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Japanese Language Teaching

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Japanese Language Teaching
A Communicative Approach
Alessandro G. Benati

Continuum International Publishing Group
The Tower Building 80 Maiden Lane, Suite 704
11 York Road New York
London SE1 7NX NY 10038
© Alessandro G. Benati 2009
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or
retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the
publishers.
Alessandro G. Benati has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs
and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this work.
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
ISBN: 978-0-8264-9881-6 (Hardback)
978-0-8264-9882-3 (Paperback)
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The Publisher has applied for CIP data.
Typeset by Newgen Imaging Systems Pvt Ltd, Chennai, India
Printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Books, Cornwall

In memory of my mother Anna Maria Ferrari

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Contents
Acknowledgements viii
Abbreviations ix
Introduction 1PA RT A PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS

1 Preliminary Considerations 7

2 The Role of Focus on Form 35
PA RT B COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING:
GRAMMAR AND COMMUNICATIVE TASKS

3 Communicative Language Teaching 59

4 The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching: 80
Designing Communicative Grammar Tasks
for Teaching Japanese

5 Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 105
PA RT C CLASSROOM RESEARCH

6 The Experimental Methodology 135

7 A Classroom Experimental Study on the Effects of 167
Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese
Conclusion 188
Appendices 191
References 201
Index 211

Acknowledgements
First of all I would like to thank Bill Van Patten and James Lee for their support
and encouragement over the years. What I have learned about second lan-
guage acquisition and language teaching I very much own to them.I would also like to express my gratitude to all the Japanese postgraduate
students in the Masters in Language Learning and Japanese Language Teaching
at the University of Greenwich for helping me to reflect on many issues regard-
ing the teaching of Japanese and assisting me in developing tasks and activities
which I hope can be used for teaching Japanese more communicatively. I am
also very grateful to the Institute of International Studies in London and the
Japanese Foundation for allowing me to consult their libraries. A special thank
to Mr. Zushi for his continuous support. I also own a special thank to Noriko Hikima, Kuri Komatsu and Sami for
providing priceless advice, help and suggestions on developing Japanese lan-
guage activities/tasks. I would also like to express my gratitude to the School of Humanities and
the University for having supported my work since I joined this institution.
Last but not least a big thank you to Bernadette, Grace and Francesco for their
moral support and encouragement during my work. Finally I would like to thank all the staff at Continuum for their help in the
production of this book. I particularly would like to thank Janet, Guardeep
and Colleen.

Abbreviations
ALM Audio-lingual methodology
CLT Communicative language teaching
CR Consciousness raising
EI Explicit instruction
L1 First language
L2 Second language
MOI Meaning-output instruction
PI Processing Instruction
SIA Structured input activities
SLA Second language acquisition
TI Traditional instruction

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Japanese Language Teaching: A Communicative Approach is a text-book written
in order to help students, instructors and young researchers reflect on certain
topics related to second language learning and communicative language
teaching. The text-book is designed for those undergraduate students or
trainee teachers with little or no knowledge of theory and research in second
language learning and communicative language teaching. On one hand, this
book seeks to explore some issues related to language learning which could
be considered to have underpinned the communicative language teaching
approach. On the other hand, it provid es suggestions for good communicative
classroom tasks in the teaching of Japanese. Japanese teaching practice has
mainly concentrated on teaching the grammatical system of the language and
providing learners with very little opportunities to develop communicative
skills. In my view, the teaching of Japanese to second language learners in the
United Kingdom is still very traditional and this is also proved by the use of
traditional books used by teachers to teach Japanese. This text-book is an
attempt to reflect on why, what and how the communicative language teaching
approach should be incorporated into the teaching of Japanese. At the same
time, its main purpose is to encourage students, instructors and young
researchers to undertake empirical studies of Japanese language acquisition
and teaching to further their understanding of Japanese second language
acquisition. This text-book provides the reader with the underpinning knowledge to
analyse some of the main issues around the role of grammar instruction and
communicative language teaching and to relate these issues to his own experi-
ence so that he can apply them in his own practice as an instructor, researcher
or material developer. The book has the following aims:
(1) to review studies and relevant theory in second language acquisition to prove a theo-
retical and empirical underpinning for a more communicative approach to Japanese
language teaching;
Introduction

Japanese Language Teaching 2
(2) to provide an overview of research investigating the role of a focus on form compo-nent in language acquisition in order to reflect on the role of instructional interventions
in Japanese language teaching;
(3) to develop an understanding of the vital role of input in second language acquisition and draw some conclusions on how we can provide better input for second language
learners of Japanese;
(4) to provide an overview of research measuring the effects of different grammar instruc- tion approaches in order to provide guidelines to language instructors in the design of
Japanese grammar tasks;
(5) to provide Japanese language instructors with an overview of how the theoretical principles can be applied for designing and preparing communicative activities in the
teaching of Japanese language;
(6) to galvanize readers to synthesize the material so that they themselves can design a series of activities in Japanese which can be used in an upcoming clas
s period with
their students and serve as a springboard for discussion in language teaching
methodology;
(7) to provide the underpinning knowledge in second language research methodology and in particular the experimental method, to enable readers to carry out experimental
research in this field.
In order to achieve its aims the book is structured into three different
parts. In Part A of this book our purpose is three-fold: to briefly review key
research findings in second language acquisition focusing particularly on the
role of input, interaction, output and formal instruction; to review some of
the research carried out in the acquisition of Japanese as a foreign language,
which supports main theories in second language acquisition; to review some
of the research which investigated the role of focus on form, including research
on the acquisition of Japanese, and present some of the implications for lan-
guage teaching. In Part B, the main characteristics of the communicative approach will be
presented and examined with the intention of suggesting effective ways to
develop grammar tasks and communicative tasks in teaching Japanese. Different approaches to grammar instruction will be reviewed in order to
provide samples for grammar tasks in the teaching of Japanese. In particular,
the focus is on the use of input enhancement techniques and structured input
activities which are all very effectiv e communicative approaches used to incor-
porate the teaching of grammar in a communicative framework of language
teaching.

Introduction 3
Implementation of communicative language teaching in the teaching of
Japanese is be explored by reflecting on how to develop listening comprehen-
sion activities, oral exchange information tasks, role-plays, reading and writ-
ing communicative tasks. In Part C of the book an introduction to the process of conducting class-
room research through the use of an experimental methodology is given.
Examples will be provided on classroo m-based research into the acquisition of
Japanese. The final chapter is dedicated to the presentation of the results of
an experimental study measuring the effects of an alternative approach to
teaching grammar on the acquisition of two features of the Japanese linguistic
system. This text-book has two main purposes. First, to provide the tools for
making Japanese language teaching more communicative. Second, to provide
the instruments to conduct more research into the teaching and learning of
Japanese. I hope we have achieved our two main goals.

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In Chapter 1, we review some of the theories and classroom-based research
findings that have been conducted to investigate the role of important con-
structs and factors in SLA (e.g. input, interaction, output, role of instruction).
The main implications for the teaching of these theories and research findings
will be highlighted in the attempt to support and justify a more communica-
tive approach to the teaching of Japanese. In Chapter 2, the role of instruction is explored in more detail by reviewing
the major developments in research on the effects of focus on form in SLA.
The question is not whether or not an instructional component makes a dif-
ference in SLA, but rather whether there is a type of intervention that is more
effective than another at promoting SLA.
Part A
Preliminary Considerations

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Introduction
One of the purposes of second language acquisition (SLA) research is to under-
stand how people learn a second language. Among the scope of SLA research
is the desire to answer questions such as: What factors affect acquisition?, What
is the role of input in SLA?, What is the role of output in SLA?, What is the
impact of formal instruction? Van Patten (1999) has distinguished between
SLA and instructed SLA. He defines SLA as a field of enquiry that ‘concerns the
study of how learners develop an internal linguistic system’. He describes
instructed SLA as a field of enquiry that ‘focuses on the extent to which the
development of the learner’s internal linguistic system can be effected by
instructional efforts’. Overall SLA research has mainly focused on the acquisition of English
and romance languages such as French, Spanish and Italian. However, the
1 Preliminary Considerations
Chapter Outline
Introduction 7
Behaviourism and the innate position: preparing the path
for communicative language teaching 8
Input and output in second language acquisition 12
The effects of instruction on acquisition 23
Summary 29
More questions to refl ect on . . . 33
Key terms 33
Further reading 34

Japanese Language Teaching 8
acquisition of Japanese by foreign learners has been the focus of attention of
recent research (Kanno, 1999; Otha, 2001a). In this chapter, we briefly review
theory and research in SLA which includes studies on the acquisition of Japanese
as a second language (L2) in the following three areas: studies investigating the
role of input, interaction and output; studies measuring the effects of positive
and negative evidence; studies investigating the effects of formal instruction.
Our objective is to reflect on the main findings of these studies and to be able
to make some generalizations from theory and research which will provide
us with a better understanding of the nature of SLA and at the same time
offer instructors some practical indications on how to make the teaching of
Japanese as an L2 more effective and communicative.
Behaviourism and the innate position:
preparing the path for communicative
language teaching
As argued by Omaggio Hadley (2001:43 ), ‘recent reviews of language acquisi-
tion theory have attempted to group various theoretical perspectives along
a kind of continuum, ranging from empiricist views on one end to rationalist
or mentalist positions on the other.’ According to the rationalist position,
humans possess an internal grammar that constraints the acquisition of a
second language (Chomsky, 1965). This view is in strong opposition to the
behaviourist theory. As outlined by Van Patten and Williams (2007:18) behav-
iourism ‘attempts to explain behaviour without reference to mental events or
internal processes. Rather, all behaviour is explained solely with reference to
external factors in the environment’. At the heart of behaviourism is the belief
that language learning is a process which consists of acquiring verbal habits by
imitating and repeating good habits. For behaviourists, language was seen as
a progressive accumulation of correct habits and the main objective of instruc-
tion was to ensure that learners made no errors during language production.
Behaviourists thought that the first language (L1) could be the cause of errors
as learners transfer the habits of their L1 into the learning of the L2 (negative
transfer). The pedagogical and practical implications of the behaviourist the-
ory were the so-called Audio-lingual method (ALM). The ALM is an inductive
and structural approach to language teaching based on mechanical and pattern
language practice. The practice in the ALM consisted of a type of exercise called

Preliminary Considerations 9
‘drills practice’ (repetition and substitution/transformation drills). L2 learners
have to repeat, manipulate or transform a particular form or structure in order
to complete a task (examples of this practice will be presented in Chapter 3).
In the ALM, learners were able to complete a task without being involved in
any communicative practice as, according to behaviourists, producing the tar-
get language too prematurely would have induced L2 learners to make errors
and acquire bad habits (see Box 1.1 which indicates the main characteristics
of the ALM).
Box 1.1 Audio-lingual methodology: implications for teaching
(1) Learners were encouraged to learn the L2 inductively.
(2) Learners were exposed to the target language at all time.
(3) Learners follow a very structural syllabus focus on structure and form rather
than meaning.
(4) Learners were exposed to correct models/patterns of the target L2.
(5) Learners were asked to listen and to repeat.
(6) Learners were engaged in mechanical practice (drills).
(7) Learners were corrected for inaccurate imitations.
(8) Learners must become accurate in the target L2. Linguistic competence is the

main goal of instruction.
One of the most important contributions to the development of a commu-
nicative approach to language teaching was Chomsky’s criticism of behaviour-
ism. Chomsky (1975) criticized the view that L2 language learning is a process
of mechanical habit formation as language learning cannot be considered just
as imitation and repetition. According to Chomsky, a child possesses a knowl-
edge of language universals (Universal Grammar) and generates from that
knowledge a series of hypotheses about the particular L1 that the child is
learning. These hypotheses are modified and corrected in the light of the input
that the child is exposed to. Chomsky sees L1 acquisition as characterized by
two main factors: an internal mechanism (language acquisition device) that
is innate and the input that children are exposed to in their environment. The
presence of an innate hypothesis-making device in the child emphasizes clearly
the active role played by the language learner. This is clearly in antithesis to
the behaviourist view and the ALM. In the ALM approach, the teacher plays

Japanese Language Teaching 10
a crucial instructional role in managing the learning process and determining
the type of language practice. For Chomsky, learners have their own internal
syllabus to follow and the role of the teacher is reduced from structuring the
learning path to presenting the ‘linguistic data’ which the student reacts to and
manipulates in order to internalize a set of rules. The classroom experimental study conducted by Savignon (1972) also
undermined the behaviourist view of language acquisition. Savignon’s study
was the first empirically based research to compare ALM versus communica-
tive language teaching (CLT). The population of this study consisted of three
groups learning French in a College where they were studying French four
days a week followed by one day laboratory practice. The three groups received
the same ALM treatment during the four training days (1 hour a day), but
instruction differed on the laboratory practice day (1 hour). The first group
received an extra hour of ALM training; the second group received one hour
of cultural studies practice; the third group was exposed to communicative
practice. All groups were tested (communicative and standardized proficiency
tests) at the end of the instructional treatment and the results showed that
the ‘communicative group’ was overall superior to the other two groups on the
communicative competence tests designed by Savignon and performed equally
to the other groups on the other standard tests of proficiency (listening and
reading tests). The results of Savignon’s study indicated that communicative
language ability develops as learners engage in communication and not as
result of mechanical drill practice. Wong and Van Patten (2003) have also criticized ALM and drills practice.
Overall, the results of the empirical evidence reviewed by Wong and Van
Patten (2003) have clearly indicated that drills practice is not an effective tool
for learning an L2. A growing body of evidence in romance and non-romance
languages (see Chapter 2) has shown that mechanical and traditional practice
does not foster acquisition. Lee and Benati (2007a) have conducted a class-
room study measuring traditional and non-traditional approaches to gram-
mar instruction in the acquisition of Japanese, in which they have provided
evidence which shows that drills and me chanical practice are not an effective
practice in language teaching and are not responsible for learners improved
performance. In their study, they compared a group of adults receiving tradi-
tional instruction (TI) that included paradigmatic explanation of the targeted
linguistics features which was followed by mechanical drills practice, to a
second group of adult learners of Japanese exposed to a different approach of

Preliminary Considerations 11
grammar instruction called processing instruction (PI) on the acquisition
of Japanese past tense forms (such as ikimashita) and affirmative vs. negative
present tense forms ( ikimasu vs. ikimasen). Lee and Benati (2007a) showed
that paradigmatic explanation of grammatical rules followed by mechanical
drill practice does not have a positive ef fect on acquisition. Learners receiving
this type of instruction did not show any substantial improvement in their
performance. Lee and Benati (2007a) concluded that TI that contains mechan-
ical practice is not an effective approach to language learning and does not
promote acquisition. Another scholar who openly challenged behaviourism was Pit Corder
(1981). He maintained that we should allow learners to produce errors rather
than correcting them. In this way, we can study them systematically. According
to Corder, errors are a priceless source to understand learner’s behaviour and
L2 learners’ cognitive development. Corder (1981) affirmed the importance of
the use of language in real situations to perform authentic communicative
functions and he recommended an approach to language teaching where L2
learners are given these opportunities.
Question to reflect on . . .
Has the behaviourist theory/audio-lingual method influenced the way Japa
nese is taught?
Do text-books in Japanese contain drill practice/activities?
The ALM was criticized as a method of language teaching for a series of
reasons. First of all, it does not take into consideration cognitive processes
involved in the acquisition of an L2. Second, it is a very mechanical and repeti-
tive method based on the wrong assumption that practising and memorizing
correct patterns of the target language is sufficient for learning that language.
Finally, it is a method that does not stimulate and motivate L2 learners. Language acquisition is a more complex phenomenon than the one
described by behaviourism. It is a phenomenon in which both internal (innate
and internal mechanism) and external factors (input, interaction and output)
interact and play an important role in the acquisition of an L2. It is by under-
standing these mechanisms and the role of external factors and why they occur,
that we can make our language teaching methodology more effective and we
can facilitate the acquisition of another language.

Japanese Language Teaching 12
Input and output in second language
acquisition
Input and input processing
Many scholars (Gass, 1997; Caroll, 2001; Van Patten, 2004) have agreed that
input is a necessary and vital factor for the acquisition of a L2. Acquisition is
seen by these scholars as the development of an implicit, unconscious system.
Gass (1997:1) considers input a key variable in SLA and has argued that ‘no
model of second language acquisition does not avail itself of input in trying to
explain how learners can create second language grammar’.Sharwood-Smith (1986:252) sustained that ‘input has dual relevance for the
learner: interpretation involves processing for meaning and processing for
competence change.’ The different ways in which L2 learners might process
input might have different consequences. In the first scenario, L2 learners are
exposed to the input and they might process input for meaning in order to cope
with communication demands. In the second scenario, L2 learners’ process
input for acquisition as input might trigger a change in learner’s interlanguage,
and learners might be able to convert the input into intake (Sharwood-Smith,
1993). Input provides the primary linguistic data for the creation of an implicit
unconscious linguistic system. When learners receive input they are feeding
their developing system with the data it needs to start the process of acquisi-
tion (Van Patten, 1996). Gass (1988, 1997) has developed a SLA model which goes from input to
output and where both input and output play a role. In this model he argues
that not all the language data available to L2 learners is noticed. As pointed out
by Gass (1988:202) ‘a bit of language is noticed in some way by the learner
because of the saliency of some particular features’. However, Gass (1997) has
argued that not all input becomes intake and learners are not always able to
store the grammatical information about the target language into their devel-
oping system. L2 learners may need further input. In the final stage of Gass’s
model, learners have access to output to produce the target language. Van Patten’s model (1996, 2002, 2004) shares some common characteristics
to the model put forward by Gass (1988). Van Patten’s model of acquisition
is characterized by three main phases as depicted in Figure 1.1 (Van Patten,
1996:41).

Preliminary Considerations 13
According to Van Patten (1996) only a small portion of the input that L2
learners are exposed to is processed. This is due to learner’s processing limi-
tations (process 1) and processing problems (see the following chapter for a
description and discussion of Van Patten’s processing principles). The portion
of input processed is called intake (it is what learners have perceived and pro-
cessed in the input through their internal processors). The second stage of
the Van Patten SLA model (process 2) involves a series of processes for incor-
poration of intake into the developing system. These processes are called
‘accommodation’ and ‘restructuring’. Accomodation is the process of accept-
ing a form or structure into the developing system after learners have mapped
that form or structure with a particular meaning during the first phase.
Restructuring is the process of integrating the new form or structure into
learner’s developing system which will cause a change in that system. The final
stage in this model (process 3) consists of a set of processes (access and pro-
duction strategies) that acts on the acquired L2 system and determines what is
available at a given time for productive use. In Van Patten’s model, only part of the input is passed through intake into
the developing system and eventually into output by the learner. Changing the
way L2 learners process input and enriching their intake might have an effect
on the developing system that subsequently should have an impact on how
learners produce the L2. Input processing is concerned with those psycho-
linguistics strategies and mechanisms by which learners derive intake from
input. In Van Patten’s theory, when learners attend or notice input and com-
prehend the message, a form–meaning connection is made. Developing the
ability in L2 learners to map one form to one meaning is essential for acquisi-
tion. Form refers to surface features of language (e.g. verbal and nominal mor-
phology, words) and functional items of language (e.g. prepositions, articles,
pronouns). Meaning refers to referential real-world meaning. Form–meaning
Process 1
INPUT
INTAKE DEVELOPING SYSTEM OUTPUT
Process 1  input processing
Process 2  accommodation and restructuring
Process 3  access and production strategies Process 3
Process 2
Figure 1.1 Input processing model.

Japanese Language Teaching 14
connections are the relationship between referential meaning and the way it
is encoded linguistically.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you think of few examples of a form–meaning connection learners of Japanese must
make in the input they receive?
When learners hear the following sentence in Japanese Kino-
italia ni
ikimashita (Yesterday, I went to Italy) and understand that - mashita means
that the action is in the past, a form–meaning connections is made. Input pro-
cessing is the process that converts input into intake. When learners attend to
input and are able to make efficient and correct form–meaning connections,
then that input becomes intake. One experimental study in the acquisition of Japanese that provides
supporting evidence for the input processing model is the one conducted by
Lee and Benati (2007b). In this study, the two researchers measured whether
learners’ ability to process input can be enhanced through structured input
activities (SIA). The main scope of SIA is to alter the way L2 learners process
input and to facilitate the ability for learners to process correct form–meaning
connections. The main purpose of their study was to compare the relative
effects of a group receiving SIA with a different group exposed to enhanced
SIA on the acquisition of Japanese past tense verb morphology. Lee and Benati
(2007b) showed that structured input practice with or without enhancement
was an effective grammar practice and was responsible for learners improved
performance. In relation to the input processing model, this demonstrated that SIA
was successful at helping learners process sentences containing the Japanese
grammatical form - mashita and consequently, having positive effects on their
developing system see Box 1.2 on the overall teaching implications for the
input processing theoretical model).
Box 1.2 Input Processing: practical implications for teaching
(1) Grammar instruction must take into consideration how L2 learners process
input.

Preliminary Considerations 15
(2) Grammar instruction should provide opportunities to make accurate and effi-
cient form–meaning connections.
(3) Grammar tasks should be structured to force L2 learners to attend to a form and
connect it with its meaning.
(4) Grammar instruction should keep in mind that acquisition is intake depen
dent.
Comprehensible input and interaction
Behaviourism argued that acquisition can be fostered through input manipu-
lation (mechanical practice) and provision of corrective feedback (error cor-
rection). This view does not take into account of learners’ active processing
(internal factors) and there is no support or empirical evidence for this posi-
tion in SLA research. Krashen (1982) has underscored the role of comprehensible input in SLA.
According to Krashen, in order for input to be an effective tool for acquisition,
it must contain a message that must be comprehended by L2 learners. For
Krashen (1982), acquisition requires first and foremost exposure to compre-
hensible input. Krashen’s input hypothesis (1982) maintains that input
becomes comprehensible as result of simplifications with the help of contex-
tual and extra linguistics clues. As a result of this view, he has hypothesized
(Krashen Monitor Theory, 1982) that if learners are exposed to enough com-
prehensible input and are provided with opportunities to focus on meaning
rather than grammatical forms, they are able to acquire the L2 in a fashion
similar to their acquiring L1. Krashen (1982) has proposed a five-hypotheses
model:
(1) the acquisition-learning hypothesis;
(2) the natural order hypothesis;
(3) the monitor hypothesis;
(4) the input hypothesis;
(5) the affective filter hypothesis.
To briefly summarize the five hypotheses we can say that according to
Krashen we can develop two systems th at are independent. The ‘acquisition
system’ (unconscious and implicit) is activated when we are engaged in com-
munication, whereas the ‘learning system’ (conscious and explicit) functions
as a monitor and corrector of our production. As said before, according to this
theoretical model, grammatical features are acquired in a specific order and

Japanese Language Teaching 16
errors are testimony of natural developments. It is paramount that learners are
exposed to input (comprehensible) and learn an L2 in a very relaxed environ-
ment which enhances their motivation and does not pressurize them. This is
a theory that has obvious pedagogical implications (see implications for lan-
guage teaching in Box 1.3) and was translated into an approach to language
teaching called the Natural Approach.
Box 1.3 Krashen monitor theory: implications for teaching
(1) L2 teaching should focus on providing a rich variety of comprehensible input.
This can be achieved with the help of linguistics and nonlinguistics mea
ns.
(2) L2 teaching should provide learners with opportunities to use language sponta-
neously and meaningfully.
(3) L2 teaching should provide learners with opportunities to focus on meaning and
message rather than grammatical forms and accuracy.
(4) L2 teaching should engage learners in listening and reading activities first. There
should be no immediate pressure to produce the target language.
(5) L2 teaching should be interesting and create an environment that enhances
motivation in L2 learners and avoid that learners can become anxious.
Van Patten (2003:25) defines input as ‘the language that a learner hears (or
reads) has some kind of communicative intent’. Input is the main ingredient
for the acquisition of a second language. As outlined by Lee and Van Patten
(1995:37) two main characteristics make input useful for the learner:
(1) input must be meaning-bearing;
(2) input must be comprehensible.
First of all, in order to be effective input must contain a message that learn-
ers must attend to. Second, and more importantly, input has to be easily com-
prehended by the learner if acquisition is to happen. These two characteristics
are explained if we keep in mind that acquisition consists of the building up of
form–meaning connections in the learner’s head (Ellis, N. 2002; Van Patten,
2004). Features in language (e.g. vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation etc.)
make their way into the learner’s language system only if they are linked to
some kind of meaning and are comprehensible to L2 learners. However, not all
the input, even if it is comprehensible and meaningful, is picked up by learners.

