothis list. These topics are “name” (1-b: Biographical Information) and
15“directions” (13-a: Transportation). Two topics marked with (***) were alsoadded to the list under 10: Leisure because they are closely associated withleisure in Japan. The topics were “visiting people” (b. Activities) and “giftgiving” (c. Special Occasions).These three components of communication are all connected witheach other as Graph 1 indicates. Language proficiency is reflected by how wella student can communicate at each checkpoint as a result of what he/she haslearned in terms of functions, situations, and topics.Grammar pointsGrammar points are linguistic forms. For this study, I examined howgrammar teaching is involved in cultural teaching. The items to beexamined in this study are: (1) polite words, (2) giving and receiving verbs, (3)in-group/out-group words, and (4) speech styles.The modality of presentation of the two culture pointsThe modality of presentation of the two culture points concerns thetype of approaches taken to explain the conceptual basis of the culture pointsand to facilitate learning them in subsequent chapters. This includes anykind of written notes, charts, graphs, pictures, or illustrations accompanyinglinguistic activities that are closely related to the culture points.Limitations of the StudyInstead of examining all available textbooks, this study analyzes only afew popular representative beginning-level Japanese textbooks. This studyalso focuses primarily on sociolinguistic and cultural aspects of selected
16textbooks as well as how language and culture are taught in an integratedway. Also, only two culture points are examined: the vertical social hierarchy(tate shakai) and the concept of belonging to an “in-group” or an “out-group”(uchi to soto). The materials examined are limited to the first semester worthof beginning-level Japanese instruction (50 65 hours). No audio and videomaterials are included.
CHAPTER 2REVIEW OF LITERATUREAccompanying the boom in Japanese language education in recent yearshas been a dramatic increase of Japanese studies in general, ranging fromcurriculum development to computer assisted-instruction. Since this studyfocuses on teaching Japanese culture through instructional language textbooksused in college-level classes, the following areas of studies are examined: (1)Japanese language instruction, (2) teaching culture in foreign languageeducation, and (3) textbook analysis in foreign language teaching.Japanese Language InstructionJorden and Lambert (1991) explain that Japanese is a difficult language forEnglish native speakers to study because of linguistic and cultural complexities.Among the foreign languages taught in U. S. schools, Japanese is labeled as aless-commonly taught language. This falls in Category 4, grouped with Arabic,Chinese, and Korean. Category 4 languages are rated as the most difficult forEnglish native speakers by the Foreign Service Institute of the U. S. Departmentof State. Moreover, Japanese is
showed that the most popular textbook was the new book, Yookoso, which became available in the textbook market in 1994. Another survey conducted by this author in 2000 reports that the most widely-used textbook among 15 different U. S. colleges is another new textbook, Nakama, which was published in 1998.