Monday, February 1, 2016

"Examining the pragmatic development of Chinese JFL students" at Pitt, February 5.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures will present MA Candidate Taranee Cao and her colloquia "Examining the pragmatic development of Chinese JFL students" on February 5. The abstract, via the DEALL website:
This cross-sectional study explores the development of pragmatics of Chinese learners of Japanese in foreign language contexts (JFL) by examining their request usages, which incorporates pragmatic transfer as a tool to interpret data. Discourse completion task (DCT) questionnaires were distributed to first-year, second-year and fourth-year Japanese learners at a university in China, as well as to some native speakers in the U.S. to elicit requests. Not only study years, but also the role of different questionnaire situations (balanced by hierarchy and propriety) are taken into consideration. Requests are examined according to the following categories: perspective, speech level, strategies, syntactic downgraders, semantic downgraders, and supportive moves. Based on data analysis, the preliminary findings are: 1) A significant leap from first-year group to second-year group can be observed. 2) In general, fourth-year group performed similar to or less native-like than second-year group. 3) Regardless of the improvement, the gap still exists between learners and native speakers in terms of pragmatics proficiency. 4) In Japanese, hierarchy plays a more important role in the request-making process than propriety. Hopefully, the study can reveal current teaching and learning situations of Japanese pragmatics at universities in China. By discussing learners' success and potential areas that need improvement, the findings could in turn shed light on language pedagogy.
The talk will begin at 12:00 in 4130 Posvar Hall (map), and is free and open to the public.

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