Preliminary Considerations 17
Learners use copying strategies to derive intake from input (some of these
processes will be examined in Chapter 2). The role of comprehensible input and interaction in SLA has been the focus
of research not only in English and other European languages (see Gass and
Selinker, 2001), but it has also been investigated in Japanese. The effects of
comprehensible input have been particularly the focus of a classroom study
in the acquisition of Japanese. Nakakubo (1997) compared two groups of
intermediate Japanese learners. The first group was provided with simplified
input in listening comprehension tests and the second group received unmodi-
fied input. The results of this study showed that the first group outperformed
the second group in the listening comprehension test used to measure learner’s
performance. This study re-emphasized the importance of providing L2 learn-
ers of Japanese with comprehensible and simplified input in the language
classroom. In the interaction hypothesis (see Gass, 1997; Van Patten and Williams, 2007),
input is seen as a significant element/factor for acquisition without which
Learners cannot acquire an L2. Ellis (1994) distinguishes two types of input:
interactional and non-interactional. In the case of interactional input (see also
Long, 1980; Pica, 1983), he refers to input received during interaction where
there is some kind of communicative exchange involving the learner and at
least another person (e.g. conversation, classroom interactions). In the case of
non-interactional input, he refers to the kind of input that occurs in the con-
text of non-reciprocal discourse, and learners are not part of an interaction
(e.g. announcements). In the former case, learners have the advantage of being
able to negotiate meaning and make some conversational adjustments. This
means that conversation and interaction make linguistics features salient to
the learner. Many scholars (Mackey, 1995; Long, 1996; Gass, 1997) have indi-
cated that conversational interaction and negotiation can facilitate acquisition
(Interaction hypothesis, Long, 1980). Learners sometimes request clarifica-
tions or repetitions if they do not understand the input they receive. In the
attempt to facilitate acquisition, one person can request the other to modify
his/her utterances or the person modifies his/her own utterances to be under-
stood. Among the techniques used for modifying interaction the most com-
mon are:
(1) clarification request (e.g. what did you say?);
(2) confirmation checks (e.g. did you say . . ..);
(3) comprehension checks (e.g. do you understand?).

Japanese Language Teaching 18
Input, interaction, feedback and output are the main components of the
interaction hypothesis (see main implications for teaching in Box 1.4).
Box 1.4 Interaction theory: implications for teaching
(1) L2 instructors must give L2 learners the opportunities to communicate and
interact with each other.
(2) L2 instructors must engage L2 learners in negotiating meaning.
(3) L2 instructors need to give L2 learners opportunities to communicate.
(4) L2 instructors must provide L2 learners with opportunities to participate in
planned and unplanned discourse. The discourse should contain many sampl
es
of the linguistic features that learners are trying to learn.
Loschky (1994) carried out a study to investigate the effects of comprehen-
sible input and interaction on vocabulary retention and comprehension.
English native speakers learning two locative expressions of Japanese were
the subjects of this study. Three groups were formed: unmodified input, pre-
modified input, and negotiated input. The task involved non-native speakers
of Japanese to follow spoken description given by native speakers of Japanese.
The results showed that negotiation of meaning had a positive impact on
comprehension even though the three groups performed similarly in the sen-
tence verification test and vocabulary test. Other studies investigating the acquisition of Japanese as a foreign language
(Inagaki and Long, 1999; Mito, 1993) have yielded very interesting results
showing the importance of conversational interaction in SLA. Otha (2001a)
has pointed out that there is overwhelming evidence which shows the benefits
of peer L2 interactive tasks in the learning of Japanese. He argued that (2001a:
126) the use of peer interactive tasks in the teaching of Japanese provides
learners with the ability to use the L2 for a wide range of functions and
activities. He maintained that compared with teacher fronted practice, through
interactive tasks learners have more opportunities to help each others to recall
and use vocabulary, notice grammatical errors and learn how to interact
appropriately. The studies we briefly reviewed in this paragraph seem to cor-
roborate the hypothesis that interactionally modified input is very effective as
it facilitates comprehension and L2 learners’ development.

Preliminary Considerations 19
The role of output
Krashen (1982) has assigned a limited role to output as according to him it has
no function in building L2 learners’ developing system. Krashen’s view is that
input helps learners making form–meaning mappings which are vital for inter-
nalizing the grammatical properties of a target language. Swain (1985) has
developed a hypothesis called ‘the comprehensible output hypothesis’ accord-
ing to which, language production (oral and written) can help learners to
generate new knowledge and consolidate or modify their existing knowledge.
Swain (1985) assigns several roles for output (see Box 1.5).
Box 1.5 The role of output
(1) Output practice helps learners to improve fluency.
(2) Output practice helps learners to focus on form.
(3) Output practice help learners to check comprehension and linguistic correctness.
(4) Output helps learners to realize that the developing system is faulty and there-
fore notice a gap in their system.
Swain has pointed out that comprehe nsible input might not be sufficient to
develop native-like grammatical competence and learners also need compre-
hensible output. Learners needs ‘pushed output’ that is speech or writing that
will force learners to produce language correctly, precisely and appropriately.
According to Swain (1995:249) ‘producing the language might be the trigger
that forces the learner to pay attention to the means of expression needed in
order to successfully convey his or her own intended meaning.’ According to Van Patten the ability to produce forms and structures in out-
put does not necessarily mean that forms and structures have been acquired.
We need to distinguish between output as interaction with others and output
as practice of forms and structures. In Van Patten’s view (2003), learners’ implicit
system develops as learners process the input they receive. Output promotes
noticing of linguistic features in the input and conscious awareness of lan-
guage and language use. It can also provide additional input to learners so that
they can consolidate or modify their existing knowledge. In Van Patten’s view
(2003), the role of output is important (promotes awareness and interaction

Japanese Language Teaching 20
with other learners), but it does not play a direct role on the creation of the
internal linguistic system. Van Patten et al (2004:42) have sustained that
‘we have little if any experimental data that clearly show that acquisition is
somehow output dependent.’Van Patten (2003:20) also makes a clear distinction between skill acqui-
sition and the creation of an implicit system. Conscious presentation and
manipulation of forms through drills and output practice might help L2 learn-
ers to develop certain skills to use certain forms/structures correctly and accu-
rately in controlled tasks but has very little impact on the development of
the implicit system responsible for acquisition. Researchers have carried out a series of studies investigating the role of
output in SLA (Pica, 1994; Mackey, 1995). These studies have confirmed the
importance of conversational interactions. Iwashita (1999) has conducted a study with learners of Japanese as a foreign
language with a focus on pushed output. One- and two-ways tasks were used
to measure the effects of output and interaction between subjects. The results
of this study showed that learners can positively use output to interact with
each other (clarifications checks and confir mation checks), provide feedback
and produce modified output. Learners in this study were also able to modify
their output through negotiation of meaning. The main findings were similar
to a previous one conducted by Hane da (1996) who investigated the role of
pushed output among intermediate learners of Japanese as a foreign language.
Nagata’s (1998) study provided support for Swain’s output hypothesis as
she compared two groups of learners of Japanese receiving computer assisted
comprehension and production practice. The first group was exposed to an
input-focused computer programme which contained explicit grammar
instruction and comprehension-based practice. The second group received an
output-focused programme with the same explicit grammar instruction com-
ponent and production activities practice. The main findings from this study
showed that the output-based group performed better than the comprehen-
sion group in the production of honorifics in Japanese and equally well in the
comprehension test for these structures. Encouraging learners to produce the
target language, exposes L2 learners to linguistics problems that might lead
learners to notice things they do not know (Swain, 1995). Interaction with
other speakers might allow learners to notice things in the input that they have
not noticed before.

Preliminary Considerations 21
Question to reflect on . . .
What is the role of input and output in SLA? Are both necessary for acquisition to take
place? Can you think of one input-based and one output-based task which
can be used
effectively in Japanese language teaching?
Positive evidence and negative evidence
The interest in the role of positive and negative evidence in SLA is partly
related to the fact that exposure to comprehensible input is a necessary ingre-
dient for acquisition but might not be enough. Learners might need some
form of instruction to notice and process some forms or structures that might
otherwise not be noticed in the input (see following chapter). When learners
are acquiring an L2 they have access to two types of evidence: positive and
negative. Positive evidence is the various well-presented utterances learners
are exposed to in the input. Positive evidence is used to show learners what is
possible in a targeted L2. Negative evidence can be provided by the instructors
through feedback to L2 learners about the incorrectness of utterances. The
debate as to whether and to what extent positive and negative evidence con-
tribute to SLA is still very much an open one. According to the non-interface
position (see following paragraph) exposure to positive evidence is solely
responsible for the development of L2 learners interlanguage, and negative
evidence has very little role. However, White has argued (1987, 1991) that some forms or structures are
more difficult to be acquired through positive evidence alone. This is particu-
larly the case of a structure that is not part of the Universal Grammar. White
(1987, 1991) describes a situation where input does not supply L2 learners
with all the necessary information (adverb placement in English) and some
form of intervention is required. Long (1996) has maintained that negotiation
of meaning elicits negative feedback including recasts which in turn can help
learners notice a form or structure that otherwise might go unnoticed. As
highlighted by Sharwood-Smith (1991) negative feedback might take several
forms in conversational interaction which go from puzzled looks, confirma-
tion checks and clarifications requests, to corrective recasts. A variety of stud-
ies (among others see Carroll and Swain, 1993; Spada and Lightbown, 1993;
Doughty and Verela, 1998) have investigated the beneficial effects of negative

Japanese Language Teaching 22
feedback and have overall confirmed its positive effects in helping the develop-
ment of learners’ grammatical competence. The way feedback on errors was
provided in traditional instruction mainly consisted in explicit error correction.
However, a more implicit approach to negative feedback would involve a pro-
vision of corrective feedback (drawing learners’ attention to errors) within an
overall focus on message. Long argues that (1996) recast is a form of implicit negative feedback where
the learner’s attention is drawn to mismatches between the input and the out-
put. Recast is a form of corrective feedback where instructors provide a correct
version (correct form) of the utterance. Recast enables teachers to provide
feedback without hindering L2 learners’ communicative intent. One line of
research (Lyster and Ranta, 1997) on recast has argued that it is not effective in
eliciting immediate revision by learners of their output. A second line is instead
more positive about the role of recast (Doughty, 1999). A study by Koyanagi, Maruishi, Muranos, Ota and Shibata (1994) and also
Moroishi, (2001) have supported the view that recast is an effective type of
corrective feedback in the case of Japanese conditional forms ( to, ba ).
Question to reflect on . . .
Would (in your opinion) recast be an effective way to provide corrective feedback to
learners of Japanese? Can you think of an example of different ways of providing negative
feedback for learners of Japanese?
Inagaki and Long (1999) have conducte d a study investigating the role of
recasts in the acquisition of adjective ordering and locative construction in
Japanese. Five groups were used in order to measure the relative effects of the
recast technique. The authors claim that the findings provide ‘some evidence
in support of the claim that implicit negative feedback plays a facilitative role
in SLA’ (Inagaki and Long, 1999:26 and see a review of the effects of recast in
the acquisition of Japanese in Ohta, 2001a). Iwashita (2003) conducted a study which compared the relative effects of
different types of implicit corrective feedback (including reaction, clarification
requests and confirmation checks) on the acquisition of Japanese - te- form of
the verb, word order and particle use in locative-initial constructions. She con-
cluded that the effects of implicit feedback will vary depending on the linguis-
tic features in focus. In this study recast was effective in promoting learning of
the -te - form but not in the case of the other two linguistics forms.

Preliminary Considerations 23
From the studies reviewed on Japanese language acquisition we can argue
that learners benefit from both positive and negative evidence. The question is
how we can efficiently and effectively provide both in the language classroom.
In the following paragraphs and more extensively in Chapter 2 of this book,
we will present and review different techniques of focus on form (manly input
enhancement and the structure input practice) which attempt to focus learn-
ers’ attention to formal properties of the target language in the input in order
to facilitate acquisitional processes.
The effects of instruction on
acquisition
Learning and acquisition
One of the most prominent and at the same time most criticized theories in
SLA research has been Krashen’s Monitor Theory (Krashen, 1982). Krashen
develops his theory out of a series of studies conducted by Dulay and Burt
(1974). The so-called ‘morpheme order studies’ discovered that learners,
irrespective of their L1, acquire grammatical items in the same order. Learners
seem to follow a natural order in acquiring an L2. There is empirical evidence
(Felix, 1981; Lightbown, 1983; Kaplan, 1987) to indicate that L2 learners go
through a natural sequential order in acquiring linguistic features, and this
natural order is not affected by formal instruction. Krashen makes a clear distinction between ‘learning’ and ‘acquisition’ as
they are two independent and unrelated systems. For Krashen acquisition is an
unconscious process which does not benefit from any conscious learning.
Learning is a conscious process and it is the result of formal instruction
(knowledge of the grammatical rules). Learners use this knowledge to monitor
their speech. Krashen assigns to formal instruction a very ‘fragile and periph-
eral role’ (1993:22). According to Krashen, grammar instruction plays a very
limited role in SLA, since he argues that learned knowledge that results from
grammatical instruction does not turn into acquisition. As previously said, Krashen emphasizes the key role of comprehensible input
and meaningful input as the main vehicles for acquisition. Instructors should
provide meaningful and comprehensib le input in the language classroom.
There are certain practical implications for classroom practice consistent with
Krashen’s theory (see Box 1.3). First of all, Krashen advocates that instruction

Japanese Language Teaching 24
should focus on developing learners’ communicative competence (see Chapter 3
in this book) rather than on grammatical perfection. Second, acccording to
Krashen, the main function of language teaching is to provide comprehensible
input (simplified and modified through the use of various means) in the lan-
guage classroom. Therefore, most, if not all classroom activities, should be
designed to evoke communication and not wasted in grammatical lectures or
manipulative exercises and error correction which has a negative effect in
terms of learner’s motivation and attitude.
The facilitative position
A different view in the role of grammar teaching is the so-called ‘facilitative
position’ that claims that formal instruction seems to be able to speed up
the process of natural acquisition. Opponents of Krashen have developed
different models of SLA in the belief that ‘learned’ or ‘explicit’ knowledge
can become ‘acquired’ or ‘implicit’ knowledge provided that learners have
the opportunity and motivation to automatize new rules through practice.
McLaughlin (1978) distinguishes between controlled and automatic process-
ing. According to McLaughlin, learners acquire an L2 when they are able to
move from control to automatic processing. Bialystok (1982) has also deve-
loped a model of SLA based on two ty pes of knowledge which can interact:
explicit knowledge and implicit knowledge. He claims that through practice,
explicit turns into implicit. This is also the view of Anderson (1983) who dis-
tinguishes two types of knowledge: declarative knowledge (knowing that) and
procedural knowledge (knowing how). Anderson indicates that learning
begins with declarative knowledge and slowly becomes proceduralized (proce-
dural knowledge is acquired by performing a skill) through practice. Krashen (1982) has argued that learning and acquisition are not connected
and explicit knowledge is quite different from implicit knowledge (non-interface
position). In clear opposition to this view, other researchers (DeKeyser, 1995,
2006; Robinson, 1995) have taken a different view arguing that explicit and
implicit knowledge are indeed connected, and instruction has a facilitative role.
Ellis (Ellis, N. 2002:175) argues that acquisition has an implicit nature and it is
the product of ‘slow acquisition of form-function mappings and the regulari-
ties therein’. Learners need to be provided with opportunities to process forms
and make form–meaning connections through grammar instruction so that
forms of a target language can become part of their interlanguage system.

Preliminary Considerations 25
Van Patten (2003) has strongly argued that SLA involves the creation of an
implicit and unconscious linguistic system. His view is also corroborated by a
study (Van Patten and Mandell, 1999), conducted with one of his associates
where he demonstrated that L2 learners have an explicit system and develop
an explicit knowledge of rules, but it is the implicit system learners are creating
in their heads that is ultimately responsible for their fluent performance in the
L2. As noted by Van Patten (2003:13) ‘L2 learners store the explicit or explicitly
learned information separately from their implicit systems.’ Classroom evidence reviewed by Long (1983) who has investigated the
effects of grammar instruction has indicated that instruction might have a
facilitative role in SLA. More recent reviews (Larsen-Freeman, 1991) have also
shown that while grammar instruction has no effects on acquisition sequences,
it is of value in promoting rapid and higher levels of acquisition. Norris &
Ortega (2000) have conducted a meta-analysis of studies which attempted to
measure the effectiveness of grammar instruction. The results of this review
indicated that grammar instruction (particularly explicit types of instruction)
has a facilitative effect on the rate and ultimate success of acquisition. SLA research measuring the effects of explicit rule information has pro-
vided mixed results. Positive effects for instruction have been measured in
grammatical judgement tasks and controlled production tasks as in the case of
Robinson (1996, 1997). No positive effects have been found in studies assess-
ing the effects of explicit information as a component of a grammar instruc-
tion approach called processing instruction (Van Patten and Oikkenon, 1996). Classroom research in French immersion programmes (Harley & Swain,
1984; Harley, 1989) has shown that even after years of exposure to comprehen-
sible input learners still can’t reach a certain level of accuracy. The findings in
these studies have highlighted the inadequacies of approaches to language
teaching where the emphasis is only on meaning-based instruction and gram-
mar teaching is not provided. Despite the fact that input is a crucial and vital
element in the acquisition process, it may not be sufficient in SLA (see Van
Patten and Williams, 2007). Research on the effects of grammar instruction has suggested that while
providing comprehensible input in the classroom is essential, we must at the
same time engage learners in communicative tasks where grammar can be
enhanced through the use of different techniques. Some kind of focus on
grammatical forms might be necessary to help learners develop higher levels
of accuracy in the target language.

Japanese Language Teaching 26
It is increasingly evident that instruction might have a facilitative role by
enabling learners to notice linguistics features in the input and improve their
interlanguage. In the so-called ‘noticing hypothesis’, Schmidt (1990, 1994) has
argued that in order to acquire a language it is necessary for learners to pay
conscious attention to forms/structures of the targeted language. It is neces-
sary for learners to notice forms in the target input; otherwise learners might
just process input for meaning and fail to process and acquire specific linguis-
tic forms. Many features and characteristics of the target language might influ-
ence and determine whether learners are able to notice a form in the input
(e.g. frequency; perceptual saliency and communicative value of a given
form/structure). Sharwood-Smith (1991) argues that it is not whether grammar should be
taught but in what way it should be taught. Sharwood-Smith (1986:274) had
claimed that
instructional strategies which draw the attention of the learner to specifically
structural regularities of the language, as distinct from message content, will
under certain conditions significantly increase the rate of acquisition over and
above the rate expected from learners acquiring the language under natural
circumstances.
Sharwood-Smith (1991) takes the argument further, emphasizing that
grammar instruction or as he calls it ‘consciousness-raising’ can take many
different forms along two main dimensions: elaborateness and explicitness
(explicit or implicit approaches). In the following chapter we will take this
further and focus on three different approaches to grammar teaching which
seems to be successful at helping L2 learners to notice and process grammati-
cal forms in the input. These different approaches have been supported by
some empirical evidence. Sharwood-Smith (1991) has argued that it is impor-
tant to draw learners’ attention to specific features in the input, but it is ulti-
mately the learner who determines what to do with the input. In addition to
that, not all the input is internalized and absorbed and becomes intake (Input
processing theory). Some factors related to the characteristics of the target
language itself (e.g. frequency or saliency of particular forms) might influence
the ability for L2 learners to notice forms in the input. There are also internal
factors that might be responsible for how learners process language : (influ-
ence of L1 (universal grammar theory); processing strategies (input process-
ing theory); readiness (processability theory), see following paragraphs).

Preliminary Considerations 27
Question to reflect on . . .
What is the role of grammar instruction in Japanese language teaching?
Teachability/learnability hypothesis
One of the areas that SLA research has focused its attention on is to investigate
interlanguage developments. A series of empirical studies have been conducted
to understand development sequences in SLA and as a result of these studies a
hypothesis was formulated. This hypothesis called the teachability hypothesis
has been defined by Ellis (Ellis, R., 1994:656) as ‘the most powerful account we
have of how formal instruction relates to learning’. This hypothesis has been
advanced by Pienemann (1984) as a result of extensive research into the natu-
ralistic acquisition of L2 German word order rules and L2 English acquisition.
The main aim of this research was to investigate whether formal instruction
would alter the sequence of acquisition. Pienemann (1984) has advanced a
series of hypothesis concerning the effects of instruction on SLA. First of all,
he argued that instruction will not enable learners to acquire any developmen-
tal features out of sequence. Second, instruction will enable students to acquire
developmental features provided that the processing operations required to
produce those features that precede it in the acquisitional sequence have
already been mastered. Finally, instruction directed at developmental features
for which the learner is not ready may interfere with the natural process of
acquisition. These hypotheses have been tested in several studies by Pienemann
(1984, 1987) which showed that instruction cannot help the learner change
the natural order of SLA; however, in Pienemann’s view, instruction can pro-
mote language acquisition if the interlanguage is close to the point when the
structure to be taught is acquired in the natural setting. The teachability
hypothesis relies on the possibility that instruction could help the learner to
alter the natural route of development, if the learner is psycholinguistically
ready. Therefore, according to Pienemann (1984) instruction can facilitate
the SLA process if it coincides with when the learner is ready; it can improve
the speed of acquisition, the freque ncy of role application and the different
contexts in which the role has to be applied. The processing challenge is that
learners must learn to exchange grammatical information across elements of
a sentence. In language learning this ability develops gradually and learners

Japanese Language Teaching 28
will gradually move up the structure (first accessing words, then their syntactic
category, then joining them in a phrase). Learners follow a very rigid route
in the acquisition of grammatical structures. Structures become learnable
only when the previous steps on this acquisitional path have been acquired.
Pienemann’s conclusions could be summarized as follows: stages of acquisi-
tion cannot be skipped; instruction will be beneficial if it focuses on structures
tailored to the next developmental stage. Kanagy’s (1991, 1994) has under-
taken research on interlanguage development in Japanese. In particular, the
acquisition order of negation in Japanese has been investigated. The results of
this research have shown a clear development sequence for patterns of nega-
tion in L2 learners. For example, at stage 1, beginner learners would produce
only predicate external negation (nai or nai-desu ) and attached it to verbs
or adjectives. At stage 2 learners are able to use various negation forms such
as –masen and ja-arimasen. According to Kanagy (1999:62) learners of Japanese
from different L1 follow a similar route of development in learning to express
negation. In addition to that, learners follow a specific order of acquisition
(V & N > A) of negation for predicate types, and non-past negative construc-
tions are acquired before past tense forms. These results are also confirmed
in more recent studies in Japanese (Hansen-Strain, 1993). One of the conclu-
sions from Kanagy’s studies (1991, 1994) is that the instructional teaching
orders do not seem to match acquisition orders. This is also the case in studies
investigating other L2. For example, the third person - s - in English is a mor-
pheme taught rather early in most English language programmes, but it is one
of the last verb morphemes to be acquired in speech. The acquisition of verb
morphemes in English (Lee & Van Patten, 1995) seems to follow an universal
pattern (-ing-regular past tense-irregular past tense-third person –s-). Learn-
ers seem to follow a particular path (Lightbown, 1983; Pica, 1983) in the way
to develop the L2 system regardless of the order in which grammatical features
are taught. Overall we have evidence not only in European languages but also
in Japanese that instruction does not appear to cause a difference in the acqui-
sition order. Di Biase and Kawaguchi (2002) have successfully attempted to
test the typological validity of the processability theory in Japanese (verbal
inflection-V-te V- benefactive, causative and passive) which has a different
syntactic and morphological structure compared with romance languages. In his processability theory Pienemann (1998) argues that internal psycho-
linguistics factors and processing constraints determined the sequences of
acquisition of features in a targeted language. This position is in line with Corder
(1967) who suggested that learners follow internal strategies to organize

Preliminary Considerations 29
linguistics data, and these strategies are not necessarily affected by outside
influences. Pienemann’s processing procedures are acquired in the following
sequence: word- category- phrase- sentence. If we can take again the case of L2
learners learning Japanese negation we might say for instance that at word
level learners would process the overall meaning of the sentence before forms.
Once they have recognized the meaning of a word they can assign words to a
lexical category and functions. If it is true that learners pass through predict-
able stages while acquiring the grammatical system of a second language and
this is also the case of Japanese SLA, one question we need to address is: what
is the role of instruction? (See implications of this theory for language teach-
ing in Box 1.6.)
Box 1.6 Processability theory: implications for teaching
(1) Instructors must take into consideration that learners follow a very rigid route in
the acquisition of grammatical structures. It is not a matter of whether or not
instruction has a role to play but it is a matter of when. Instruction will be bene-
ficial if it focuses on learnable structures.
(2) Instructors must take into consideration that learners will not be able to produce
forms or structures for which they are not psycholinguistically ready.
Kawaguchi (2005) has also provided some evidence for the applicability of
the processability theory to the acquisition of Japanese. The data collected by
Kawaguchi from learners of Japanese showed that learners follow predictable
orders of acquisition (lexical-phrasal-sentence) in SOV order (Japanese is a
SOV language as the verb is always in final position).
Question to reflect on . . .
Is there a role for formal instruction in the acquisition of Japanese?
Summary
In this chapter, we have attempted to briefly review some of the theories
and the findings of research in SLA with two main objectives. Our main scope
was to look at these findings in SLA and determine whether there are some

Japanese Language Teaching 30
implications for language teaching which can also be applied to the teaching
of Japanese. The role of input has been the main focus of attention in SLA research.
Monitor Theory (Krashen, 1982) affirms that input is the necessary ingredient
in SLA as learners acquire a second language in a similar way to that in which
we acquire our first language. However, the question raised by Van Patten and
Williams (2007:9) is whether input is sufficient for acquisition. As it is a fun-
damental and necessary ingredient in SLA, for (Gass, 1997), input must first
contain a message which a learner is supposed to attend to and, second, and
more importantly, input has to be easily comprehended by the learner. As pro-
posed by Van Patten (1996, 2004) learners must process input and their inter-
nal mechanism must work on the processed input for that implicit system to
develop. Learners have to comprehend what the speaker is saying if acquisition
is to happen. Features in language (e.g. vocabulary, grammar pronunciation)
make their way into the learner’s language system only if they are linked to
some kind of meaning and are comprehensible to the learner (see Hatch 1983;
Lee & Van Patten 1995, 2003). Comprehensible and meaning-bearing input is
therefore one important element in SLA. Although we have established that
there are limits on the effects of output on SLA, output has clearly a role to
play. Interaction with other speakers might allow learners to notice things
unnoticed before. Swain (1985) sees negotiation of meaning and opportuni-
ties for interaction as paramount for the acquisition of an L2. The ability to make form–meaning connections is enhanced if the language
is structured in such a way that certain features of the language are more
salient. Gass (1988, 1997) has emphasized that instruction does in fact prepare
the path for acquisition although initially lear ners do not fully acquire what
is taught when it is taught. Instruction should aim at helping learners to
pay selective attention to form and form–meaning connections in the input.
Whatever approach to grammar teaching we adopt, we should devise grammar
activities that facilitate learners in noticing and comprehending linguistics
features in the input. Gass (1988) suggests that selective attention is facilitated
by devising instructional activities whose main aim is helping learners to
interpret the meanings of some specific forms in the input, rather than equip-
ping learners with conscious rules. Van Patten (1996) has argued that SLA
involves the creation of an implicit linguistic system outside awareness. Learn-
ers are not aware of the properties that govern this system. L2 learners possess
an implicit system and sometime intuitively know if a sentence is correct or

Preliminary Considerations 31
not but cannot explain why. As previously said, certain features in L2 have to
be acquired before others (stages of development), and we know that learners
make particular errors as they reach different stages regardless what their L1 is
and no matter what kind of formal instruction they receive. In terms of acqui-
sition orders L2 learners acquire various grammatical features in a predeter-
mined order and regardless of their L1 and formal instruction.In this chapter, we have argued that the effects of instruction are limited.
This claim is based on the observation that instruction cannot alter develop-
mental sequences or cause learners to skip stages (Pienemann, 1984). Learners
are guided by some internal mechanism in SLA that instruction cannot over-
ride (Pienemann, 1998). In addition to that, instructional orders do not match
acquisition orders. The order in which learners learn grammatical forms does
not necessarily match the way those forms where taught by instructors in the
classroom. As highlighted by Van Patten (2003), SLA is a complex phenomena
which on one hand consists of the creation of an implicit system by L2 learners
and on the other hand, is affected by many factors as it develops (e.g. specific
sequence of acquisition and orders of acquisition). Van Patten (2003) has argued
that extensive practice on a form has no effects if learners are not ready as
learners follow universal developmental sequences in their interlanguage
development. Despite this, grammar instruction has a role to play. There seems to be evi-
dence that instruction might have some kind of facilitative effect, most nota-
bly in ‘speeding’ up acquisition (Ellis, 1994). Therefore, although a substantial
body of research has suggested that learners work on an internal schedule
which depends on various factors, there is also experimental research which
clearly indicates that grammar instruction in SLA is beneficial and has a facili-
tative function. Learners might learn certain forms more quickly if they receive
grammar instruction as they are exposed to richer and more complex input
than those in a naturalistic environment where input is limited to conversa-
tional language. Grammar instruction can help learners to be aware of things
in the input that might be otherwise missed or learners might get wrong
(Van Patten, 1996, 2002, 2004). It can help learners to make better form–
meaning connections vital for acquisition (Ellis, N., 2002; Van Patten, 2004).
Attention to language forms might allow lear ners to notice some aspects of the
linguistics system. In addition grammar instruction could be used to make
certain forms in the input more salient so that learners might notice them and
perhaps process them more quickly (Shar wood-Smith, 1991). Classroom and

Japanese Language Teaching 32
textual input might be the source of a possible facilitative effect and instruction
may aid in comprehension which in turn enhances chances of acquisition
(Van Patten, 1996). Although, some types of grammar teaching (see following chapter) could
be beneficial as they can accelerate acq uisition, there seems to be psycholin-
guistics constraints which determine whether grammar instruction is success-
ful or not (processing problems will be discussed in the following chapter). The question is: can we draw some implications for Japanese language
teaching from the theories and research on the role of formal instruction,
input, interaction and output which we have briefly reviewed in this chapter?
We must agree with Lee and Van Patten (2003) on the fact that instruction
should move from input to output and provide L2 learners with opportunities
to reflect on formal properties of the language and at the same time to use the
language for communicative purposes through interactive tasks. These are the
main implications for Japanese language teaching that teachers of Japanese
should take into account which we can be drawn for what we have said in this
chapter about some of the findings in SLA:
– Traditional grammar teaching (paradigms followed by mechanical drills)
is inadequate
and has no direct effects on SLA. Japanese grammar should not be presented and prac-
tised in a traditional way.
– Japanese grammar teaching should be meaning-based and tied to input and
communication.
– Focus on input should first take into consideration how learners process input.
– Grammar teaching might have a positive effect if targets the way learners process input.
– Learners should be exposed to input that is comprehensible, simplified and meaning bearing.
– Negative evidence (corrective feedback) has a facilitative role.
– Although input is a necessary ingredient and a main factor for acquisition, focus on form should be incorporated in a communicative approach to the teaching of Japanese.
This focus on form might allow learners to notice and process particular grammatical
properties of the target L2. The question that need to be resolved is what type of focus
on form.
– Interactive communicative tasks should be promoted for speech production.
– Learners should be asked to perform interaction tasks where they negotiate meaning.
– Output practice will help learners to notice forms, interact with other learners, expose learners to more input and eventually help learners in the development of skills.
– Production should be meaning–based as whenever learners produce language, the lan- guage they produce should be for the purpose of expressing some kind of meaning.

Preliminary Considerations 33
More questions to reflect on . . .
(1) Can you summarize (key concepts) the main SLA theories and findings br
iefly reviewed
in this chapter?
(2) Can you find some more relevant empirical evidence (Japanese studies) in support
of some of the theories/findings presented in this first chapter?
(3) Are there any other implications for teaching of Japanese, which have not been o
ut-
lined in this chapter?
Key terms
Acquisition vs. learning: Krashen makes a clear distinction between learning and acquisition.
Learning is a conscious process and it is related to the development of explicit knowledge.
Acquisition is a subconscious process and related to the development of an internal and
implicit system. In this book we use both terms with the same meaning.
Audio-lingual method: teaching method based on the behaviourist view according to which learning another language is about learning good habits and avoid bad habits.
It is a method based on the assumption that learning is enhanced through the use of
memorization, grammar manipulation and drill practice.
Developing system: the internal implicit system of L2 learners.
Input: the language L2 learners hear or read. This is the raw material learners are exposed
to and process.
Intake: the portion of the input that is filtered and processed by the learner.
Input comprehensible: according to Krashen (1982) input must be modified to make sure that it is comprehended by the learner.
Input meaning-bearing: input is a vehicle for communication. It must carry a message.
Input processing: this theory refers to psycholinguistics (interpretation strategies) con- straints in processing form/structure in the input.
Interaction hypothesis: according to this hypothesis learners acquiring language as L2 are encouraged to interact in the target language in order to communicate.
Monitor theory: this refers to the Krashen model of acquisition which emphasizes the importance of the role of input, natural processes and learner’s motivation in SLA. The
teaching method originated from this theory is called ‘The Natural Approach’.
Output: Output can be defined as the the language that L2 learners produce.
Recast: a type of corrective feedback in which we provide a correct version of an
utterance.
Teachability/learnability hypothesis: according to this theory specific structures should be taught only when L2 learners are developmentally ready to acquire the specific struc-
ture of the language.
Universal Grammar: this is the term used by Chomsky to refer to the innate knowledge that we bring to the task of learning a second language.

Japanese Language Teaching 34
Further reading
Doughty, C. and Williams, J. (Eds) (1998). Focus on Form in Classroom Second Language Acquisition.
Cambridge: CUP.
Ellis, R. (1994). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: OUP.
Gass, S. M. and Selinker, L. (2001). Second Language Acquisition: An introductory course . Rowley, MA:
Newbury House.
Mitchell, R. and Miles, F. (2004). Second Language Learning Theories, 2
nd ed. London: Hodder Arnold.
Ohta, J. (2001a). Second Language Acquisition Processes in the Classroom: Learning Japannese. Mahwah,
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Sanz, C. (Ed.) (2005). Mind and Context in Adult Second Language Acquisition . Washington, DC:
Georgetown University Press.
Van Patten, B. and Williams, J. (Eds) (2007). Theories in Second Language Acquisition. Mahwah, NJ:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Van Patten, B. (2003). From Input to Output: A Teacher’s Guide to Second Language Acquisition.
New York: McGraw-Hill.

Introduction: focus on form and
focus on forms
In the previous chapter we established that there is evidence, including evi-
dence on L2 learners learning Japanese, showing that L2 learners follow deve-
lopmental sequences (see Pienemann, 1998), learn morphemes in a similar
order, might have access to innate knowledge (see White, 2003) and they ana-
lyse and process linguistic input (see Van Patten, 2004). Considering all these
findings, language is more likely to be acquired with the kind of instruction
which engages in psycholinguistics processing that occurs during SLA and
also provides a focus on meaning. Although exposure to input is an important
factor, it is also true that drawing learners’ attention to the formal properties
of an L2 language within a meaningful context (focus on form) might have
a facilitative role and help learners to notice and process a particular form.
As we said, this is one of the conditions that might help learners in acquiring
an L2 more efficiently and speedily.
Chapter Outline
Introduction: focus on form and focus on forms 35
What type of focus on form? 39
Input enhancement 42
Processing instruction 43
Summary 52
More questions to refl ect on . . . 55
Key terms 55
Further reading 56
The Role of Focus on Form 2

Japanese Language Teaching 36
In order to explore whether there are particular approaches to focus on
form better than others, we must first define what focus on form consists of, as
this term has been used sometimes to express different meanings. Long (1991)
and more recently Long and Robinson (1998) have distinguished two types of
focus on form: ‘focus on form’ and ‘focus on forms’. Doughty and Williams
(1998) have defined ‘focus on forms’ as any type of instruction that isolates
specific linguistic forms in order to teach them one at a time. Focus on forms
refers to synthetic approaches to language teaching where the L2 is analysed in
different parts such as grammar and vocabulary and these elements are taught
in isolation from context. This type of approach to grammar teaching is found
on structural syllabuses, where the syllabus consists of long and elaborate
explanations of the grammatical rules of the target L2 followed by activities
in which learners have to produce the target language through mechanical
drills. This model of focus on forms has been criticized by scholars (Long and
Robinson, 1998; Wong and Van Patten, 2003) particularly on the basis of the
fact that L2 learners, rather than learning discrete lexical or grammatical items
one at a time, follow predictable sequences in certain L2 features. As Doughty
and Williams (1998:16) pointed out ‘pedagogical materials and accompanying
classroom procedures are designed to present and practise a series of linguistic
items or forms’. In addition to this, L2 learners follow developmental sequences
(Pienmann, 1998). L2 learners might have access to innate knowledge and
analyse and process linguistic input. Therefore we should provide a similar
condition to that present in L1 acquisition. (exposure to input, focus on com-
munication, interaction and many opportunities to negotiate meaning). Given that learners are not making measurable progress in their performance
in this type of approach (structural syllabus), scholars and teachers turned
their attention to a different kind of language syllabus, one that focuses on
meaning (see following chapter). The underlying assumption was that L2
learners as L1 learners will have access to innate knowledge (Chomsky, 1965)
and will need modified input for their interlanguage development. In the CLT
approach (see following chapter) classroom practice should focus on meaning
and input should be comprehensible to facilitate SLA. The main emphasis is
on communication and expression of meaning rather than form. Krahsen
Monitor theory (1982) is very much in line with this view claiming that expo-
sure to comprehensible input is sufficient for L2 learners. However, other scholars have sustained that some grammatical features (e.g.
adverb placement and direct object in English by French learners, White, 1987)

The Role of Focus on Form 37
cannot be acquired with exposure to input alone. Lightbown and Spada (1990)
have argued that learners can certainly acquire very high levels of fluency on
an L2 through exposure to the input, as in the case of immersion courses;
however, the level of accuracy they reach remains quite low.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you think of an example of focus on form and focus on forms tasks/ac
tivities in
Japanese?
Long (1991) first introduced the term ‘focus on form’ by suggesting that
teaching should be meaning-focused but with some degree of attention to the
grammatical properties of the language. Doughty and Williams (1998) defines
a ‘focus on form’ as any type of instruction that encourages focus on meaning
and a focus on form at the same time. This is to say that learners’ attention is
being focused on specific linguistic prop erties in the course of a communica-
tive activity. The distinction, first use d by Long, has been redefined by Spada
(1997). Spada (1997:73) has defined, more generally, focus on form as ‘any
pedagogical effort which is used to draw the learners’ attention to language
form’. This can include an instructional intervention that seeks to attract
learners’ attention to formal features of an L2 within a meaningful context
or a reaction to errors (corrective feedback). In many cases, a focus on form
has been incorporated in a primarily communicative approach to language
teaching. In Spada’s view, grammar teaching should incorporate activities that
focus on both meaning and form at the same time. Spada has argued (1997:77;
see also Lightbown and Spada, 1999) that focus on form is generally more
beneficial when L2 learners’ attention is drawn to linguistic features in a less
explicit way within a communicative teaching context. As pointed out by
Takashima and Sugiura (2006) many teachers of Japanese have now begun
to use communicative tasks in the language classroom. The use of tasks in
the language classroom has attracted much attention (Nunan, 2001; Bygate,
Skehan and Swain, 2001; Ellis, R. 2003) in language teaching as a tool to engage
learners in real world situation. Tasks can be a useful instrument (see Part B
of this book) to provide focus on form practice and draw learners’ attention to
particular linguistics features of an L2 while they are engaging in meaningful
communication.

Japanese Language Teaching 38
Focus on form can be accomplished in many ways; however, before we
examine how we should provide for a focus on form we would like to deal with
the following questions:
(1) Can learners focus on form and meaning simultaneously? (Terrell, 1986, 1991)
(2) What type of focus on form is available?
(1) Van Patten (1990) has investigated the effects of simultaneous attention
to form and meaning in L2 learners. Van Patten measured the ability for low,
intermediate and high proficiency university level learners to attend simulta-
neously to form and meaning. His findings suggest that learners find it diffi-
cult to attend to both form and meaning in the input they are exposed to.
Van Patten (1990:296) has suggested that ‘conscious attention to form in the
input competes with conscious attention to meaning, and, by extension, that
only when input is easily understood can learners attend to form as part of the
intake process.’ As a number of scholars have pointed out (Van Patten and
Cadierno, 1993; Hulstijn 1989) L2 learners must attend to linguistic features in
the input as well as to messages. However, excessive demands should not be
put on learner’s attentional resources. Van Patten (1996) claims that only when
learners are familiar with the major lexical items in the input are they able to
process the grammatical markers. He argues that when teachers focus on the
grammatical properties of a target L2, they should make sure that learners are
familiar with the lexical elements. Terrell (1991:60) concluded that ‘instruc-
tion with little lexical load coupled with a high frequency of a single form–
meaning relationship would result in helping learners to pay more attention
and process non-salient, redundant grammatical forms’. (2) In terms of what type of focus on form is available for teaching, two
types of focus on form have been i dentified : proactive approaches and reac-
tive approaches. Doughty and Williams (1998:198) have defined these two
positions in this way: ‘a proactive approach would entail selecting in advance
an aspect of the target to focus on; whereas, a reactive stance would require
that the teachers notice and be prepared to handle various learning difficulties
as they arise.’ Teachers might develop techniques to draw learners’ attention to
form during a communicative task or preselect a problematic linguistic feature
to do so. As we said in the previous chapter, teachers must keep in mind some
fundamentals concepts: they must consider developmental sequences, they
must provide a refined input, they must take into consideration the complex-
ity of the form/structure, they must take into consideration the L1 influence
on SLA processes, they must focus primary on meaning. Some scholars have

The Role of Focus on Form 39
developed proactive approaches to focus on form such as processing instruc-
tion (Van Patten, 1996, 2004) and input enhancement (Wong, 2005). These
studies have shown that learners were able to notice and process linguistics
features and include those linguistics features in their output. Ellis (1997,
2003) has advocated a more reactive focus on form which is more incidental,
problem-oriented and output-based. Many empirical studies have been mea-
sured as a more reactive approach to focus on form such as corrective feedback
and recast (Carroll and Swain, 1993; Doughty and Verela, 1998; Lyster and
Ranta, 1997; Nobuyoshi and Ellis, 1993; Iwashita, 1999).
What type of focus on form?
As previously said, Doughty and Williams (1998) have made a distinction
between reactive and proactive approaches to focus on form. In a proactive
approach a grammar task (e.g. consciousness raising, processing instruction)
is designed to ensure that there are opportunities to focus, process and use
problematic forms while understanding or communicating a message. A reac-
tive approach instead involves the use of a technique (e.g. recast) for drawing
learner’s attention to errors. SLA teachers and researchers have developed a
series of instructional interventions to direct learners’ attention to particular
forms or structures of an L2 and therefore we present in this paragraph some
proactive approaches to focus on form. The most implicit type of focus on form is called ‘input flood’. In this
technique learners are simply exposed to the input that contains numerous
instances of the same linguistics feature. By exposing learners to input flood, it
is hoped that learners will notice a particular form of the target language.
Flooding the input (without highlighting) with many examples of the same
form will increase the frequency of the targeted form and hopefully L2 learn-
ers will have more chances to notice that form. As Gass (1997) pointed out, in
order for the input to be usable for SLA, learners must attend to it or notice it
in some ways. Input flood can be both written and oral. As suggested by Wong
(2005), the idea is to expose learners over a period of time to many examples
of the target item (increasing the frequency of the targeted form) via meaning-
bearing input and comprehensible input (otherwise if learners struggle to
extract meaning they will not notice the form). Few studies have been conducted to measure the effectiveness of this
approach (see studies conducted by Trahey and White, 1993 and Williams and
Evans, 1998).

Japanese Language Teaching 40
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you think of an example of how to flood the input with a Japanese li
nguistic
feature?
A more explicit way to focus on form is the consciousness raising (CR)
approach. It contrasts with traditional instruction (TI) in a number of ways.
The most important of these differences is that in the CR approach greater
attention is paid to the form–meaning relationship while there is an attempt to
situate grammatical structure and element in questions within a broader dis-
course context. CR is an attempt to equip the learner with an understanding of
a specific grammatical feature, developing a declarative rather than procedural
knowledge of it (see Rutherford, 1987; Rutherford and Sharwood-Smith,
1988). The main characteristics of CR activities are (see Ellis, 1997:160–162;
see also Ellis, 1991)
(1) isolating a particular linguistic feature;
(2) providing learners with some data which is an illustration of the target feature;
(3) asking learners to understand the feature; using further data to describe and explain in
case of learner misunderstanding;
(4) asking learners to articulate the rule in the attempt to explain the grammatical
structure.
Rutherford (1987) coined the term to refer to deliberate intervention to
raise awareness in L2 learners about formal properties of a target language.
The goal of consciousness raising is to make learners conscious of the rules
that govern the use of particular language forms while providing the opportu-
nity to engage in meaningful interaction. During CR tasks learners develop
explicit knowledge about how the target language works and are pushed to
negotiate meaning. Explicit knowledge should help learners notice that form in
subsequent communicative input, while negotiation of meaning (interaction)
can expose learners to more comprehensible input. During consciousness
raising activities, learners are encouraged to discover the rules in conscious-
ness raising. They are provided with some data and then asked to arrive
(through some tasks) at an explicit understanding of some linguistic property
of the target language. Raising consciousness about a particular form enable
learners to notice it in communicative input. There is a clear distinction
between traditional grammar instruction and CR as noted by Ellis (1997:160)

The Role of Focus on Form 41
as traditional practice is production-based whereas the main aim of CR is ‘to
construct a conscious representation of the target feature and to this end any
production of the feature will be strictly limited and incidental’.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you think of an example of a consciousness raising task in Japanese?
Few studies have been conducted tomeasure the effectiveness of this
approach (see studies conducted by Fotos, 1993 and Fotos and Ellis, 1991). Van Patten’s view of grammar instruction, which will be examined in the
next section, represents a step forward compared to Sharwood-Smith‘s posi-
tion (1993) according to which, a way to provide formal instruction is to make
some forms more salient in the input so that they come to learners attention.
Processing instruction does not aim at raising learners’ consciousness about
grammatical form. As stated by Van Patten (1996:84) ‘simply bringing a form
to someone’s attention is not a guarantee that it gets processed, for acquisition
to happen the intake must continually provide the developing system with
examples of correct form–meaning connections that are the results of input
processing.’ The ultimate scope of Van Patten’s model (processing instruction)
is not about raising consciousness awareness about a grammatical form but
making the learner appreciate the communicative function of a particular
form and consequently enrich the learner’s intake In the following section we will review some of the studies that have been
carried out in order to ascertain whether there are particular types of focus on
form which are more beneficial than others particularly in relation to the
acquisition of Japanese. Some practical guidelines will be provided to develop
focus on form grammatical tasks for the teaching of Japanese (practical exam-
ples of how to incorporate focus on form in a CLT approach will be presented
and discussed in Chapter 4 of this book). Despite the fact that research on the
use of different focus on form approaches has focused principally on English
and romance languages, we will also examine some research data on the acqui-
sition of Japanese as L2. Despite the limits in the database concerning class-
room studies involving the acquisition of Japanese, two main lines of research
have been identified:
studies on different types of input enhancement;
studies on the effects of processing instruction and structured input activities.

Japanese Language Teaching 42
Input enhancement
Input enhancement has been defined by Sharwood-Smith (1991) as a process
by which linguistic data will become more salient for L2 learners. This form of
intervention (enhancing the input to allow learners to notice some specific
forms in the input) should effect changes in learners’ linguistic competence.
Sharwood-Smith (1991, 1993) has proposed various techniques to enhance
the input which varies in terms of explicitness and elaboration. A practical
example would be to underline or to capitalize a specific grammatical item in
a text to help learners notice that particular grammatical feature (textual
enhancement, see sample material in Chapter 4). A different technique would be to enhance typographically linguistic fea-
tures (input flood). A practical example of this technique is to modify a text so
that a particular target item would appear over and over again so that the text
will contain many more exemplars of the same feature (see sample material in
Chapter 4). As Wong (2005:33) defined, explicitness refers to the sophistication and
detail of the attention drawing (different degrees of information are provided,
from metalinguistic information to seeing the target form highlighted),
whereas elaboration refers to the depth and amount of time that is involved in
implementing the enhancement technique (i.e. facial gesture, quizzical look).
As highlighted by Wong (2005) input enhancement is a type of focus on form
as opposed to focus on forms were learners’ attention is drawn to isolated
forms with no regard for meaning. As mentioned earlier, in order to help
learners notice a particular feature we might want to provide learners with
typographical cues such as bolding and italics to draw their attention to gram-
matical forms in the text. This technique is called textual enhancement and it
is used to make particular features of written input more salient with the scope
to help learners notice these forms and make form–meaning connections for.
The target form is enhanced by visually altering its appearance in the text (itali-
cized, bolded, underlined). Oral input enhancement can also be provided by
using special stress, intonation and gestures in spoken input.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you think of an example of a textual enhancement activity in Japanes
e?
In the following chapter we will provide examples of how we can use these
techniques to enhance the input in the teaching of Japanese.

The Role of Focus on Form 43
Studies on different types of input enhancement
Considering the fact that a great deal of SLA takes place through exposure to
language in the input, the effects of less explicit approaches to grammar
instruction have been investigated (see Doughty, 1991). Classroom studies on
the effects of input enhancement in the acquisition of Japanese as an L2 are
limited and have several methodological problems. Moroishi (1999) con-
ducted a study where explicit and implicit learning conditions were compared.
Learners of Japanese were assigned to three groups (explicit, implicit and
control) and received instruction on the acquisition of four types of Japanese
conjectural auxiliaries: -yoo da, -soo da, - rashii and -daroo . The explicit group
received grammar explanation which was followed by meaning-focused read-
ing activities. The implicit group received no grammar explanation and they
engaged in the same reading activities. However, the target forms were
enhanced in the text (underlined). The main findings from this study showed
that both groups improved after receiving the instructional treatment, but it
was the explicit group that performed better. Kubota (1999) provided similar
evidence in a study comparing grammar instruction vs. input enhancement
on the acquisition of gerund forms of Japanese true adjectives ( i-adjectives)
and nominal adjectives ( na-adjectives). The explicit group outperformed the
implicit group. As pointed out by Moroishi (2003:143) the results of these
studies have some methodological problems: ‘measurements employed in
these studies generally favoured explicit treatments. Implicit treatments might
require longer post-intervention observation periods for learning to be detected.’ Therefore we might conclude that the overall results of this line of class-
room research (further studies in Japanese should be conducted to address
some of the limitations and problems previously outlined) seem to indicate
that a type of focus on form which is implemented through different enhance-
ment techniques (drawing learners’ attention in meaningful ways to the use of
target structures in context) may facilitate acquisition. However, as argued by
Van Patten (1996) and Wong (2005) the fact that learners pay attention to
enhanced forms, is not a guarantee that those forms will be automatically
internalized by the learners.
Processing instruction
Input processing and processing instruction
Cadierno, (1995:180) has pointed out that research in SLA has been mainly
concerned with whether or not instruction has an effect on different aspects of

Japanese Language Teaching 44
language acquisition neglecting the fundamental questions of why and how
instruction would make a difference in SLA. Therefore, one possible way of
researching the causes of the effects of instruction on SLA is to look at the
interaction between instruction to which learners are exposed and the way
learners process input. Terrell (1991:56) has examined the role of grammar instruction and has
posited one crucial question ‘what psycholinguistic processes are utilized in
input processing?’ As suggested by Van Patten (1996), the learners work on an internal schedule
when it comes to grammatical developments. Therefore to investigate the role
of instruction in SLA we should seek to explain the psycholinguistic processes
utilized in input processing. One of the main implications for instruction drawn from previous sections
is that instruction should take into account the psycholinguistic processes
utilized in input processing (strategies and mechanisms used by L2 learners to
process input). The main role for instruction in the processing instruction
(PI) framework is to manipulate, enhance and alter input processing in order
to make intake grammatically richer. PI takes, as its point of departure, what
we know about how grammatical forms and structures are acquired. Research on input processing theory (see Van Patten 1990, 1996) has focused
on issues such as how learners process input, what part of the input becomes
intake, an insight into the processes involved and strategies used by learners
to decode and store linguistic information and the role of attention required.
Van Patten (1996:17) has suggested that the central issue for SLA is ‘how
learners’ internal processors allocate attentional resources during online pro-
cessing’. Therefore, the question to be asked is ‘what causes certain stimuli
in the input to be detected and not others?’ The input processing capacity of
L2 learners is limited as only certain features will receive attention at any given
time during the processing of a sentence. Van Patten (1996, 2002, 2004) has
identified some processing principles used by learners to decode input. He has
indicated two main principles and each principle is composed of sub-principles
(see Figure 2.1). The two principles are:
Principle 1 (P1). The Primacy of Meaning Principle: Learners process input for meaning
before they process for form.
Principle 2 (P2). The First Noun Principle: Learners tend to process the first noun or pronoun they encounter in a sentence as the subject or agent.

The Role of Focus on Form 45
The main concern in input processing is how learners initially perceive and
process linguistic data in the language they hear and how they make form–
meaning connections. PI will help learners make form–meaning connections
(connecting particular meanings to particular forms (grammatical or lexical). The first sub-principle (P1a) stated that learners will focus on content words
during comprehension. In the following sentence in Japanese Kino-
watashi wa
PRINCIPLE 1
Principle 1. Learners’ process input for meaning before they process it for form.
P 1a. The Primacy of Content Words Principle: learners process content words in the
input before anything else.
P 1b. The Lexical Preference Principle: learners will tend to rely on lexical items as opposed to grammatical form to get meaning when both encode the same
semantic information.
P 1c. The Preference for Nonredundancy Principle: learners are more likely to process nonredundant meaningful grammatical form before they process
redundant meaningful forms.
P 1d. The Meaning-Before-Nonmeaning Principle: learners are more likely to process meaningful grammatical forms before nonmeaningful forms irrespective of
redundancy.
P 1e. The Availability of Resources Principle: for learners to process either redundant meaningful grammatical forms or nonmeaningful forms, the processing of
overall sentential meaning must not drain available processing resources.
P 1f. The Sentence Location Principle: learners tend to process items in the initial
position of the sentence before those in final position and in medial position.
PRINCIPLE 2
Principle 2. The First Noun Principle: Learners tend to process the first noun or pronoun they encounter in a sentence as the subject or agent.
P 2a. The Lexical Semantics Principle: learners may rely on lexical semantics, where possible, instead of word order to interpret sentences.
P 2b. The Event Probabilities Principle: learners may rely on event probabilities, where possible, instead of word order to interpret sentences.
P 2c. The Contextual Constraint Principle: learners may rely less on the First Noun Principle if preceding context constraints the possible interpretation of a
clause or sentence.
Figure 2.1 (Adapted form Van Patten, 2004:15).

Japanese Language Teaching 46
gakko ni itta (Yesterday, I went to school), learners will struggle to process verb
forms and will process content words first. In the second sub-principle (P1.b) of the first principle, the so-called Lexical
Preference Principle, Van Patten claims (1996) that learners prefer processing
lexical items to grammatical items (e.g. morphology) for semantic informa-
tion. This principle is a direct consequence of the first sub-principle (P1a)
proposed by Van Patten. A great number of grammatical features encode some
kind of semantic information. In the case of verbal inflection in Japanese the
verbal inflection -mashita encodes past as in ikimashita. However, this seman-
tic notion is also expressed in Japanese by words such as Kino-
(yesterday) or
Kyonen (last year). Given that, as postulated in the first Principle (P1), learners
are driven to process content words before anything else, they would attend to
temporal reference of ‘pastness’ before verbal inflection of the past tense.
Learners will mark time early in the acquisition of verb morphology through
lexical items and only subsequently add verb tense markings. In the following
sentence in Japanese Kino-
watashi wa gakko ni itta (Yesterday I went to school)
learners will process the lexical item (Kino -
) before the grammatical item ( itta).
The acquisition of past tense in Japanese is affected by the Lexical Preference
Principle. In a sentence (see below) containing a lexical item such as Kino
(yesterday)
Kino -
watashi wa gakko ni itta
Yesterday I to school went
the grammatical form itta (went) tends not to be processed as learners will
process the lexical item for pastness first. This will cause a delay in the acquisi-
tion of past tense morphology. In the third sub-principle (P1c), Van Patten (1996:24) suggests that ‘it is the
relative communicative value of a grammatical form that plays a major role in
determining the learner’s attention to it during input processing and the likeli-
hood of its becoming detected and thus part of intake.’ Van Patten has stated
that L2 learners prefer processing more meaningful morphology rather than
less or nonmeaningful morphology. Communicative value refers to the contri-
bution made to the meaning of an utterance by a linguistic form. In order to
establish whether a linguistic form has low or high communicative value, we
need to follow two criteria:
(1) Inherent referential meaning
(2) Semantic redundancy

The Role of Focus on Form 47
In the following Japanese sentence Kino -
Kyoto ni ikimashita (Yesterday,
I went to Kyoto ) the past tense is a redundant past marker. Furthermore, since
Kino h as marked the sentence as past, the past markers on subsequent verbs
are also redundant. The sixth sub-principle (P1f ) lays out a specific hierarchy of difficulty with
regard to L2 features. In a sentence like Kino-
kaisha ni ikimashita (Yesterday,
I went to the office) the easiest forms to process are those located in initial
position (Kino -
) within an utterance. A more difficult form to process occurs in
utterance-final position (ikimashita). In the second principle (P2), Van Patten (1996) argues that learners tend to
process the first noun or pronoun they encounter in a sentence as the subject
or agent. In Japanese word order, an object is often placed before the subject
(OSV) and the verb at the end of the sentence. The First Noun Principle might
affect language processing. In the sentence Chris hit Maria (see below), learn-
ers might process Maria as the subject of the sentence and this will lead to
a misinterpretation of the sentence and delay in acquisition.
Maria o Chris wa nagutta
Maria Chris hit
Japanese allows L2 learners to express the same content by more than one
word order like SOV, OSV, OV. Apart from the word order example provided,
other linguistic features are affected by the First Noun principle in Japanese
(see Hikima, forthcoming):
a. case marker
b. comparative
c. passive
(a) Kumakun wa Yoshikocahn o sukidesu (SOV)
Yoshikocahn o Kumakun wa sukidesu (OSV)
Both sentences are possible and mean ‘Kuma likes Yoshiko.’
(b) watashi no hooga anata yori utsukushii (I am more beautiful than you.)
anata yori watashi no hooga utsukushii (I am more beautiful than you.)
(c) neko wa inu ni oikakerareta (A cat was chased by a dog)
cat dog was chased
This sentence must be interpreted by L2 learners as if it was the cat that chased
the dog as L2 learners would process the first item in the sentence as the agent
(subject) of the sentence.

Japanese Language Teaching 48
We now have some idea of what learners are doing with input when they
are asked to comprehend it and therefore we can begin to develop a new kind
of grammar instruction that will guide and focus learners’ attention to gram-
matical elements of a sentence when they process input. The main aim of PI is
‘to push to get L2 learners to make form–meaning mappings in order to create
grammatically richer intake’ (Van Patten 1996:55) through structure input
activities. The two main characterist ics (see chapter four for a full examina-
tion, discussion and sample activities) of PI are:
(a) Explicit information regarding forms and processing strategies;
(b) Structured input practice.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you think of other linguistic features (forms or structures) in Japanese affected by
input processing principles?
Studies on the effects of the different
components of processing instruction
One important line of PI research is the one that has isolated the three compo-
nents of PI (explicit information, information about psycholinguistic pro-
cesses, structured input practice) with the intention of establishing which factor
is responsible for the positive results obtained in the studies we have previ-
ously reviewed. Van Patten and Oikkenon (1996) carried out the first study to
investigate whether the results obtained in Van Patten and Cadierno (1993)
were due to the explicit information comp onents or to the positive effects
of the other component of PI, namely the structured input activities. Participants in this study were all studying Spanish at intermediate level.
The item investigated was the same as in Van Patten and Cadierno’s study
(1993): object pronouns in Spanish. The materials, design, assessment tasks
were also the same as the main purpose of the research was to establish which
of the following variables, explanation, structured input activities or combina-
tion of the two, is the most significant in accounting for the post-tests results.
Three groups tested followed the same design as Van Patten and Cadierno
(1993), one receiving only explicit instruction; the other structured input
activities and the third full PI. The outcome of this study was that structured

The Role of Focus on Form 49
input activities were found responsible for learners’ gains. The gains made
(on both the interpretation and production tasks) by both the PI and the
structured input activities group were greater than the group receiving only
explicit instruction on the targeted form. A very significant finding of this
study is that the structured input activities group performed as well as the PI
group. As indicated by Van Patten (1996:126), these findings strongly suggest
that it is the structured input activities itself and the form–meaning connec-
tions being made during input processing that are responsible for the relative
effects observed in the present and previous studies. Benati (2004a) reports an experimental inv estigation of the relative effects
of PI, structured input activities and explicit information on the acquisition
of future tense. The study addressed the Lexical Preference Principle (P1b.).
The material and assessment measures were the same as the ones used for
the study carried out comparing PI vs. TI (Benati, 2001). The population was
divided into three groups receiving respectively: PI, structured input only,
explicit information only. The results confirmed the findings obtained in the
Van Patten and Oikkenon’s study (1996). A further replication study was con-
ducted by Benati (2004a, 2004b) on the acquisition of Italian of gender agree-
ment and future tense. This study addressed the Preference for Nonredundancy
Principle (P1c.). The structured input activities were developed with the inten-
tion of helping learners to process the target form efficiently and correctly.
English native speakers studying Italian at undergraduate level were the popu-
lation in this study. Even in this case, subjects were divided into three groups:
the first received PI, the second group structured input only, the third group
explicit information only. One interpretation and two production measures
were used in a pre- and post-test design. Once more the results were similar to
those of Van Patten and Oikkenon, 1996. The PI group and the structured
input group made significant gains on a sentence-level interpretation test and
sentence-level production tests, while the explicit information group made no
gains. The structured input group also made identical gains to the PI group in
the oral production task, compared to the explicit information group. Farley (2004b) conducted a study measuring the effects of PI and struc-
tured input activities only on the acquisition of Spanish subjunctive of doubt
(Sentence Location Principle (P1f.) was the relevant processing principle).
In this study Farley used the same materials, assessment tasks and analyses as
those used by Farley (2004a). Two groups participated. One received full PI and
the other SI practice. The results were slightly different than the previous ones.

Japanese Language Teaching 50
Despite the fact that both groups made significant improvements from pre- to
post-tests, the PI group outperformed the SI practice group both in the inter-
pretation and the production task. Wong (2004b) found positive results for SI practice alone in a study where
she compared the effects of PI, SI practice, EI only and a control group in the
acquisition of French negative + indefinite article. In a negative or nonaffir-
mative statement (ne . . . pas), de is used before nouns beginning with conso-
nant or d’ before nouns beginning with vowel. However, learners, due to the
Lexical Preference Principle (P1b.) will first process ne . . . pas before de or d’
to get the meaning of the French negation. Intermediate students of French
participated in this study. The materials were designed to alter the processing
problem, and an interpretation and a production task were developed. The
results in both the interpretation and the production task showed that both
the PI group and the SI group were not different and better than the EI group
and the control group. The SI component seemed to be the causative factor for
the beneficial effects of PI. Lee and Benati (2007a) extended previous research which suggested that
learners’ strategy for processing input could be altered through structured
input activities which eventually enh ance the acquisition of the target gram-
mar feature, by comparing the relative effects of two types of instructional
interventions (SIA vs. TI) on the acquisition of Japanese past tense form. This
feature of Japanese was selected because of the processing principles investi-
gated in this study: The ‘Lexical Preference Principle’. In a sentence such as Kino-
kaisha ni ikimashita (Yesterday, I went to the office) both the lexical item Kino-

and the verb ending ikimashita communicate past tense. Again the main purpose of SIA in this study is to push learners to process
the past tense marker that otherwise may not be processed as learners do
not need to process it to assign ‘pastness’ to the meaning of the sentence. All
subjects were Italian native speakers and were studying Japanese in a school.
Subjects were assigned to two groups. Two sets of materials were developed.
One for the TI group which consisted in grammar teaching and output prac-
tice and one for the SIA group which involved teaching the subjects to process
input sentences. The output-based activities required the subjects to produce
accurately past tense forms. The SIA required learners to interpret sentences
containing past tense forms and make form–meaning connections. Two tests were produced: one for the interpretation task and one for the
production task. The results of the interpretation and the production data
confirmed the key role for structured input activities practice. The evidence

The Role of Focus on Form 51
collected in this study has shown that SIA is a better instructional treatment
than TI practice as the SIA group outperformed the TI group in the interpre-
tation task and the two instructional groups improved equally in the produc-
tion task.Another study which has involved the acquisition of Japanese, is the study
conducted by Lee and Benati (2007b). In their previous research (2007a) on
processing the Japanese past tense and the present tense forms, they found that
structured input activities enhanced learners’ processing of the form. Learners
who received SIA made significant gains on both interpretation and produc-
tion tests. The question that Lee and Benati (2007b) addressed in this new
study for both past and present tense in Japanese was whether learners who
receive SIA with input enhancements make greater gains than those who only
receive SIA. Two groups were used, one receiving SIA enhanced and the other
SIA unenhanced. The instructional material was the same SIA activities; however, learners
receiving the enhanced version were exposed to enhanced aural and written
stimuli. In aural activities, the targeted verb ending was enhanced by raising
the teacher’s voice (louder) and by tightening the muscles of the phonal appa-
ratus (tenser). In written activities, the targeted endings were bolded and
underlined (not the entire verb) so that attention to the verbal element was
drawn. The two linguistic forms were the present tense and past tense forms;
the two main processing principles were the Lexical Preference and the
Sentence Location. Japanese past tense morphology is an inflection that
appears in word final position (-mashita). Japanese present tense morphology
is also an inflection that also appears in word final position. The morphology
for affirmed verbs (- masu) is different from those for negated verbs (- masen).
Standard Japanese word order places the verb (and its markings) in sentence
final position. The past tense marker is high in communicative value when it
is the only indicator of tense. The marker’s communicative value drops when
it co-occurs with a lexical temporal indicator. The lexical temporal indicator
makes the verb morphology redundant. Additionally, standard Japanese word
order places the lexical temporal indicator in the initial position of the sen-
tence. It would be the first sentence element learners encounter whereas the
verb morphology would be the last. The semantic distinction between affir-
mative and negative verbal propositions is conveyed through word final, sen-
tence final morphology. Learners will have to attend to the morphological
difference between shimasu and shimasen to determine whether a proposition
(studying) is affirmed or negated.

Japanese Language Teaching 52
The findings from this study showed that both enhanced and unenhanced
group made similar gains from pre to post-tests in both the interpretation and
the production tasks. This confirms that it is the nature of structured input
practice that is responsible for learners’ improved performance and not
whether a form is enhanced or unenhanced. The main finding of the second line of research in PI confirmed that it is the
structured input component practice that is responsible for the changes in
learners developing system and eventually in their output. As a result of the
empirical evidence collected in the research which has compared PI vs. its
components; we are able to conclude that the causative factor in the positive
effects for PI is due to the effects of the structured input activities. These have
been proved and observed in different processing principles, languages,
linguistic items and assessment tasks. Structured input activities, within PI,
represent the most significant variable. As indicated by Van Patten (1996:126),
structured input activities and the form–meaning connections being made
during input processing are responsible for the relative effects observed.
Box 2.1 Arguments in favour of grammar teaching: summary
Drawing from what we said in the previous chapter and this chapter we might
conclude the following about the role of focus on form:
1) Noticing and awareness play an important role in L2 learning (noticing
hypothesis).
2) Given the fact that L2 learners go through developmental stages, grammar
teaching can be beneficial for certain structures taught at the right time
(readiness).
3) Considering the existence of processing constraints, grammar instruction should
aim at restructuring the input so that learners can make right form–meaning
connections.
Summary
Although input is the main and essential ingredient for acquisition with learn-
ers engaged in activities that are meaning focused so that they can process
input, grammar instruction has an important role to play (see Box 2.1). As
argued by Wong and Van Patten (2003) paradigmatic explanation of the rules

The Role of Focus on Form 53
of an L2 and drill practice are not effective ways to focus on form in the
language classroom. However, certain types of approaches to grammar instruc-
tion could be a useful tool to make certain forms in the input more salient
so that learners would notice them and perhaps process them more quickly.
Enhancing the salience of features in the input does not automatically mean
that enhanced input will become intake. We cannot control whether or not
learners process input correctly and efficiently. Sharwood-Smith (1993) cau-
tioned that we can increase the chance that learners will attend to a target
form. We provide learners with supplementary doses of comprehensible input
and boost the likelihood that they will notice what they need to in order to
enhance the process of SLA. However as argued by Wong (2005), we cannot
expect learners to be able to use the target forms immediately in production,
as form–meaning connections need to be strengthened before they can be
accessed for accurate production. While a focus on form incorporated in a
communicative framework of language teaching is desirable, explicit informa-
tion is not a pedagogical technique that relies on the provision of input (see
results of PI components studies). Learners need to have access to a great
amount of comprehensible and meaning-bearing input, and explicit informa-
tion does not necessarily provide learners with additional amount of input.
Furthermore, it takes time away from providing students with input and
meaningful language use. The challenge, as suggested by Lee and Van Patten
(1995, 2003) is how to incorporate grammar teaching in the language class-
room so that learners are still mainly involved in communicative activities. In Chapter 1, we have noted that research in instructed SLA has revealed the
limited role of instruction. However, this does not mean that in a communica-
tive approach to language teaching we should renounce the teaching of gram-
mar. Instructors should provide comprehensible input in the language
classroom. Comprehensible input should be directed to the learners’ acquisi-
tion of grammar, vocabulary and other linguistic features. In this chapter, we
have presented two different approaches to grammar teaching and one
approach to corrective feedback in line with current theories of language
learning. Although, there has been very little focus on investigating the effects
of focus on form in the acquisition of Japanese, the main findings of studies
which have been reviewed in this chapter can be summarized as follows: (1) Studies measuring the role of formal instruction and particularly the
effects of different types of focus on form seem to support the view that
encouraging learners to pay attention to the formal properties of language in
a communicative context may facilitate acquisition (Spada, 1987). A type of

Japanese Language Teaching 54
form which is provided in the context of communicative instruction, should
aim at alternating a focus on meaning and a focus on form. The overall results
of these studies (see Doughty and Williams, 1998 for a review) seem to show
that in those cases where a focus on form component has been included in a
CLT programme there have been positive benefits in terms of learners’ knowl-
edge and performance. The question is not whether or not we can incorporate
a focus on form, but how we can do so; (2) Despite the fact that studies on the effects of approaches such as input
flood and input enhancement, reviewed in this chapter, seem to provide mixed
results, we can argue that they are alternative and implicit ways to provide a
focus on form. They are an effective way to integrate grammar instruction
with the provision of opportunities for meaning-focused use of the target
language. If learners notice certain salient forms (Schmidt, 1990) because of
frequency they are more likely to acquire them than they are to acquire forms
they have not noticed. However, even if a learner has noticed a form without a
communication need, acquisition might be delayed. It is therefore vital to help
learners making form–meaning connections and to tell them what to pay
attention to, what to notice and why they must change their processing parti-
cular items in the sentence. PI is a type of grammar instruction which is superior to output-based
instruction and has an effect on the way in which learners’ process input. These
effects are observable in the learner output. SIA practice is an effective form of
intervention in altering processing principles and providing a focus on forms
that help L2learners to make correct and efficient form–meaning mappings. There have been considerable changes in terms of second language instruc-
tion and there is a particular need for a change in the way Japanese is taught.
In recent years, we have witnessed a change in the way Japanese is taught in the
foreign language classroom. Teachers are not relying on structural syllabi any
longer and teachers use a wide range of communicative and interaction tasks.
They have moved away from the use of mechanical and audio-lingual drills.
Much of this has been undoubtedly the shift from the explicit focus on lan-
guage itself (i.e. grammar, phonology and vocabulary) to an emphasis (implicit
focus) on the expression and comprehension of meaning through language.
Behind this shift is the belief that learners can develop greater second language
communicative abilities through the kind of instruction that focus on both
form and meaning. The question is not whether or not we should include a focus on form
component in the teaching of Japanese grammar; the question is how to
best incorporate a focus on form component (instructional techniques and

The Role of Focus on Form 55
corrective feedback) in Japanese language teaching methodology. The main
implications for grammar teaching in classroom studies investigating the
role of focus on form are as follows:
– given that acquisition can be more effectively influenced by manipulating input rather than output, grammar tasks should be developed to ensure that learners process input
correctly and efficiently;
– grammar tasks should be designed for learners to notice and process forms in the input and make correct form-mapping connections;
– language teaching should include a variety of grammar tasks that invite
both a focus on form and a focus on meaning (see Box 2.2).
In Chapter 4, we will provide guidelines to develop such a tasks in the teach-
ing of Japanese.
Box 2.2 Grammar teaching proactive approaches
1) Consciousness raising
2) Input Enhancement techniques
3) Processing Instruction
More questions to reflect on . . .
(1) What is the role of grammar instruction in Japanese L2 teaching? Is grammar taught
in a traditional way?
(2) Can you find more classroom studies in the acquisition of Japanese which have investi-
gated the effects of different types of focus on form approaches?
(3) What are the key concepts and key evidence of the different approaches for grammar
teaching reviewed in this chapter?
(4) Can you read the following study in Japanese (The effects of structured input activities
on the acquisition of two linguistics features. In Lee, J. F. and Benati, A. G. (2007a)
Delivering Processing Instruction in Classrooms and Virtual Contexts: Theory and Prac-
tice (49–69). London: Equinox) and highlight the main findings?
Key terms
Consciousness raising: this term refers to a particular approach to grammar teaching
which intends to raise consciousness on a specific grammatical form/stru
cture in a
targeted L2.

Japanese Language Teaching 56
Focus on form: we define focus on form as any proactive or reactive attempt to provide learners with a focus on some linguistics properties of a target language. Focus on form
is different than focus on forms.
Input enhancement techniques: this term refers to a particular approach to focus on form which attempts to bring a particular form/structure to L2 learners’ focal attention
by enhancing the input through the use of different techniques.
Processing instruction: this term refers to a type of focus on form whose main aim is to alter L2 learners’ strategies by restructuring the input. The main aim of processing
instruction is helping learners to process grammatical forms/structures in the input.
Further reading
Benati, A. and Lee, J. F. (2008). Secondary and Cumulative effects. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Benati, A. and Lee, J. F. (2009). Processing Instruction and Discourse . London: Continuum.
Doughty, C. and Williams, J. (Eds) (1998). Focus on Form in Classroom Second language Acquisition.
Cambridge: CUP.
Ellis, R. (1997). SLA Research and Language Teaching . Oxford: OUP.
Farley, A. (2005). Structured Input: Grammar Instruction for the Acquisition-Oriented Classroom. New
York: McGraw-Hill.
Lee, J. F. and Benati, A. G. (2007a). Delivering Processing Instruction in Classrooms and Virtual Contexts: Theory and Practice . London: Equinox.
Lee, J. F. and Benati, A. G. (2007b). Second Language Processing: An Analysis of Theories, Problems and Possible Solutions . London: Continuum.
Otha, A. S. (2001a). Second Language Acquisition Process in the Classroom: Learning Japanese . Mahwah,
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Wong, W. (2005). Input Enhancement: From Theory and Research to the Classroom . New York:
McGraw-Hill.

Part B
Communicative Language Teaching: Grammar and Communicative Tasks
In Part B of this book, we present and examine Communicative Language
Teaching. Practical suggestions aimed at developing communicative tasks in
the teaching of Japanese will be proposed. In Chapter 3 we provide an over-
view of the CLT approach.
In Chapter 4, three main approaches to grammar teaching (focus on form)
will be reviewed and guidelines to develop grammar tasks to teach Japanese
provided. In Chapter 5, we will discuss and present how various communica-
tive tasks to teach Japanese can be developed.

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Introduction
At the theoretical level, major findings (see Chapters 1 and 2 in this book)
in SLA research have challenged previous methodologies in language teaching
and have prepared the path for a new and more communicative approach to
the teaching of a second language. As previously said one of the first and more
important findings in SLA research to emerge was that acquisition orders
do not match instructional orders. Learners follow a particular path in the
way to develop the L2 system regardless of the order in which grammatical
features are taught. A second and also crucial finding is that explicit grammar
instruction does not affect natural stages of development. Learners tend to
pass through predicted stages (Pienemman, 1998). As pointed out by Lee and
Van Patten (1995, 2003) communicative language ability develops as learners
engage in communication and not as result of habit-formation grammatical
items. On the basis of main findings in classroom research investigating the
3
Communicative
Language Teaching
Chapter Outline
Introduction 59
The communicative approach to language teaching 61
A communicative teaching model for grammar instruction 72
Summary 77
More questions to refl ect on . . . 78
Key terms 78
Further reading 79

Japanese Language Teaching 60
effects of different approaches to grammar instruction, it was argued in
Chapter 2 that the acquisition of grammar is more a function of the learner
than the instructor. Research findings on the effects of grammar instruction,
have revealed that its effects are limited at best; however, a focus on form could
be beneficial if it is incorporated in a communicative framework of language
teaching (Spada, 1987). In addition to that, we have argued that one way in
which grammar instruction seems to be successful is by altering the way L2
learners process input. These arguments were based on the assumption that
the acquisition of grammar appears to be a result of some internal mechanism
that processes, organizes and stores language data and that comprehensible
and meaning bearing input seems to be the essential ingredient for this to hap-
pen (Krashen, 1982; Gass, 1997). At the practical and pedagogical level, the
main question asked by many teachers is: why does a child learn his L1 with
relative ease while a learner finds it very difficult to learn an L2 in the class-
room? One of the possible reasons for this is that the classroom environment
is often an artificial setting and language teaching and learning lacks authen-
ticity. The challenging question is whether we can recreate authenticity in the
classroom through our teaching. In the traditional classroom instructional
environment, the focus is on the language itself. Learners must master the
grammatical rules of the target language where the emphasis is on learning
the language rather than using the language for communicative purposes.
Communicative instruction should recreate the same conditions of a natural
setting and place more emphasis on interaction, conversation and language
use rather than on learning the language. CLT has been influenced by Krashen input theory (1982). There are certain
practical implications for classroom practice consistent with Krashen’s theory
(1982) which has been summarized by Terrel (1977):
beginning language instruction should focus on communicative competence
rather than
on grammatical perfection;
instruction has to aim at the modification and improvement of the student’s developing
grammar rather than at building up that grammar (see Chapter four in th
is book);
create the opportunity for students to acquire rather than force them to learn language;
affective rather than cognitive factors are primary in language learning;
the key to comprehension and oral production is the acquisition of vocabulary;
three types of activities should dominate the classroom lesson: comprehension activities,
role plays and group problem solving tasks (see Chapter five in this book).
CLT is certainly a kind of instruction that has received a great deal of
attention in recent years. In the 1980s, one could talk of a ‘fever’ for the
z
z
z
z
z
z

Communicative Language Teaching 61
CLT approach. Johnson (1982) considers CLT to be a type of instruction which
emerged from the growing discontent on the part of language teachers
with previous methods of teaching, together with the need for a new method
which would essentially bring the learner into closer contact with the target
language community. Littlewood (1981) claimed that CLT makes us consider
language not only in terms of its structures but also in terms of the communi-
cative functions that it performs. Therefore, according to Littlewood this
approach aims at understanding what people do with language forms when
they communicate.As previously mentioned, the way Japanese is taught in the foreign language
classroom has changed. Teachers of Japanese do not rely on a structural sylla-
bus any longer and Japanese is taught in a more communicative way. Learners
are encouraged to practice the language for communication purposes and
therefore classroom tasks have increasingly become more communicative.
The communicative approach
to language teaching
Linguistics and socio-linguistics influences
The CLT approach is based on the assumption that it will lead to the develop-
ment of both linguistic competence (knowledge of the rules of grammar) and
communicative competence (a knowledge of the rules of language use). The
development of a new communicative approach to language teaching is a
complex one which is related to a number of disciplines. Chomsky’s criticism
(1965) of behaviourist learning theories, in undermining the credibility of
ALM, sets the framework for a more child-centred approach which favours a
highly inductive approach. Chomsky has argued (1965) that language acquisi-
tion cannot be the result of a process of habit formation through imitation
and repetition. He argues that the exposure to linguistic data triggers the
Language Acquisition Device which is the device responsible for acquisition.
This device helps learners seek the rules governing language through exposure
to comprehensible input. His view is that acquisition is an internal process
and not an external one as in the case of behaviourism. Chomsky’s view of
competence is limited to linguistic competence as he believes that the linguis-
tics competence that is innate in children, will lead to internalization of the
rules of the language. Hymes (1972) reacts to this narrow view on the basis
that it concentrates knowledge of the language only, taking no account of the

Japanese Language Teaching 62
social context in which it takes place. He proposes a broader notion of compe-
tence that he called communicative competence. Hymes views language as
affected by a variety of social factors in specific contexts. He distinguishes
between linguistic and sociolinguistics competence. Linguistic competence is
the knowledge of grammatical rules (i.e. lexical items and rules of syntax and
morphology). Sociolinguistics competence refers to knowledge of the rules of
language performance. Halliday (1973) claims that language is a form of interaction through which
children can learn. Language has several functional roles and it is used as
a communicative tool in social interactions. According to Halliday, learning a
language is not just a matter of acquiring grammatical knowledge; learning
a language is concerned with the ability to use the language. In his view,
language is a form of interaction and learners acquire the language through
using the language in interactive situations. This implies that learners should
be encouraged to interact using language to communicate as grammatical
knowledge is learned through using the language socially.
Communicative competence
Communicative competence (see Box 3.1) is the most important concept at
the base of the advent of CLT. Canale and Swain (1980) argue that the com-
municative approach is to focus on grammatical forms, language functions,
appropriateness, rules of discourse, registers and sociocultural contexts.
Communicative competence comprises the knowledge of the grammatical
system of an L2 as well as the knowledge of the social and cultural contexts.
Learners of Japanese will need to learn the grammatical system of the language
as well as having an understanding of how the language is used in different
cultural and social contexts. Communicative language competence is made up of various components
(see Figure 3.1, adapted from Bacham and Palmer (1996). Although it appears
that language ability is divided into hierarchical components of language
knowledge, all these components interact with each other and with features of
the language use situation. It is the interaction between knowledge and lan-
guage use in context that characterizes communicative language use. Language
competence involves two components: language knowledge and strategic
competence. Language knowledge includes two broad categories: organizational
knowledge and pragmatic knowledge. Organizational knowledge is concerned
with how the utterances or sentences and texts are organized. It comprises the

Communicative Language Teaching 63
abilities involved in controlling the formal structure of language for producing
or recognizing grammatically correct sentences, understanding their content
and ordering them to form texts. It is divided into grammatical knowledge
(how individual utterances or sentences are organized) and textual knowledge
(how utterances or sentences are organized to form texts). Grammatical
knowledge includes knowledge of vocabulary, syntax, phonology and grapho-
logy. Textual knowledge (how utterances or sentences are organized to form
texts) is divided into two areas: knowledge of cohesion (relationship between
sentences in written texts: use of conjunction, lexical cohesion, reference) and
knowledge of rhetorical (how texts or conversations are organized: narration,
comparison, ordering information in paragraphs, introduction, conclusion;
conversation: attention grabbing). Pragmatic knowledge relates utterances or sentences and texts to their
meaning, to the intentions of language users (what does she/he really want
to say?), and to the general characteristics of the language use setting (is it
appropriate to say this like that in this context?). It is divided into two areas:
functional knowledge and sociolinguistic knowledge. Functional knowledge
enables us to understand the relationship between utterances or sentences and
texts and the intentions of language users.
Question to reflect on . . .
How do you measure communicative competence? Can you think of an assessment task
in Japanese to measure grammatical, sociolinguistics, discourse or strategic competence?
Sociolinguistic knowledge enables us to create or interpret language that is
appropriate to a particular language use setting: for example writing a letter
to a friend or writing a letter to a company. This includes knowledge of the
Figure 3.1 Communicative competence (Adapted from Bacham and Palmer (1996:66–73)).
Communicative competence
Language competence Strategic competence

Planning ↓ Assessment ↓ Goal setting ↓↓ Pragmatic competence
Organisational competence
↓ Sociolinguistic ↓ Functional ↓Textual ↓ Grammatical

Japanese Language Teaching 64
dialect, registers, natural or idiomatic expressions, and cultural references and
figures of speech. Strategic competence would include the following:
Goal setting (deciding what I am going to do);
Assessment (what do I need to complete this task?, what do I have to wo
with?);
Planning (how I am going to use what I know?).
The goal of CLT is for learners exposed to an L2 to achieve communicative
competence.
Box 3.1 Communicative competence: summary
1) Grammatical competence: knowledge of the linguistic form or structure of a
target language.
2) Discourse competence: knowledge of how sentences connect for discourse
(cohesion and coherence).
3) Sociolinguistics competence: knowledge of use of the language in an appr
opri-
ate way.
4) Strategic competence: knowledge of how to cope with the L2 target langua
ge
when we do not possess a full knowledge of the language.
Wilkins and the functional-notional syllabus
Wilkins (1974, 1976) has proposed a new language syllabus based on the
meanings which learners need to express when they use the target language.
The syllabus is therefore constructed on the basis of notions and functions
(functional syllabus). Notions refer to the meanings and concepts learners
need in order to communicate in the target language (e.g. time, duration,
location). Functions are the language learners need in order to accomplish
different communicative tasks such as asking for something, presenting some-
body, suggesting, inviting, describing, etc. In questioning the adequacy of the
grammatical syllabus which consists of a sequence of graded grammatical
items he recognizes the importance of constructing a syllabus that is commu-
nicatively organized. Wilkins’s syllabus is an attempt to design a new syllabus
that takes into account the communicative aspects of language (learners’
needs, use of language in social contexts, language appropriateness, use of

Communicative Language Teaching 65
language for interaction and communication) without ignoring linguistics
components.Widdowson (1990:157) sustains that language learning is about compe-
tence and performance, and a structural syllabus only helps learners to develop
a knowledge of the language (grammatical aspects of the language) to meet
the requirements of conventional examinations. He argues (1990:158) the
disadvantages of the structural approach is that it does not allow the learners to
use language in a natural way. They tend to fixate on form for its own sake, inter-
nalize the language system as a separate body of knowledge and fail to l
earn for
themselves how to use it.
Main characteristics
The main characteristic of CLT (see Box 3.2) is that it is a student-centred type
of instruction, a very revolutionary approach to foreign language teaching as
it concerns both teaching and learning. If the class can become ‘an area of
cooperative negotiation, joint interpretation, and the sharing of expression’ as
indicated by Breen and Candlin (1980), then the teacher is in the position to
give the students the opportunity for spontaneous, unpredictable exploratory
production of language when involved in classroom activities. If this is com-
bined with the opportunity for making mistakes and teacher tolerance, the
students can interact with their peers who have also had the message conveyed
to them without being afraid of overcorrection. This is part of the aim of pro-
ducing fluency and developing comprehension. The main contribution of this
new type of instruction is the shift away from attention to the grammatical
forms to the communicative properties of the language. The teacher creates
the opportunity and the conditions in the classroom in a communicative way.
This is to say that the student has ‘someone to talk to, something to talk about,
and a desire to understand and to make himself understood’ (Mitchell, 1988).
If that happens, the learning can take place naturally and teaching can be effec-
tive. This emphasis on the communicative properties of the language does not
mean that accuracy must be sacrificed for the sake of fluency. However, it must
not inhibit the natural use of language in the classroom context when the stu-
dents interact (Brumfit, 1984). At classroom level CLT possesses some main characteristics (Spada and
Lightbown , 1993) presented in Box 3.2.

Japanese Language Teaching 66
Box 3.2 Main characteristics of CLT
(1) The meaning is emphasized over form;
(2) Simplification of the input through the use of contextual props, cues and
gestures rather than structural grading (the presentation of one grammatical
point at a time in a sequence of form simple to complex linguistics feat
ures);
(3) Use of a variety of discourse types introduced by role-playing, stories, real life
materials;
(4) Grammar should be learned communicatively;
(5) The amount of correction is kept to a minimum, letting the students express
themselves;
(6) Learners should have considerable exposure to the second language speech
from the teacher and other learners, and instructors should provide opportuni-
ties for learners to play an active role.
(1) The main characteristics of this approach to language teaching (see also
Box 3.3) are that the meaning is emphasized over form. Genuine questions
(ask questions to which students do not know the answer) as opposed to dis-
play questions (type of questions asked to make students display knowledge)
are used because there is a focus on meaning rather than form. As Lee (2000:1)
has emphasized ‘communication need not to be equated with an instructor
asking questions and learners answering them. Rather, communication will be
defined as the expression, interpretation and negotiation of meaning’. Students
and teachers must make some mutual efforts to understand interactions. Pica
(1992:200) has defined negotiation of meaning as ‘those interactions in which
learners and their interlocutors adjust their speech phonologically, lexically
and morphosyntactically to resolve difficulties in mutual understanding that
impede the course of their communication’. Interactional modifications make
input more comprehensible (Lightbown and Spada, 1993). Input should be
modified in terms of speaking a simplified language on the part of the teacher
so that the learners can understand. (2) Input is the vital ingredient in SLA. As argued by Krashen (1982) and
others (Lee and Van Patten, 1995, 2003; Gass, 1997;) comprehensible and mean-
ing-bearing input promotes acquisition. Simplifications of the input through
the use of contextual props, cues and gestures also promote acquisition.
Comprehension activities should be used without initial requirements for the
students to speak in the target language. The main function of language teach-
ing is to provide comprehensible input (useful especially for beginners and

Communicative Language Teaching 67
foreign language learners) which leads to a low filter (high motivation and low
anxiety). Little pressure should be exercised for learners to perform at high levels
of accuracy and, in the early stages, comprehension is emphasized over produc-
tion. Classroom activities should be designed to evoke communication and not
be wasted in grammatical lectures or manipulative and mechanical exercises.(3) Learners must be involved in learning tasks which allow them to
perform a range of communicative functions with the target L2. CLT should
encourage the use of a variety of discourse types tasks (e.g. role-playing,
stories, use of authentic materials). (4) As discussed in the previous chapter, grammar should be learned com-
municatively. Learners should be provided with communicative tasks that
contain enough samples of the linguistic features that learners are trying to
learn. Learners must be engaging in communicative tasks where grammar is
enhanced using different techniques (e.g. input enhancement, consciousness
raising, processing instruction). (5) The amount of correction in the L2 classroom must be kept to a mini-
mum, as the emphasis must be to allow learners to express themselves. In CLT
error correction is seen as having a negative effect on learners in terms of low-
ering their motivation and attitude. An alternative form of correction might
be done by the teacher by repeating what the students have said with the
correct form (recasting) or using other forms of corrective feedback such as
negative enhancement techniques. Negative enhancement techniques would
involve providing learners with some information about the incorrectness of
the particular use of a form/structure by enhancing the mistake in different
ways (e.g. making a funny face or offering a quizzical look). (6) Learners should have considerable exposure to the second language
speech from the teacher, and other learners and instructors should provide
opportunities for learners to play an active role. As indicated by Lee and
Van Patten (1995, 2003) the teacher’s role in the ALM was to transmit knowl-
edge (authorative transmitter), and the student’s role was to receive that
knowledge (receptive vessel). With the shift to CLT, teachers interact with the
students and encourage them to interact with each other (Larsen-Freeman,
1986; Lee and Van Patten, 1995, 2003). The role of the teacher has to be one of
constructing dynamic classroom tasks (architect) and encouraging learners’
participation and contribution (resource person or co-builder). To that end, the
materials that the teachers use must permit these new roles. Therefore the tra-
ditional question/answer task should be supplanted by a task-oriented activity.
By providing a series of tasks to complete, tutors play the role of architects

Japanese Language Teaching 68
encouraging learners to take responsibility for generating the information
themselves rather than just receiving it. The typical example is the traditional
open-ended question ‘What is your view about the qualities of English and
Japanese people?’ This is simply a speaking exercise and it is not designed to
help learners learning about each other’s views or a specific topic (see Lee and
Van Patten, 1995). Task-based activities should encourage interaction and par-
ticipation and learners become active participants (cobuilders) in shaping up
the activity.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you plan a communicative language lesson in Japanese taking into con
sideration the
main characteristics of this approach?
Box 3.3 Communicative language teaching: implications for teaching
(1) Group work is considered essential in the development of Communicative
Competence. In group work students are encouraged to negotiate meaning,
use a variety of linguistic forms and functions and develop overall flue
ncy skills.
This is in contrast to teacher-learned instruction.
(2) Focus on form and focus on meaning activities are desirable.
(3) L2 learners are encouraged to participate (role) in their learning through the task
the completion of a task.
(4) L2 learners are encouraged to integrate their skills practice to reflect a more
authentic use of language.
(5) Authentic materials should be used wherever possible so that learners will be
better prepared to deal with real language outside the classroom setting. On
the other hand research in SLA has shown that simplified input increases the
learner’s ability to comprehend.
Comprehensible input and negotiation of meaning
Input is the primary ingredient for the development of competence (Gass,
1997; Van Patten and William, 2007), and although it might not be sufficient
it is certainly necessary for acquisition (Krashen, 1982; N. Ellis, N., 2003). As
indicated by Lee and Van Patten (1995) input must be comprehensible and
meaning bearing. It must be comprehensible as L2 learners must be able to

Communicative Language Teaching 69
understand and process the input. It must be meaning bearing input and must
have a communicative intent. The question is: How do you make it compre-
hensible? There are linguistic and non-linguistics techniques to make input
more comprehensible for L2 learners. As teachers, we can modify input by
simplifying the language so that learners can process more input.
Question to reflect on . . .
How do you make input comprehensible and meaning bearing? Can you think of few
examples in Japanese?
We can use different non-linguistics means such as pictures, photos and
drawings to modify the input so that learners can comprehend it. How do you
make input meaning-bearing? As outlined by Lee and Van Patten (1995, 2003;
and Van Patten, 2004) ‘communication is about expressing, interpreting and
negotiating meaning.’ Communicative activities should engage L2 learners in
the interpretation, expression and negotiation of meaning as these types of
activities will create the optimal conditio ns for acquisition (see Chapter one).
Interactionist theory (Long, 1980; Gass, 1997) recognizes the importance of
comprehensible input (Krashen, 1982) but views interactional modifications
as crucial in making input comprehensible. Classroom research has proved
that more interactional modifications and negotiation take place in paired
group activities than teacher fronted acti vities. Negotiation has been defined
by Lee (2000) as ‘interactions during which speakers come to terms, reach
agreements, make arrangements, solve a problem or settle an issue by confer-
ring or discussing’. In interaction tasks the purpose of language use is to
accomplish some tasks not to practice any particular forms. Input will provide
the linguistic data necessary to develop a L2 linguistic system and output will
help learners to develop the use of the language for communicative purposes. Ellis (1990) and Van Lier (1988) review theory and research and extrapolate
the conditions for the development of communicative competence (see Lee,
2000):
(1) Learners must be receptive to the language and have a need and desire to
communicate;
(2) Learners require opportunities to take responsibility in communication;
(3) Learners and instructors must make an effort to be understood (negotiation of
meaning);
(4) Learners need opportunities to communicate by performing communicative funct
ions;

Japanese Language Teaching 70
(5) Instructors must provide learners with opportunities to participate in planned and
unplanned discourse (similar to outside classroom);
(6) The discourse should contain many samples of the linguistics features that learners are
trying to learn.
The role of the teacher and the learner changes in the communicative
approach. As indicated in Figure 3.2 (adapted from Lee and Van Patten, 2003)
the role of the teacher in the ALM was the one of the person who possesses the
knowledge and transmits that knowledge to the learner. Learners are playing
a very passive role and are not taking responsibility in this process as argued
by Lee and Van Patten (1995, 2003). With the advent of the communicative
language teaching approach these roles dramatically change. According to Lee
and Van Patten (1995) the teacher is now a ‘a resource person’ as he prepares
the structure of the activity but he is not responsible for its final accomplishment.
Learners must take initiative and responsibility to complete the task. The teacher
is a ‘resource person’ as he has the information learners needed to complete the
task, but he is only willing to provide this information if learners are also willing
to gather the information. A different term used by Lee and Van Patten (1995)
for the role of the teacher is ‘architect’ as the teacher plan a task but learners
have to act as ‘cobuilders’ of that communicative task as they need to take initia-
tives and make decisions in order to compete the task successfully.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you think and develop an example of an activity for the teaching of
Japanese where
both L2 learner and instructor cooperate to build together the activity/task? (see
Figure 3.2)
Figure 3.2 Roles and tasks (Adapted from Lee and Van Patten (1995:12–16)).
Teacher Traditional Role ---- Authoritative ---- Drill leader
Student Traditional Role ---- Note taking ---- Parrot
Teacher New Role ---- Resource Person ---- Information
Gatherer
Negotiator
Student New Role ---- Architect ---- Builder ---- Coworker

Communicative Language Teaching 71
Practical understanding of CLT
There seems to be a clear understanding of what CLT is about, which is accepted
in various educational contexts and applied in various ways. According to
Richards and Rodgers (1986:83)
communicative language teaching is best considered an approach rather than
a method. Thus although a reasonable degree of theoretical consistency can be
discerned at the levels of language and learning theory, at the levels of design and
procedure there is much greater [sic] room for individual interpretation and varia-
tions than most methods permit.
The fact that this approach is interpreted in different ways is, however, evidence
of the confusion that exists in this area. There are, as suggested by Mitchell
(1988), as many interpretations and descriptions as there are language teachers.
In their review of how Japanese language teachers’ view and practice CLT, Sato
and Kleinsasser (1999) conclude that teachers develop their own view about
CLT, which was not based on the theoretical assumptions and the existing aca-
demic literature but directly grounded on their personal ideas and experiences. Johnson (1982) identified two main approaches within CLT. He calls these
two approaches the unificationist and the separationist position. In the first
approach (unificationist), instruction has no role to play as teachers should
focus on providing learners with communicative and message-orientated
practice right from the start (Newmark, 1966; Prabhu, 1987). Learners should
be engaged in communicative tasks where they must focus their attention on
meaning. In the second approach (separationist), learners should receive
instruction that focus on both form and meaning. That is, language-related
features are explicitly taught and this is followed by communicative practice.
Littlewood (1981, 1992) argues that the ability to ‘communicate’ involves both
an ability to use language systematically and appropriately. Littlewood suggests
that a communicative approach cannot mean abandoning the initial emphasis
on structure. He proposes a methodological framework in which L2 learners
move from ‘pre-communicative’ to ‘communicative activities’ (Littlewood,
1981:86). According to Littlewood (1981:85) ‘through precommunicative activi-
ties, the teache r isolates specific elements of knowledge or skill which compose
communicative ability, and provides the learners with opportunity to practise
them separately’. He argues (1981:86) that ‘in communicative activities, the
learner has to activate and integrate his pre-communicative knowledge and
skills, in order to use them for the communication of meanings’.

Japanese Language Teaching 72
Despite the debate around some aspects of CLT, almost everybody has
agreed that previous approaches to L2 instruction, which focused on the
isolated presentation and practice of grammatical rules and error correction,
have not been successful. The prevailing view has been that instruction which
emphasizes opportunity for learners to communicate ideas, express a greater
variety of functions and interact in a more natural and spontaneous way would
lead to more successful learning. However, there is empirical and theoretical
support that the inclusion of some form of focus instruction is needed in CLT
(Spada, 1987). CLT offers a new dimension in language teaching and learning. If the class-
room can become an area of ‘co-operative negotiation, joint interpretation
and sharing of expression’ (Breen and Candlin, 1980), then the teacher gives
the students the opportunity for spontaneous production of language in class-
room activities (Brumfit, 1984). If all this is combined with the opportunity of
making mistakes and teacher tolerance, the students can interact with each
other without being afraid of overcorrection. The main point is to create the
appropriate conditions in the classroom (see Lee and Van Patten, 1995) in
which L2 learners have the opportunity to interact with each other on specific
topics. The main contribution of this approach to language teaching is that the
primary focus is shifted from the grammatical forms to the communicative
properties of the language. This does not mean that accuracy should be sacri-
ficed for the sake of fluency; however, it should not inhibit the natural use of
language which takes place in the classroom as students interact. Although, as
pointed out, there are different interpretations and theoretical positions of
communicative language teaching, these are some general principles shared by
professionals that CLT should
encourage the development of communicative competence through the use of tasks
that develop all L2 learners skills;
take into account learners’ needs and should aim at improving their motivation;
be based on a on notional–functional syllabus which allows for natura
l learning;
commit to a message-orientated use of the target language in the classroom.
A communicative teaching model
for grammar instruction
Littlewood (1981) argues that the ability to communicate involves both an
ability to use language systematically and appropriately. In order to achieve
z
z
z
z

Communicative Language Teaching 73
this we cannot abandon the initial emphasis upon structure in a communica-
tive approach, especially if we take into account the constraints of a foreign
language context in terms of lack of exposure time and variety of language-
generating contexts (and also the way learners process input, see Chapter 1
and 2). Littlewood (1981:1) has argued that ‘one of the most characteristics
features of communicative language teaching is that it pays systematic attention
to functional as well as structural aspects of language.’ Based on the theoretical
views on the role of formal instruction presented in Chapter 1, classroom-
based research findings on the role of different types of grammar teaching and
this new CLT philosophy we suggest a two- stage model:
(1) Input stage
(2) Output stage
Input stage
In the first stage, which is the input stage, learners should be exposed to com-
prehensible and meaning-bearing input. In the case of grammar instruction
for instance, learners are exposed to a grammatical feature in the input that
they receive (listening to a passage or reading a text). In this way, while learners
are listening or reading a text, we want to restructure the input to allow learn-
ers to process correctly and efficiently the grammatical items in the input.
At this stage, the teacher will provide learners with the opportunity to focus on
language items and link one form to one meaning (see structured input activi-
ties in Chapter 4).
The output stage
The second stage should provide the learner with the opportunity to practise
the linguistics items. Lee (2000:11) has assigned a specific role for output as the
role that ‘output plays in language development is to push learners to develop
communicative language ability’. Input practice pushes learners to connect
a particular meaning with a particular form. Our concept for output practice
as related to grammar instruction is parallel. Output practice, as part of gram-
mar instruction, should push learners to express a particular meaning via a
particular form. Specifically, we advocate the use of structured ouput practices
(Lee and Van Patten, 1995, 2003). As previously stated by Lee and Van Patten
(1995:121) ‘structured output activities have two main characteristics: they
involve the exchange of previously unknown information and, they require
learners to access a particular form or structure in order to express meaning’.

Japanese Language Teaching 74
Lee and Van Patten (2003:154) offer the following guidelines for developing
structured output activities:
(1) present one thing a the time
(2) keep meaning in focus
(3) move from sentences to connected discourse
(4) use both written and oral output
(5) others must respond to the content of the output
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you develop a structured output activity in Japanese?
In the output practice, a variety of communicative tasks are used to help
learners to practice linguistics items. Linguistics items are contextualized
through the use of role-play or an information gap activity. Learners at this
stage make authentic and purposeful use of the language. How would such a model exist in practice? Let’s give an example of the
implementation of this model in the teaching of Japanese. In the teaching of
Japanese communicatively, we would need to take into consideration two ped-
agogical problems. First of all, Japanese language teaching is still very tradi-
tional as it concentrates on imparting knowledge of the language system with
very few practical suggestions for developing learners’ functional use of the
language. Second, teachers of Japanese are not fully aware of the characteris-
tics of CLT and have not been fully trained to teach Japanese communicatively.
Considering that instruction should move from input practice to output
practice we want to present the following example. The topic of our teaching
is ‘talking about past events’ and the structure is the use of the past tense in
Japanese. The topic is chosen because this verbal morphology structure occurs
frequently in interaction in daily life and is used in a variety of situations
(e.g. talking about your holiday, describing past events). At input stage (see Activity A) learners are exposed to the grammatical fea-
ture (past tense in Japanese) which is enhanced in this case so that learners are
helped to notice it in the input. Learners will have to be exposed to a variety of
activities which focus on input practice where learners are encouraged to make
form-meaning connections (see Chapter 4 for more examples of structured
input activities).

Communicative Language Teaching 75
Activity A
Read the following sentences describing what your partner did and express you
view as to whether it is possible or impossible.
Possibile Impossibile
1) Watashi wa Asa hayaku okimashita
2) Watashi wa Gogaku gakkou ni okurete ikimashita
3) Watashi wa Hikouki to Kuruma de ryokou shimashita
4) Watashi wa Nihongo o benkyo shimashita
5) Watashi wa Nihongo o hanashimashita
6) Watashi wa Ohiru gohan o tabemashita
7) Watashi wa tomodachi to Piza o tabemashita
8) Watashi wa Eigakan ni ikimashita
9) Watashi wa takusan hatarakimashita
10) Watashi wa tomodachi to yoru gohan o tabemashita
11) Watashi wa osoku nemashita
12) Watashi wa Nihon de ichinichi jyu neteimashita
Compare your opinion with your partner
It does apply to me …
It does not apply to me …
At output stage, we develop structured output activities which learners would
be asked to complete after they have been practising the past tense through
structured input activities at input stage. In Activity B, the focus is on one form
and one meaning and learners are asked to talk about past events (in this case
talk about how they spend their weekend). Learners were asked to use a particu-
lar form (past forms in Japanese) to express a particular meaning (how they
spend their weekend) and are involved in exchanging previously unknown
information and using that information to establish who had the best weekend.
Activity B Your instructor’s weekend
Step 1
You will hear the first part of a sentence about your instructor’s week-end. Change
the verb in brackets (Japanese present forms) to complete the sentence.
1. Shumatsu watashi wa tomodachi to ______________ (sugoshimasu).
2. Watashi wa terebi de totemo ii eiga o ___________(mimasu).
(Continued)

Japanese Language Teaching 76
Activity B Your instructor’s weekend—Cont’d
3. Watashi wa Paul to kouen o ______________ (arukimasu).
4. Watashi wa bar de wain o takusan ______________ (nomimasu).
5. Watashi wa totemo ii hon o _________________ (yomimasu).
Sentence heard by learner:
1. Shumatsu watashi wa tomodachi to sugoshimashita.
2. Watashi wa terebi de totemo ii eiga o mimashita.
3. Watashi wa Paul to kouen o arukimashita.
4. Watashi wa bar de wain o takusan nomimashita.
5. Watashi wa totemo ii hon o yomimashita.
Step 2 What did you do at the week-end?
Present your sentences to your partner. Your partner will also present his sentences
to you (write them in the chart below).
MyselfMy Partner
Step 3 Compare the sentences to find out who had the most interesting
week-end!
A follow-up activity at output stage is Activity C. At this stage learners
should have internalized the form/structure and we should provide learners
with opportunities to use the form/structure to express themselves using their
own creativity in increasingly authentic and unpredictable situations. Learn-
ers should be provided with activities to converse freely and enthusiastically to
convey meaning.
Activity C
Fill the grid below by gathering all the information about how your part
ners spent
Christmas. You need to ask the following information:
Where
Who with
When
How long
How

Communicative Language Teaching 77
Step 1
namae noko ni dare to itsu denogurai nani de
Step 2 Review the information gathered and present them to your partners with
the view of arguing who had the coolest Christmas.
In Activity C, learners are asked, in step 1, to find out what their friends
have done during the Christmas holiday using the past tense and filling the
grid with the information they gather. In step 2, learners are asked to review
the information gathered in order to establish who had the coolest Christmas
and why.
Summary
In this chapter, we have presented and discussed the main characteristics of the
CLT approach. Teachers of Japanese should take into account characteristics
and guidelines required to implement CLT at classroom level. They should do
the following:
– Provide learners with opportunities to communicate, exchange information and negoti-
ate meaning;
– Provide learners with opportunities to use a number of communicative functions of th
e language through communicative tasks;
– Provide learners with opportunities to participate in planned and unplanned discours
e activities.

Japanese Language Teaching 78
Based on the input processing model, the criticism of traditional grammar
instruction and the fact that acquisition is input dependent, we propose a
communicative model to grammar teaching that should move from input
practice to output practice. Structured input activities should help learners to
process grammatical items in the input. Structured output practice should
help learners to access these grammatical items in their developing system
to create output. This type of practice focuses on meaning, and learners par-
ticipate in activities where they make output for a specific communicative
purpose. In the following two chapters, we will provide practical suggestions as to
how we can incorporate grammar communicative tasks in the teaching of
Japanese and how to develop communicative tasks to teach listening, writing,
speaking and comprehension skills in Japanese.
More questions to reflect on . . .
(1) Can you summarize the main tenets of this new communicative approach to language
teaching?
(2) Can you find in the literature relevant empirical evidence (Japanese studies) in support
of this approach to language teaching?
(3) Can you develop a series of communicative activities/task in Japanese wh
ere the role
of the instructor and the student change?
Key terms
Communicative competence: consists of a series of competences learners would need
to develop in a target L2.
Communicative language teaching: this refers to an approach to language teaching based on communication which is defined as the ‘expression, interpretation and nego-
tiation of meaning in a given social and situational context’ (Van Patten, 2003:115).
Comprehensible input: according to Krashen (1982) input must be modified to make sure that it is comprehended by the learner.
Functional syllabus: it is a communicative syllabus organized on different linguistic functions.
Negotiation of meaning: refers to interactional modifications such as comprehension checks or requests for clarification between instructor and learner or learner and learner
during communication.

Communicative Language Teaching 79
Further reading
Lee, J. (2000). Tasks and Communicating in Language Classrooms. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Lee, J. and Van Patten, B. (1995). Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen . New York:
McGraw-Hill.
Lee, J. and Van Patten, B. (2003). Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen , 2nd ed. New York:
McGraw-Hill.
Nunan, D. (2001). Second Language Teaching and Learning . Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.
Savignon, S. (2005). Communicative Competence: Theory and Classroom Practice . New York:
McGraw-Hill.

4
Introduction (Historical perspectives)
Over the past 50 years we have witnessed some dramatic changes (from deduc-
tive to inductive approaches to grammar teaching) in the way language is
taught in the language classroom. In the grammar translation approach, teach-
ers prioritized the explicit teaching of grammatical rules. The main assump-
tion was that a second language is learned through the deduction of the
grammatical properties of a target L2 which would allow learners to develop a
conscious and explicit representation of that language. Teachers expectations
were for L2 learners to be able to translate texts from L1 to L2 as this ability was
seen as the most important knowledge to develop (see Box 4.1).
Chapter Outline
Introduction (Historical perspectives) 80
The role of grammar instruction 83
Input enhancement: designing grammar tasks for teaching Japanese 87
Consciousness raising: designing grammar tasks for teaching Japanese 91
Processing instruction: designing grammar tasks for learning Japanese 92
Summary 103
More questions to refl ect on…. 103
Key terms 104
Further reading 104
The Role and Practice of
Grammar Teaching: Designing
Communicative Grammar Tasks
for Teaching Japanese

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 81
Box 4.1 Main characteristics of the grammar translation approach
Instruction consists of teaching how to read and translate.
Instruction is not on the target language.
Instruction focuses on translation practice.
Instruction engages learners in structural practice.
The Direct Method proposed a different approach to grammar teaching.
According to this method, grammar should be taught inductively. Learners
should learn grammar by interpreting contextual and situational cues rather
than receiving explicit explanations. Learners should be continuously exposed
to the target language (see main characteristics in Box 4.2).
Box 4.2 Main characteristics of the direct method
Instruction is in the target language.
Instruction consists of listening and imitating correct patterns.
Instruction focuses on pattern drill practice.
Instruction follows a chronological order in the development of the four skills
(listening-speaking-reading-writing). Listening and speaking is emphasized over
reading and writing.
The ALM, based on the habit formation theory, argued that good language
habits are learned through the process of repetition, imitation and reinforce-
ment. This method emphasized the use of memorization and pattern drills as
described in the previous chapter (see main characteristics if this method in
Box 1.1 in Chapter 1).
Box 4.3 Main characteristics of the Cognitive-Code Method
Instruction is synchronized with the cognitive ability of the learner.
Instruction consists of teaching grammar using the L1 and with the help
of symbols
and graphs. (Continued)

Japanese Language Teaching 82
Box 4.3—Cont’d
Instruction is based on the use of tasks in which learners must substitute and trans-form grammatical features of the target language.
Instruction is based on the use of tasks in which the practice is contex
tualized in a real situation.
The Cognitive-Code Method, influenced by Chomsky (1965), in contrast
with the ALM, is a deductive method of teaching grammar that sustains that
learners need to understand and analyse L2 grammar in order to build up
their linguistic competence. Learners should understand the grammatical
system of the L2 rather than merely memorize it (see main characteristics
in Box 4.3). Grammar instruction was relegated to a fragile and peripheral role in
Krashen’s theory (1982). He sustained that grammar instruction might help
learners to monitor their L2 production but does not have any effects on their
competence. Long (1983) addressed the question as whether grammar instruc-
tion per se makes a positive impact on the acquisition of a second language.
Long provided some evidence to support the view that instruction makes a
difference in terms of being beneficial for adults as well as for children, for
intermediate and advanced learners. For Long (1983), the positive effects of
instruction can be successfully measured through integrative or discrete-point
tests and in acquisition-rich and acquisition-poor environments (i.e. in set-
tings where learners have little opportunity to hear the language outside their
language class). In his review, he compared the achievement of learners after
a considerable period of classroom instruction, natural exposure and a com-
bination of the two. He concluded that a combination of instruction and
exposure to the language was more beneficial than exposure alone, as instruc-
tion seems to speed up the acquisition processes. However, despite Long’s view, with the advent of the CLT approach the view
around the role of grammar changed again. Heikel and Fotos (2002) have
described communicative approaches to language instruction as instruction
that does not include formal grammar instruction and the correction of
learner errors. The assumption is that grammar instruction does not help
learners develop any kind of communicative ability in the L2. In CLT, learners
are asked to perform tasks with large quantities of meaning-focused input
containing target forms and vocabulary. Spada (1987) carried out an investi-
gation using COLT (Communicative Orientation of Language Teaching, see

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 83
this observation scheme in Chapter 6), an instrument developed particularly
to observe and describe specific communicative aspects of instructional prac-
tices and procedures in L2 classroom. Spada (1987) investigated the effects of
different implementations of the same highly communicative instructional
programme on learners’ improvement in competence and proficiency. The
evidence provided by Spada suggests that learners make more rapid progress
when they experience both a focus on form and a focus on meaning in combi-
nation with an overall communicative programme. There is still a very open debat e on the role and the effects of grammar
instruction in SLA. Despite the fact that we cannot draw any definite conclu-
sion about its role, we are able to claim today that although the effects of
grammar instruction appeared to be limited, grammar instruction might
have a facilitative role as outlined in Part A of this book. As affirmed by Lee
and Van Patten (1995) it seems that learners have internal mechanisms which
organize linguistic data independently of the order, explanation and practice in
which the linguistic forms are presented. However, there is empirical evidence
which has shown that grammar instruction seems to promote more rapid SLA
and to contribute to higher levels of ultimate achievement (Long, 1983; Ellis,
R., 1994). Having said that, instruction appears to be constrained. According
to Pienemann (1984) instruction will not enab le learners to acquire any devel-
opmental features out of sequence. Instructors might be successful, as claimed
by if learners have reached a stage in the developmental sequence that enables
them to process the target structure. The important question seems to be, not
whether grammar instruction per se makes a difference but whether certain
types of grammar instruction techniques/approaches are more effective than
others. One of the questions raised by Van Patten (2004) is: how do we teach
grammar so that instruction works with acquisition processes and not against
them? The language classroom is becoming more and more communicative,
however the way grammar is taught has hardly changed at all. As argued by Lee
and Van Patten (1995, 2003) the challenge today is not whether or not we
should teach grammar but to find a way to incorporate grammar in a commu-
nicative framework. The question is: which is the better approach or technique
to grammar instruction that can be best incorporated in a CLT programme? All these questions have been addressed by recent classroom-based research
reviewed in Chapter 2. This research has been conducted on one hand to
ascertain the role of grammar instruction, and on the other hand to measure
the effectiveness of specific approaches and techniques to grammar teaching
(see reviews in Doughty and Williams, 1998; Norris and Ortega, 2000; Nassaji
and Fotos, 2004).

Japanese Language Teaching 84
The role of grammar instruction
There has been a dramatic shift from traditional grammar-oriented methods
to more communicative grammar approaches. This shift has meant a change
in the way grammar is taught and practised in the language classroom. In tra-
ditional methods, grammar was provided through long and elaborated expla-
nations of the grammatical rules of the target language. Paradigms of those
grammatical rules were provided and followed by output-based practice (writ-
ten and oral exercises) where the main focus was to practise the grammatical
rules to obtain accuracy. Paulston (1972) has argued that traditional instruction
is usually provided following a particular sequence which goes from mechani-
cal to communicative drills practice (see example in Japanese in Activity A).
Activity A
1
'"é1ñ ½

ð»æ"åÔ'5( 
ÒùÒÁ•

ÚÒê“ÉÎÁæ“¿ÈùÔ•
2 ½åÚéDo;=o
-×á”/°çæ%uÃáÊÛп•
Ðê
×
#á¿ùÔÆ•
 


 


@
3 ½åÚéDo;=oê”å(
×
ÒùÔÆ”
×
ÒùÖÆ” û÷»
ö
Þá”ÆèáúáÊÛп•
In Japanese language teaching, the way grammar is taught is still very
traditional. The grammar translation method was widely used to teach foreign
languages in Japan and more recently the use of the audio-lingual methods is
spread (use of transformation and substitution drills). Most books used in the
United Kingdom to teach Japanese as a foreign language approach the teach-
ing of grammar in a very traditional way. The Grammar section of this book is
generally characterized by paradigmatic explanations of linguistic structures
and grammatical principles in L1 learners. The paradigmatic explanation is
followed by pattern practice and substitution drills. Real life situations are
completely ignored and practice is implemented in a completely decontextual-
ized way. Let’s take for example the teaching of two adjectives in Japanese - i-
and -na-. The paradigms in Table 4.1 and Table 4.2 introduce learners to this
grammatical structure with two tenses: present affirmatives/negatives and
modifying forms. The purpose is for learners to memorize the various forms

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 85
before they are asked to practise them through mechanical drills (see Activity
B and Activity C.). The question addressed in this chapter is whether there are types of grammar
teaching that could be incorporated successfully in the teaching of Japanese.
The theoretical and empirical findings presented in the previous chapters have
on one hand indicated the limited role for instruction, and on the other hand
highlighted the importance of incorporating grammar in a more communica-
tive framework of language teaching by devising grammar tasks that enhance
Table 4.1 I - i adjective: memorize the following –i-adjectives
-i adjectives Present forms affi rmative Present forms negative Modifying noun
big Okii desu okikunai desuokii
expensive takai desu takakunai desu takai
good ii desu yokunai desu ii
new, fresh Atarashii desi atarashikunai desu atarashii
small chiisai desu chiisakunai desu chiisai
cheap yasui desu yasukunai desu yasui
bad warui desu warukunai desu warui
old furui desu furukunai desu furui
interesting omoshiroi desu omoshirokunai desu omoshiroi
diffi cult mazukashii desu mazukashikunai desu mazukashii
far toi desu tokunai desu toi
good, tasty oishii desu oishikunai desu oishii
busy isogashii desu isogashikunai desu isogashii
boring tsumaranai desu tsumaranakunai desu tsumaranai
easy Yasashii desu yasashikunai desu yasashii
near chikai desu chikakunai desu chikai
(Adapted from the text-book Japanese for Busy People (pp. 97–98); The Association for Japanese-Language
Teaching, 1994, Kodansha America).
Table 4.2 IV - na adjective: memorise the following –na adjectives
-na- adjectives Present forms affi rmative Present forms negative Modifying nouns
pretty, clean kirei desu kirei dewa arimasen kireina
Quiet shizuka desu shizuka dewa arimasen shizukana
Famous yumei desu yumei dewa arimasen yumeina
kind, helpful shinsetsu desu shinsetsu dewa arimasen shinsetsuna
Free hima desu hima dewa arimasen himana
Lively nigiyaka desu nigiyaka dewa arimasen nigiyakana
Convenient benri desu benri dewa arimasen benrina
well, healthy genki desu genki dewa arimasen genkina
(Adapted from the text-book Japanese for Busy People (p. 99); The Association for Japanese-Language
Teaching, 1994, Kodansha America).

Japanese Language Teaching 86
the grammatical features in the input. The question is to determine what type
of grammar is more successful in terms of helping learners internalize the
grammatical features of a target language.Our challenge is to provide an alternative way to introduce the linguistic
properties of this language in a communicative framework of language teaching.
Despite the fact that Japanese is different from romance languages, and despite
the fact that we need to take into consideration that Japanese possess very com-
plex structures, we should develop tasks that introduce learners to patterns
of the language not through explanations and memorization (see Table 4.1
and 4.2, from the text-book Japanese for Busy people (p. 99)) but rather through
exposure and processing of those linguistics features. Rather than using a
deductive approach which involves the use of translation we advocate more
inductive approaches. In Chapter 2, we have reviewed studies investigating the effects of using
different techniques to enhance grammar in the input and create grammatical
tasks that are different from traditional approaches to grammar instruction. In
this chapter we will examine how to develop those tasks for teaching Japanese.
Activity B
ææåÞá”
'"é1ñ ½
 Ã'5( 
ÒùÒÁ•

ÚÒÚÜê“È¿å“_,;fâ“ÒÊÓ
“ÒùÒÚ•
1. ÒÕÆå
2. Áü¿å
Activity C
æåÞá
'"é1ñ ½
 Ô».d
ÞÞáÊÛп•
  
  
1. ÅýÒ¿
2. ÍÈå
Question to reflect on . . .
What is the role of traditional grammar instruction in Japanese language teaching? Ar
e
drills still used? Do you think they have a role?

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 87
Input enhancement: designing
grammar tasks for teaching Japanese
As repeatedly said, comprehensible and meaning-bearing input is one of the
main factors in SLA. Learners must be exposed to comprehensible and meaning-
bearing input for acquisition to take place. As Wong (2005:33) has highlighted,
there are techniques that would help teachers to expose learners to compre-
hensible input and positive evidence while at the same time drawing learner’s
attention to some linguistics properties of the target language. Wong (2005)
has identified two main techniques that would help learners notice and
possibly acquire a targeted feature: input flood and the textual enhancement
techniques. The advantage of input flood is that it provides comprehensible
meaning-bearing input. It is also effective as it does not disrupt the flow of
communication (Wong, 2005:42). However, as underscored by Wong (2005:43)
‘because this technique is so implicit, it is difficult for instructors to know
whether learners are actually learning anything through the flood.’
Input flood
As Wong (2005:37) has affirmed in input flood
the input learners received is saturated with the form that we hope learners will
notice and possibly acquire. We do not usually highlight the form in any way to
drawn attention to it nor do we tell learners to pay attention to the form. We
merely saturate the input with the form.
When we design input flood activities, we should follow these guidelines
(from Wong, 2005:44):
(a) Grammatical tasks using input flood should either be used in written or
oral input.
(b) The input learners receive must be modified so that it contains many instances of the
same form/structure.
(c) Input flood must be meaningful and learners must be doing something with the input
(i.e. reconstruct a story, draw a picture for instance).
In the case of the particle ne in Japanese. This final particle (it comes at the
end of a sentence) is used to express the communicative attitude of the speaker
towards the listener. In English tag questions such as: isn’t it?, don’t you?, do
you? and you know? are all translated into ne. The sentence in Japanese Kyō wa
ii tenki desu ne means ‘It is a nice weather today, isn’t it?’. This particle is very

Japanese Language Teaching 88
frequently used in conversation and it is mainly used by the speaker to ask for
the agreement of the listener (like in the previous example). Although com-
prehensible input is the essential ingredient in SLA, learners do not seem to
be exposed to enough input containing the particle ne to be able to process
this feature. In addition to that, this feature seems to be difficult to acquire (see
Ohta, 2001a, 2001b) by beginner learners of Japanese. Empirical research
(Ohta 2001a, 2001b) has shown that ne is one of the most difficult features to
process while at the same time a very frequent feature used in conversation by
Japanese native speakers. Despite this, many Japanese language textbooks have
not proposed any particular grammatical task to help learners to acquire and
use this feature. Learners should be provided with opportunities to notice and
acquire ne through input enhancement techniques. The purpose of designing
input flood activities in this case, is to help learners to be exposed to a greater
amount of input (through these techniques) containing the target form which
hopefully will allow learners to notic e and subsequently acquire this form. In
Activity D, oral input is provided to learners of Japanese. The dialogue consists
in short-sentences containing many instances of the target item. Learners are
familiar with the other grammatical contents of the sentences except for the
sentence final particle ne.
Activity D
'5( “ Ÿè 
+Zf9ç ÈÁê“¿¿“âÈâÔè•
ÚåÆ9ç ØÁâÔè•áÈý¿¿Ò”½ÚÚÆ¿âÔè•
 
+Zf9ç ;SÐã“ÔÒ
“Úôæ¿ÈùÔ•
ÚåÆ9ç ¿¿âÔè•ÔÒê“Å¿Ò¿âÔè•
 ;S
+Zf9ç ÚåÆÐý“¿ÞÒæ“¿ÈùÖÆ•
ÚåÆ9ç ØÁâÔè•ÈÁê“ÈÁîâÔè•
 
 
+Zf9ç ÆÞÚ”½ãÆ“ÈùÖÆ•
ÚåÆ9ç Óþ”½ãÆ“¿ÈùÔè•

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 89
A second example of input flood grammar task in Japanese is the acquisi-
tion of the ga sukidesu (to be fond of . . .) structure. The purpose of Activity E
is to help learners to attend the structure in the input. Learners read the story
(Activity E) and then are asked some questions by the instructor.
Activity E
'5( ç5ô9Ý

é¥%(
.’â”
éa):* d)é¥é ]ˆÇÒ¿Æ”ÒÊå¿Æ%uÃáÊ
Ûп•
ÈéÁé½Ð”_6(f<`ê“9>,
Òæ“¿ÈùÒÚ•Æê“9>
,
“
ãáý“ÚéÒúùÒÚ•Øé½ã”Fo^
“9Ýì¿“éûÚüæ“DIæ
¿ÈùÒÚ•
Æê“ØéDIâ“ãýÛÜ㓽¿”Æê”ÿÇÆæ“¿ÊÎã
æÒùÒÚ•
DI
âÚ½ã”Æê“ÓñéÊù
ãæ¿ÈùÒÚ•ØÒáÆ
ê““
Êùâ“ÿÇÆæ“¿ÈùÒÚ•ãÎÇ”Æê”ÓÎ擽¿ù
ÒÚ•
ØÒáÊù
“ßñÒùÒÚ•
a)_6(f<`ê“9>,
“ù¿æÜ“ÒùÔ•
b)_6(f<`ê“â
â“ãýÛÜ
“ÿÇæ“ÐØ¿ùÒÚ•
c) _6(f<`ê“ãýÛÜé“Êù
“ñßÌùÒÚ•
d) _6(f<`ê“éúÔÉùÒÚ•
As pointed out by Wong ( 2005:43) overall advantages for input flood are:
(1) input flood material can be accommodated easily to any subject in which
learners are
interested;
(2) the instructor can simply manipulate any materials so that this input co
ntains many
uses of a particular target form.
Textual enhancement
Wong (2005:48) has defined textual enhancement as ‘the use of typo graphical
cues such as bolding or italics to draw the reader’s attention to particular

Japanese Language Teaching 90
information in a text.’ Designing this type of grammar tasks will involve fol-
lowing these guidelines (see Box 4.4 and see list below from Wong, 2005:49):
(a) grammatical tasks using textual enhancement should use written input;
(b) the target form is enhanced visually altering its appearance in the text
(i.e. the form can
be italicized, bolded or underlined).
In the textual enhancement activity below (see Activity F) the target form
is visually altered with a different colour (red) so that it is enhanced in the
input.
Activity F Adapted from Noriko Hikima
'5( “ Ÿè 
+Zf9çÈÁê“¿¿“âÈâÔè•
ÚåÆ9çØÁâÔè•áÈý¿¿Ò”½ÚÚÆ¿âÔè•
 
+Zf9ç;SÐã“ÔÒ
“Úôæ¿ÈùÔ•
ÚåÆ9ç¿¿âÔè•ÔÒê“Å¿Ò¿âÔè•
 ;S
+Zf9çÚåÆÐý“¿ÞÒæ“¿ÈùÖÆ•
ÚåÆ9çØÁâÔè•ÈÁê“ÈÁîâÔè•
 
 
+Zf9çÆÞÚ”½ãÆ“ÈùÖÆ•I changed åto ù
ÚåÆ9çÓþ”½ãÆ“¿ÈùÔè•
The form has been highlighted in the dialogue with the textual enhance-
ment techniques with the hope that learners will notice it. The advantages of
this textual enhancement activity are listed as follows (from Wong, 2005:56):
(1) learners can be exposed to more instances of ne and as result of this there are more
chances that they will notice the form;
(2) learners will be exposed to meaning-bearing input from this type of tasks;
(3) it is a form of input enhancement that can be easily integrated and it i
s easy
to use.

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 91
Box 4.4 Input enhancement techniques: summary
(1) Identify a particular linguistic feature in Japanese.
(2) Draw learners’ attention either by flooding the input of this target feature or by
highlighting the target feature in a text.
Consciousness raising: designing
grammar tasks for teaching Japanese
According to Sharwood-Smith (1991), making certain features salient in the
input might help in drawing the learner’s attention to that specific feature.
Enhancing the input through different techniques might be sufficient in help-
ing learners paying attention to the formal properties of a targeted language
without the need of metalinguistic discussion. Rutherford and Sharwood-Smith
(1988) coined the term ‘consciousness raising’ to refer to external attempts to
drawn learners’ attention to formal properties of a target language. The goal
of this approach is to make learners conscious of the rules that govern the use
of particular language forms while it provides the opportunity to engage in
meaningful interaction.
As defined by Ellis (1991:236) a CR task ‘is pedagogic activity where the
learners are provided with L2 data in some form and required to perform
some operation on or linguistic property or properties of the target language’.
CR tasks can be inductive or deductive. In the case of an inductive task
learners are provided with some language data and are required to provide an
explicit representation of the target linguistic feature. In the case of a deduc-
tive task, learners are given a description of the target linguistic feature and are
required to use that description to apply it to L2 data. In Activity G (use of present affirmative/negative in Japanese) the CR task
has been designed with the following guidelines in mind (see Ellis, 1991):
(a) the task focuses on a source of difficulty for English speaking learners who are learning
Japanese;
(b) the data provided is adequate to make learners discover the rule;
(c) the task requires minimal production on the part of the learner;
(d) there is an opportunity for applying the rule to construct a personal statem
ent in order
to promote its storage as explicit knowledge.

Japanese Language Teaching 92
CR is an approach to grammar teaching (see Box 4.5) in accordance with
new views about education as a process of discovery through problem solving
tasks. It does not conflict but provide a supplement to the teaching of gram-
mar communicatively.
Box 4.5 Consciousness raising: summary
(1) Identify a particular linguistic feature in Japanese.
(2) Provide learners with an activity in which they have to discover the rule of the
target linguistic feature.
(3) Provide learners with a production activity so that they can show their aware-
ness about the target linguistic feature.
Activity G
a) Mâ”
é¥
.’ú”ãÄ.†æÅÌ”5V1Š
ðé(�o»ã8o»éÈ
ù
-×ßÌáÊÛп•
1 

2 

3 
9_F

4 
9_F

5 9C,
6 9C,
b) ãÄ.†é(�o¥ã8o¥éÈù
1@ôáÊÛп•
c) û1s4Fâ½åÚÇ¿ßýÔÎã”Òå¿Îã
 ¿áÊÛп•
Processing instruction: designing
grammar tasks for learning Japanese
In most of the traditional approaches to grammar instruction L2 learners are
given an explicit explanation of the rules of a form\structure of a target
language, and then they practise these rules through various output exercises.
As previously discussed, Paulston’s (1972) hierarchy (from mechanical to mean-
ingful drills) reflects the way grammar and pr actice is still taught in the foreign
language classroom. As underscored by Lee and Van Patten (1995, 2003), unlike

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 93
TI where the focus of instruction is in the manipulation of the learners’ output
to effect changes in their developing system, PI aims to change the way input
is perceived and processed by language learners. As pointed out earlier, this
approach to grammar instruction is consistent with the input processing per-
spective in SLA. It is therefore evident in Figure 4.2 (adapted form Van Patten,
1996) that PI, in its attempt to alter the way L2 learners process input, should
have a greater impact on learners’ developing system than an output-based
approach to grammar instruction (see Figure 4.1 adapted from Van Patten,
1996) whose aim is to alter how L2 learners produce the target language. Unlike
output-based instruction which emphasized grammar rules and oral\written
production practice, the purpose of processing instruction is to alter how
learners process input and to encourage better form-meaning mapping which
results in a grammatically richer intake. In the case of tense markers, process-
ing instruction can make these redundant and non-salient grammatical mean-
ing-form relationships more salient in the learner’s input. Given the emphasis
on learners’ input rather than focusing in on the output, the type of practice
provided by the processing instruction approach consists in activities which
offer the opportunity to interpret the meaning-form relationship correctly
without any practice in producing the targeted form or structure. This is
accomplished (as also suggested by Terrell 1991) by providing learners with
meaningful input that contains many instances of the same grammatical
meaning-form relationship. This would appear to be a step forward to Sharwood-Smith’s position
(1993). He suggests a way to provide formal instruction which is based on
Input Intake Developing System Output
Output-based practice
Input Intake Developing System Output
Processing Instruction
Figure 4.1 (Adapted from Van Patten, 1996).
Figure 4.2 Processing instruction (Adapted from Van Patten, 1996).

Japanese Language Teaching 94
making some forms more salient in the input so that they come to the learners’
attention. PI does this but it also provides opportunities for form-meaning
mapping in activities. As outlined by Van Patten (1996:84) ‘simply bringing a
form to someone’s attention is not a guarantee that it gets processed . . . for
acquisition to happen the intake must continually provide the developing sys-
tem with examples of correct form-meaning connections that are the results
of input processing’. PI, contrary to ‘negative enhancement’, does not address
the role of output errors since it is solely concerned with the processing
of input data. PI might be considered, as mentioned earlier, as a type of
‘consciousness-raising’; in the sense that, as indicated by Van Patten (1996:85)
it ‘does not seek to pour knowledge of any kind into learners’ heads; it assists
certain processes that can aid the growth of the developing system over time’.
However, the ultimate scope of PI is not about raising learners’ consciousness
about a grammatical form but rather to enrich learners’ intake. PI is a new type of grammar instruction that is concerned with learners’
awareness of how grammatical forms and structures are acquired. It is a type
of focus on form which draws on the principles of the input processing model
(Van Patten, 1996, 2002, 2004). In the model of SLA proposed by Van Patten
‘input provides the data, input processing makes (certain) data available for
acquisition, other internal mechanisms accommodate data into the system
(often triggering some kind of restructuring or a change of internally gener-
ated hypotheses) and output helps learners to become communicators and,
again, may help them become better processors of input (Van Patten, 2002:760).
This new pedagogical approach, based on the input processing model (see
Van Patten, 1996, 2002, 2004), seeks to intervene in the processes learners
use to get data from the input. Research on input processing has attempted
to describe what linguistic data learners attend to during comprehension
and which ones they do not attend to, for example what grammatical roles
learners assign to nouns or how position in an utterance, influences what gets
processed. These processing principles seem to provide an explanation of what
learners are doing with input when they are asked to comprehend it. As a result
of the way learners attend to input data, Van Patten (1996) has developed a
new kind of grammar instruction which guides and focuses learners’ attention
when they process input. This new type of grammar instruction called PI
is diametrically opposed to traditional instruction which consists of drills
in which learner output is manipulated and instruction is divorced from
meaning or communication. PI is a more effective method for enhancing

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 95
language acquisition as it is used to ensure that learners’ focal attention during
processing is directed towards the relevant grammatical items and not else-
where in the sentence. Its main objective is to help learners to circumvent the
strategies used by them to derive intake data by making them to rely exclu-
sively on form and structure to derive meaning from input. As repeatedly said, PI is the most promising approach to language grammar
teaching. The way grammar is approached and practiced in Japanese text-
books is through the use of paradigmatic explanation and pattern practice
which usually follow the following order: memorization of patterns, transfor-
mation and substitution tasks. If we look at the way Japanese past forms are
introduced (see Table 4.3 from the text-book Japanese for Busy people (p. 56))
learners are asked to memorize some verbs in the present and past forms. After they have memorized the forms they are engaged in practising those
forms by changing a pattern accurately and appropriately (see example below
from text-book Japanese for Busy People (p. 56)).
II Practice the following cy changing the underlined part as in the exam
ple given.
ex. [Watashi wa] Ginko -
ni ikimasu.
1. kaisha
2. Amerika
III Make dialogues by changing the underlined part as in the example giv
en.
A ex. Q: [Anata wa] Ashita kaisha ni ikimasu ka.
Aa: Hai, ikimasu.
An: Iie, ikimasen. (Continued )
Table 4.3 I verbs: memorize the following verbs in their present and past forms
Present forms Past forms

go
come
returnAffi
rmative Negative Affi rmative Negative
ikimasu
kimasu
kaerimasu ikimasen
kimasen
kaerimasen ikimashita
kimashita
kaerimashitaikimasendeshita
kimasendeshita
kaerimasendeshita
(Adapted from the text-book Japanese for Busy People (p. 56); The Association for Japanese-Language Teach-
ing, 1994, Kodansha America).

Japanese Language Teaching 96
Cont’d
1. tomodachi no uchi
2. depa-
to
3. taishikan
B ex. Q: Kono densha wa Tokyo -
Eki ni ikimasu ka.
Aa: Hai, ikimasu
An: Iie, ikimasen.
1. basu
2. chikatetsu
PI is a different approach to grammar instruction and grammar practice,
diametrically different than the more tradit ional approach described above.
PI consists of three main components (see also Box 4.6):
(1) Learners are given explicit information about a linguistic structure or form (see example
below).
(2) Learners are given information on a particular processing principle that may negatively
affect their picking up of the form or structure during comprehension (see example
below).
(3) Learners are pushed to process the form or structure during activities in which the
input is manipulated in particular ways to push learners to become dependent on form
to get meaning.
Explicit information on the use
of present and past tense
Japanese sentences end with the verb. The endings of verbs show the tense. You
must pay attention to the end of the verb to establish when the action took
place.
Past form: Senshu Kyoto ni ikimashita
Present form: Maishu Kyoto ni ikimasu
Information about the processing principle
Do not rely on the temporal adverb to understand when the action takes place.
You must pay attention to the tense ending to understand when the action
takes place. In the case of describing past events pay attention to the ending of
the verb: -mashita.

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 97
In the case of describing habitual and present events pay attention to the
ending of the verb: -masu .
After receiving the explicit information about the targeted linguistic feature
and the information about the processing principle affecting that feature,
learners are pushed to process the form or structure through structured input
activities (SIA). In SIA, the input is manipulated in particular ways to push
learners to become dependent on form and structure to get meaning. As out-
lined by Wong (2004a), PI ‘pushes learners to abandon their inefficient pro-
cessing strategies for more optimal ones so that better form-meaning
connections are made’ (p. 35). As the main component of PI, SIA help learners
to make those form-meaning connections. Lee and Van Patten (1995:104; see also Farley, 2005) have produced the
following guidelines for SIA:
(1) Present one thing at a time.
(2) Keep meaning in focus.
(3) Move from sentences to connected discourse.
(4) Use both oral and written input.
(5) Have the learner ‘do something’ with the input.
(6) Keep the learner’s processing strategies in mind.
(1) Paradigms and rules should be broken down into smaller parts and
taught one at the time during the course of the lesson. Students are presented
with the linguistic feature before being exposed to SIA. In fact, the type of
input L2 learners receive in PI is meaningful as it should help them to make
correct form– meaning connections. (2) Learners should be encouraged to make form-meaning connections
through structured input activities. As pointed out by Van Patten (1996:68) ‘if
meaning is absent or if learners do not have to pay attention to meaning to
complete the activity, then there is no[ sic] enhancement of input processing.’
(3) Learners must be engaged in processing the input sentences and must
respond to the input sentence in some way through referential and affective
types of SIA. (4) SIA which combines oral and written input should be used as some
learners respond better to one than the other. This is in order to account for
individual differences. (5) SIA should be designed to make learners do something with the input
they receive (i.e. agreeing or disagreeing). During SIA activities learners should

Japanese Language Teaching 98
be encouraged to make form-meaning connections. Learners must be engaged
in processing the input sentences and must respond to the input sentence in
some way.(6) Learners’ attention should be guided not to rely on natural processing
strategies. Activities in which the input is structured to alter learners’ reliance
on one particular processing principle should be created.
Referential activities are those for which there is a right or wrong answer
and for which the learner must rely on the targeted grammatical form to get
meaning. Affective structured input activities are those in which learners
express an opinion, belief, or some other affective response and are engaged in
processing information about the real world. In the referential Activity H, learners must process the input to determine
whether the statement they hear is referring to a present or past action.
Learners are obliged to attend to the grammatical markers (present vs. past in
Japanese). Considering that learners are affected by the Lexical Preference
Principle (P1d.) temporal adverbs for past and present were removed from the
input sentences so that students were forced to attend to the past or present
tense forms to encode the meaning.
Activity H
'5( ç5ô9Ý

yÆ(^Ê¥é ]ˆê”¿ß-
ÚÎãâÔÆ•
ðƤ-
ÎãÆ•
Ò¿öÁæÒÒ
ßÌáÊÛп•
1  
2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
ç5ô¥
1 2]æ-ÈùÒÚ•
2 2]æ-ÈùÔ•
3 9>,
ÒùÒÚ•
4 9>,
ÒùÔ•
5 ¿¿ !¹
-×ùÒÚ•
6 Po^ãêåÒùÒÚ•
7 Po^ãêåÒùÔ•

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 99
In affective Activity I, learners must attend to sentences containing the past
tense in Japanese and they are asked to express their views about whether they
think that the statements are possible or impossible.
Activity I
'5( ç5ô9Þ

é¥
.’ú”¥é ]ˆêG!¢æãÞáʽÎãÆ”ØÁâå¿ÎãÆ”
½åÚêäÁA¿ùÔÆ•
  
1  

2  

3  

4  


5  


6  


7  
G)

8  

9  

10 
ÚÒêãýÛÜãÏê
“ÚôùÒÚ•
11 
ÚÒêÅØÊèùÒÚ•
12 
ÚÒêæöâ¿ÜæÜÓÁ“èá¿ùÒÚ•
In referential Activity J, learners attention is directed to the final part of the
sentences learners heard. This is because they can establish whether the sen-
tence is affirmative or negative.
Activity J
'5( ç5ô9ß

yÆ(^Ê¥é ]ˆê(�o¥âÒÁÆ”Øãý8o¥âÒÁÆ%uÃáÊ
Ûп•¥é¨ß
HçÒá(^¿áÊÛп•
1 (o 8o
2 (o 8o
3 (o 8o
4 (o 8o
5 (o 8o
ç5ô¥
1 $s2].

@
2 $s2].

@
3 $s`f<f

4 $s`f<f

5 $s

-

Japanese Language Teaching 100
In affective Activity K, learners are asked to pay attention to the end of the
sentence to establish whether it is a positive or negative sentence and then they
must agree or disagree with those statements.
Activity K
'5( ç5ô9à
G!¢éã.–æß¿áé¥
.’úùÔÆ(^¿áÊÛп•
ØÙé¥ê”(�o¥âÒÁÆ”Øãý8o¥âÒÁÆ%uÃáÊÛÐ
¿•
4攽åÚê”ØÙé¥é ]ˆêʽÎãâÔÆ”ØÁâêå¿Î
ãâÔÆ•
“““““(�o““8o“““““ʽ(usual)“üÞÚãå¿(unusual)
1
2
3
ç5ô¥
1 $sê
ù1�ã ´ÆÌùÔ•
2 $sê
ù1�ã ´ÆÌùÖ•
3 $sê

�æ-ÈùÔ•
Activity L
&×ã¥
-×áÒ¿5Å!ßæ
ôåп•Øê_6(f<`ÐéãÄ
âé
­âÔ•ÈÅßÌá”9Ý n#ÇÚùÖ•äå&×âÒÁÆ•

ÚÒê“æöæ“¿ÈùÒÚ•

ÚÒê“ãÁÈÁæ“¿ÈùÒÚ•

ÚÒê“íÎÁÈâ“¿ÈùÒÚ•

ÚÒê“æöé“ÒÊÓ
“ÒùÒÚ•

ÚÒê“`f<fæ“ÆÃùÒÚ•

ÚÒê“ÐÌ
“éúùÒÚ•

ÚÒê“ÈÁãæ“¿ÈùÒÚ•
In referential Activity L, learners must look at the pictures and the sentences
containing the linguistic target feature (namely past tense in Japanese) and
must put them in a chronological order. Activities H, I, J, K and L are activities developed to teach L1 English speak-
ers learning Japanese in the United Kingdom.

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 101
Box 4.6 Processing instruction: summary
(1) Identify a particular linguistic feature in Japanese that is affected by one of the
processing principles.
(2) Provide L2 learners with information about the linguistic feature and the process-
ing problem.
(3) Engage L2 learners in structured input activities.
In current traditional approaches to grammar instruction teachers and
textbooks tend to provide a paradigmatic visualization and explanation of the
forms (see Figure 4.1 and Figure 4.2 for examples). This is follow by pattern
practice (written or oral) of the targeted form (see below an example from
Japanese for busy people , p. 98).
II Practice the following patters by changing the underlined parts in th
e examples
given.
A. ex. Kono kamera wa o -
kii desu.
Ano kamera wa chiisai desu.
1. kono kuruma, ano kuruma
2. kono tanago, ano tamago
III Make dialogues by changing the underlined part as in the example giv
en.
A. ex. Q: Nihon-go wa yasashii desu ka.
Aa: Hai, yasashii desu.
An: Iie, yasashikunai desu.
1. muzukashii
2. omoshiroi
This type of traditional and mechanical practice does not take into account
and address any of the factors and variables affecting learners when they are
acquiring an L2. PI does take into account many of those factors (limited
capacity of attention and processing and other psycholinguistics constraints
in the acquisition of the grammatical properties of an L2) and provide a dif-
ferent approach to grammar teaching. We propose an approach to grammar

Japanese Language Teaching 102
Activity M (Structured input activity)
æöÏñÎÁá¿íá¿ÜÂÞÊ¿ÌÐÖ¿ãÄ.†é¥
È¿á”(�oÆ, 8oÆšÒáÊÛп•½åÚêØéç-×æ/¥‘
 êÚ¿ âÔÆ”
û»âÔÆ•
Please check whether the sentence that you are about to hear are either
affi rmative or negative. Check if you agree or disagree about the statement.
(Tokyo = Tokyo, the name of the city nihon jin = Japanese9Õ
1. Aff. : “Neg““:““““ Agree““:““Disagree :
2. Aff. : “Neg““:““““ Agree““:““Disagree :.
3. Aff. : “Neg““:““““ Agree““:““Disagree :.
4. Aff. : “Neg““:““““ Agree““:““Disagree :.
5. Aff. : “Neg““:““““ Agree““:““Disagree :.
The sentence that learner hear; 1. Tokyo wa nigiyaka desu 
i Tokyo is lively
2. Tokyo wa okii desu ò
iêÅÅÈ¿âÔ•Tokyo is big
3. nihon jin wa shinsetu desu 
q Japanese are kind
4. nihon jin wa ookiku nai desu 
q Japanese are not
big
5. nihon jin wa nigiyaka desu ãÄ
qêæÉÿÆâÔ• Japanese are not
lively
Adapted from Kuri Komatsu
Activity N (Structured output activity)

ßÉ¿ÌÐÖ¿êÚ¿
1) 4é`f<fæß¿áéç-×æ߿ᔽåÚê/¥‘âÔÆ
û»âÔÆ•
Indicate if you agree with these statements shown below about London. You
can add your own statement as well if you wish
 /
û»
agree disagree
1. London wa takai desu `f<f : :
2. London wa nigiyaka desu `f<fêæÉÿÆâÔ• : :
3. London wa benri desu `f<f : :
4. Igirisujin ha ookikunai desu !],
q : :
5. Igirisujin wa shinsetu desu  !],
q : :
  2)
é`f<fæß¿áéç-×Æ”½åÚé/°ç”ç-×
((Ãá",
  To;æ(^¿áúáÊÛп•9Ô 9æò
iæß¿á”ãÄæ߿ᔽå
ÊæéÖæß¿á9Õ
Using the idea as we have seen in 1), create the questions(statements) to ask your friends in the classroom. (ex: about Tokyo, Japan, people, or your country)
  
3) ½åÚéç-×ã",To;éç-×
ùãü”",â"’-+ÒáÊÛп•
Prepare your opinion and your friends’ opinion about your statements and
conclusion to present in your classroom.
Adapted from Kuri Komatsu

The Role and Practice of Grammar Teaching 103
instruction that moves from structured input activities to structured output
activities (see Activity N and guidelines to develop this type of activities in
Chapter 3 of this book). In Activity M, the task is structured so that L2 learners
must pay attention to the
Japanese Adjective-i and -na in order to complete
the activity.
Summary
Input is the main and most important ingredient in SLA. As highlighted by
Van Patten and Williams (2007) it is necessary, but it might not be sufficient.
Learners might benefit from a type of focus on form that helps them to notice
and then process forms in the input they are exposed to. Input enhancement
techniques, consciousness raising tasks and structure input practice might
help learners to acquire an L2 language. These techniques might facilitate and
speed up the way languages are learned and are an effective way and a non-
traditional approach to incorporate grammar teaching and grammar tasks
in communicative language teaching. Input enhancement provides foreign
language learners with access to comprehensible input, positive evidence
and helps L2 learners to pay attention to grammatical forms in the input. CR
tasks help learners to pay attention to grammatical forms in the input while
at the same time provide the necessary input learners need to acquire an L2.
Processing instruction and structure input practice help learners to process
input correctly and efficiently and there fore increase learners intake and pro-
vide right information for learners’ developing system. In this chapter we have principally highlighted two modules to incorporate
the teaching of grammar in Japanese in a communicative context. In the first
module, we advocate the use of implicit techniques such as input flood or
input enhancement to enhance the opportunities for learners to notice those
forms/structures in the input. In the second module, we advocate that the use of structured input activi-
ties which would enrich learners’ intake and consequently have an impact on
their output. This input practice (structured input) should be followed by out-
put practice in the form of structured output activity practice.
More questions to reflect on . . .
(1) Can you underline the main characteristics of the input enhancement tech
niques and
provide more examples for Japanese grammar teaching?
(2) Can you underline the main characteristics of consciousness raising task
s and provide
more examples for Japanese grammar teaching?

Japanese Language Teaching 104
(3) Can you underline the main characteristics of processing instruction and provide more
examples for Japanese grammar teaching?
(4) Can you focus on a grammatical feature in Japanese and provide an example of one
structured input activity and one structured output activity?
Key terms
Direct method: a method where the emphasis is on using the target language at all times
in the classroom and focus on developing listening and speaking skills.
Grammar translation method: a very traditional method which is based on grammatical analysis and translation.
Cognitive code method: a method that supports the view that learners need to analyse the grammatical features (analysis and problem solving) of the targeted language in
order to develop their competence.
Drills (substitution and transformation): refers to an activity that focuses on a linguistic element.
Explicit information: consists of information provided to the L2 learners about the formal properties of an L2 target language.
Input flood: refers to provision of many instances of the same form/structure in the input
L2 learners receive.
Textual enhancement: refers to the technique of highlighting forms in a written text to increase saliency of the target form.
Structured input activities (referential and affective): refers to an activity developed in order to help learners to process efficiently and accurately the input they are exposed to.
Further reading
Ellis, R. (1997). SLA Research and Language Teaching . Oxford: OUP.
Farley, A. (2005). Structured Input: Grammar Instruction for the Acquisition-Oriented Classroom .
New York: McGraw-Hill.
Lee, J. and Benati, A. (2009). Grammar Acquisition and Processing Instruction . Clevedon: Multilingual
Matters.
Van Patten, B. (1996). Input Processing and Grammar Instruction . Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Wong, W. (2005). Input Enhancement: From Theory and Research to the Classroom . New York:
McGraw-Hill.

Introduction
The communicative approach was the result of growing dissatisfaction with
the ALM and the grammar-translation methods in language instruction. In
traditional approaches to language teaching, L2 learners were not exposed to
real everyday language and as a result of this they did not know how to com-
municate using appropriate social language, gestures or expressions. The CLT
approach makes use of real-life situations that necessitate communication.
The teacher sets up a situation that students are likely to encounter in real life.
Unlike ALM which relies on repetition and drills, the communicative approach
engages learners in communicative tasks that need to be accomplished for
Chapter Outline
Introduction 105
Developing listening/comprehension communicative tasks 108
Developing oral communicative tasks 114
Developing role plays tasks 118
Functional communicative tasks 121
Developing reading communicative tasks 122
Developing writing communicative tasks 126
Summary 129
More questions to refl ect on . . . 130
Key terms 130
Further readings 131
Designing Communicative
Tasks in Teaching Japanese
5

Japanese Language Teaching 106
a communicative purpose. The real-life simulations change from day to day.
Students’ motivation to learn comes from their desire to communicate in
meaningful ways about meaningful topics. Instructors in communicative
classrooms take less control and act as facilitators of students’ learning (Larsen-
Freeman, 1986). Instructors set up the task and monitor the development of
that task as learners take a more proactive role. Littlewood (1981:19) argues
that ‘while learners are performing, the teacher can monitor their strengths and
weaknesses.’ Because of the increased responsibility to participate, students
may find they gain confidence in using the target language in general. Students
are more responsible managers of their own learning (Larsen-Freeman, 1986). In order to accomplish the aims of this new and innovative approach to
language teaching, the role of teacher and learners in CLT has changed as
indicated by Lee and Van Patten (1995, 2003) and Nunan (2001). The teacher
is assuming a new role of resource person or architect whereas the learner is
undertaking a more active role where he is encouraged to use language more
creatively through communicative tasks (Lee and Van Patten, 1995, 2003, have
discussed the role of students and teachers in CLT). In Activity A, we present an example in teaching Japanese where the teacher
is taking the role as an ‘architect’ (Lee and Van Patten, 1995:14) of the task. The
teacher is responsible for designing the task but is not responsible for the final
product as learners take the role of ‘builders’ (Lee and Van Patten, 1995:16)
of the task itself. Learners are engaged in a step by step task in which they
are active participants. They must make a list of the different negative aspects
of smoking. Then, they need to compare their views and finally they are asked
to do something with the information they have gathered and draw a chart
about the danger of smoking. This type of activity represents as highlighted by
Lee and Van Patten (1995:16) ‘a multilayered communicative event, that is, an
interaction requiring various steps and tasks’. In Activity B, instead, learners
are simply asked to talk about the topic of ‘smoking’. Lee and Van Patten
Activity A
1. ÚëÎ é ¡¿ Ç5À 
Do;=o ã û' æ ],; æ ÒáÊÛп•
2. ½åÚ é
ÞÞÚ ],; 

� é #^oJ é
q ã §ôáÊÛп•
  ê K1ñ +ç ÒùÔÆ
3.
� é !¢ä ã ÚëÎ é ¡¿ Ç5À 
-+ æ ÒáÊÛп•

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 107
(1995:15) called this type of activity (Activity B) ‘an open-ended discussion
question’. According to Lee and Van Patten, this activity is only designed to give
the opportunity for learners to speak and it is not ‘designed to learn about the
topic and from each other’.The way language is taught has changed over the years as discussed in previ-
ous chapters. These changes have affected various aspects of learning and
teaching. In ALM, language was seen as very hierarchical rule-based system
where learners acquire the language by forming good habits and avoiding
bad habits. The main objective for learning is to master forms and structures
of the targeted L2 in a graded syllabus of phonology, morphology and syntax.
In many text-books used for teaching Japanese, grammar is provided at the
beginning of the lesson with the help of paradigms. They are given a paradigmatic explanation of the forms and asked to memo-
rize all the forms. This will have negative effects on learners as they will be
overloaded with information and they will feel unmotivated. The explicit and
paradigmatic explanation is usually followed by a series of exercises (mechani-
cal drills) focusing on the grammatical item that has been introduced. This
mechanical practice consists of pattern prac tice and substitution drills where
real life situations are completely ignored. Usually after the use of drills (pattern
practice), repetition and memorization of the targeted forms/structures,
learners are provided with short dialogues in romanized Japanese based on the
key sentences which is followed by a translation exercise. The teacher’s role in
all these activities is central as he prov ides an inflexible model for practice and
he controls the direction and the pace. Learners are simply following instruc-
tions in order to produce the forms/structures correctly. Their role is clearly a
passive role as they are only asked to produce correct responses. This type of
practice reflects a very teacher-centred classroom type of practice. With the advent of CLT, this method is challenged as language is seen as
a system for the expression of meaning. The primary learners’ function is to
communicate a message to their peers. As a result of that, the focus is on mean-
ingful activities that promote real communication. Learners must be engaged
Activity B
ÚëÎ ê ­‚âÔ• ½åÚ ê ÚëÎ 
ÔÁÎã Ç
Â4¾Ûã A¿ùÔÆ•

Japanese Language Teaching 108
in communicative tasks where they use language that is meaningful. The sylla-
bus should include structures, functions, notions and tasks which might reflect
learners’ need to communicate. All communicative activities must engage
learners in sharing information, negotiating meaning and interacting with
others. In this way the role of teachers will change as teachers will act as a faci-
litator of the communication process while at the same time learners will act
as negotiator and interact throug hout the tasks. The task-based activities
advocated by CLT must be developed with the intention to promote commu-
nication and communicative language use. As defined by Lee (2000:32)
a task is (1) a classroom activity or exercise that has (a) an objective attainable only
by the interaction among participants, (b) a mechanism for structuring
and
sequencing interaction, and (c) a focus on meaning exchange; (2) a l
anguage
learning endeavour that requires learners to comprehend, manipulate and/or pro-
duce the target language as they perform some set of work plans.
Ohta (2001a) has claimed that despite the fact that CLT had an influence on
Japanese language teaching, the teaching of Japanese is still very traditional
and based on a very structural syllabus. However, communicative approaches
are becoming very popular in Japanese language teaching and teachers are
developing activities that provide more communicative practice. Despite
the fact that we should be cautious in applying findings on L2 research and
guidelines in communicative language teaching to the teaching of Japanese, as
Japanese is different from any other romance and non-romance language, we
would like to provide some general guidelines that could be easily applied to
make practice more communicative. In the following four paragraphs we will look at examples and provide gen-
eral guidelines as to how to develop communicative tasks that will help learn-
ers improve listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in Japanese. These
general guidelines have been developed and discussed by Lee and Van Patten
(1995, 2003).
Developing listening/comprehension
communicative tasks
The role of comprehensible input and conversational interaction has assumed
greater importance in second language teaching. Krashen (1982), Gass (1997)
and Long (1996) have emphasized the benefits for the use and role of

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 109
comprehensible input, conversational interaction and negotiated interaction
in the language classroom. Nakakubo (1997) argued that providing Japanese learners with simplified
input in listening comprehension t ests facilitates comprehension and increases
the rate and quality of learning. Considering that input is seen as a vital ingre-
dient for acquisition, listening as a skill has acquired an important role in the
language classroom. Listening is not just a bottom-up process where learners hear sounds and
need to decode those sounds from the smaller units to large texts, but it is also,
as argued by Nunan (2001:201) a top-down process where learners reconstruct
‘the original meaning of the speaker using incoming sounds as clues. In this
reconstruction process, the listener uses prior knowledge of the context and
situation within which the listening takes place to make sense of what he or
she hears’. Lee and Van Patten (1993, 2005) argue that listening is an active
and productive skill and they embrace the Wolvin and Coakley (1985) model
which emphasizes that listeners must be active participants during listening
comprehension activities. According to Wolvin and Coakley listeners use
a series of mental processes and prior knowledge sources to understand and
interpret what they hear. Wolvin and Coakley (1985) support the view that
listening is a very active skill given that learners are actively engaged in differ-
ent processes while they are exposed to aural stimuli. Wolvin and Coakley
distinguish between three main processes (see Lee and Van Patten, 1995:60):
perceiving;
attending;
assigning meaning.
As highlighted by Lee and Van Patten (1995:60) ‘perceiving refers to the
physiological aspects of listening.’ Attending requires an ‘active concentration
by the listener’. Assigning meaning involves ‘personal, cultural and linguistic
matters interacting in complex ways’. The lesson to learn from these views
according to Nunan (2001:203) is that ‘ it is important, not only to teach
bottom-up processing skills such as the ability to discriminate between mini-
mal parts, but it is also important to help learners use what they already know
to understand what they hear.’ Lee and Van Patten (1995) distinguish between
various types of listening tasks and this is on the basis of the following
factors:
(a) role of learners and tasks;
(b) learners strategies.

Japanese Language Teaching 110
(a) In everyday life people engage in a variety of situations during which
they listen. In developing classroom listening task we need to take into consid-
eration two types: collaborative or reciprocal listening; non-collaborative or
nonreciprocal listening. Collaborative or reciprocal tasks involve an exchange
between two people and negotiation of meaning on both parts (the speaker
and the listener). In non-collaborative or nonreciprocal tasks there is no nego-
tiation of meaning and the listener is only an observant (this is often the sce-
nario in language classrooms). According to Rost (1990) listeners play an
important role in constructing the discourse. (b) The listener must be given opportunities to reflect on their learning
processes and can be equipped with a range of learning strategies. These strat-
egies as highlighted by Nunan (2001:219) would include the ability to listen
for specific information, gist or a specific purpose, inferencing and personaliz-
ing. Learners must be aware of what they are doing and what the activity is
trying to achieve. Now if we look at listening in the language classroom the two main ques-
tions to be asked are (see Lee and Van Patten, 1995:66): What kind of listening
tasks are learners engaged in the classroom? Do they have the opportunity to
develop their skills and strategies?
Learners are generally engaged in listening tasks that are collaborative and
non-collaborative (particularly in the language laboratory). The challenge is
to develop listening task which will stimulate the development of listening
skills while equipping them with listening strategies. As Littlewood argued
(1981:67) ‘the nature of listening comprehension means that the learner
should be encouraged to engage in an active process of listening for meanings,
using not only the linguistic cues but also his metalinguistic knowledge.’ According to Lee and Van Patten (1995) learners can begin to develop lis-
tening skills if instructors take the following steps to (adapted from Lee and
Van Patten, 1995:68)
(1) expose listeners to comprehensible input;
(2) use the target language to conduct business;
(3) allow learners to nominate topics and structure the discourse. Learners are much more
likely to get involved and become active listener and participant;
(4) develop a listening task for a specific communicative purpose;
(5) respond to learner as a listener, not an instructor. That is, as a listener the instructor
should engage in appropriate listening performance. In this way, learners see and hear
how to perform as listeners in the second language;

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 111
(6) provide some good listening gambits to learners. In addition to simply allowing more
opportunities for collaborative listening, instructors can also point ou
t to learners’ typi-
cal listening gambits for signalling non-understanding, confirmation, an
d so forth.
In Activity C, learners of Japanese are given a listening task developed with
the intent of closing the gap between the listening test and the learner. In step
1, the purpose of the activity is to activate the knowledge readers will need to
possess in order to understand the message conveyed in the text. In step 2,
learners are asked to understand elements and parts of the text.
Activity C
(l.ç5ô
+Zf9ç
yºê 0Ç•
Co=:6;9çÈéÁ#åÊá” K|Ç ½ÇÊå¿
•
+Zf9ç íäØÁÛÌä”åæǽÞÚÛ¿•
Co=:6;9ç å
úÚé•
+Zf9ç ØÞᔿ¿”¿ÿå•
Co=:6;9ç¿¿âý¡¿âýå¿
”ÚÛ åé•$sÇ*9áÚ-
 
`(/436
!
-
 1-à¿á êá”$sæ%I¿ÆÌ”3›
ÊÚé•
$í|0žéºÇ4?
È”$sêØé0žæ
6”/ÛÐÞÚé•0ž
1‡0©Òá¿4F”
é5Çé 6ÇÿÔÉá”
×ý-×ÃåÆÞÚ
•
âý¿#3Ü

0žé
âúßÌÚé•I_o Ç ÑÆåÊá”0žÇ
[ùåÆÞÚÛÌä”$í|[ùÞÚé•0ž
4 ÚƒÓ
Ç-×ÃÚé•
1- 
5¸IÇ
´á¿ÎãæÇÇß¿Úé•
+Zf9ç åÛÞá•
Co=:6;9çØÁåé”5¸IÛÞÚé•
+Zf9ç ãÎâÈéÁ”6ÍÇÒÊåÆÞÚ•
Co=:6;9翿Ô
×ƽÞÚé•
+Zf9 1-
qDo9o
4F5I
0- ¿ÚÆ•
äéÁåå
úÚÎãǽùÔÆ•
åã¡é1‘¿ê
×âÔÆ•
å
-×ÚÎãǽùÔÆ•
'5( ç5ô9Ý
6J^9Þ
qÇé.d
Òá¿é
(^¿áÊÛп•ØêåâÒÚÆ”
¿¿âÒÚÆ• (Continued)

Japanese Language Teaching 112
Activity C—Cont’d

éäé.*²ÇØéé
ââáÈùÒÚÆ•
/Ò¿0ž
#3Ü
Ó
9%¿ò6
ZH1�

#~|

3›“
'5( ç5ô9Þ
ýÁ û2Ä¥
(^¿á”
é&×
.dé5Å!ßæ
ôáÊÛп•
Question to reflect on . . .
Look at listening comprehension Activity C. Can you think of an additional activity in
Japanese?
Littelewood (1981:68) has discussed and presented different types of listen-
ing comprehension activities that will help learners to develop their listening
skills. Performing physical tasks and transferring information are very com-
mon listening tasks in text-book. In the case of ‘performing physical tasks’
learners might be asked to identify specific information in the message they
hear. Learners can be asked to focus their attention on specific features by
scanning the aural text for specific information (see Activity D). With transferring information listening tasks, learners not only have to
extract some meaningful information from the text but also need to transfer
(e.g. filling a table, completing a chart) some specific information in order to
complete the task (see Activity E and F).
Activity D (Performing physical tasks)
.d
(^¿á”Øé.dæ½Á&×
5Åæ
ôåп•
]ˆ
ðé”
­âãÄæ-ÞÚ•ØêÔëÒ¿
­ÛÞÚ•$sÚÜêò
i
æ6'î%Ü” û1s4Fò
iæ[÷ÒÚ•Øéß”•û

-×æ-È”ØÒá
i1ú
ó-ÞÚ•$sÚÜêýÁ û1s4F”�éØëæ[÷ÒÚ•$sÚÜê8¬
é21s4F

ãÄâ1ŠÏÒÚ•

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 113
14 – 28
Activity E (Transferring information)
±Ž0©$–
50žz ]
(^¿á”
é-+
Rüåп•1 4éò
i-Èé É0žêJ6;HoS 3 Æ10(æ ´"’Ò”11 (
¨
æò
iæ Ô#¿ÚÒùÔ•
2 4é
i1ú-ÈêJ6;HoS2 æÚÛ¿ù Ô#Ò”9 (æ ´"’¿Ú
ÒùÔ•²-Ð(4Fê3 (4FâÔ•
3 4éò
ió Ô#Ô"4‹-Èé É0žêJ6;HoSÆ16(æ
´"’Ò”"4‹æ 18 (æ Ô#¿ÚÒùÔ•
"á"›þ ´"’ # J6;HoS
9:00

i 18:00
Activity F (Transferring information)

Ðé!¢tã…ÖéÎã
-+ÒÚ¥é û%µ
(^È”
é-+
âÈÛÌØ
鱎âRüåп•

Áê9Ý9å9â9ÜæãÄâ!¢ùÚÇ”`f<fæ
Ñâ¿á”#]>6+
â Û¿á¿•
Ðæê9Þ
qé·ã9Ý9äféw6Ç¿•w6ê û!ß
â”
ú6é·9Ý9Ü
 èæ!¢ùá¿•Ðé„ê9áf
â”!],
qÛ•!°
Áê9Ý9å9ä9å

�ê”ãÄ.†é.àçãÒá#]>6+"Gâ Û¿á¿• (Continued)

Japanese Language Teaching 114
Activity F—Cont’d
Ö& ì
Ñþ 9‚ (o$³ãØé¼
4Fw6ã
·é
9‚„éÖ
&
„é
9‚
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you think of an additional listening activity in Japanese following
Littlewood
typology?
Developing oral communicative tasks
In the previous chapters of this book, we have argued that instruction should
move from input practice to output practice. Acquisition is intake dependent
and instructors would need to provide learners with opportunities in the input
they are exposed to, to make correct form–meaning connections. Once learn-
ers have hopefully internalized forms and made those form–meaning map-
pings (through structured input activities or other communicative grammar
tasks and not through drills or pattern practice) and the linguistics situation in
which the language makes use of these form–meaning connections, we should
provide opportunity for L2 learners to use the target language for communica-
tive purpose. Van Patten (2003) has defined output as the language produced
by learners that has a communicative purpose and it is produced for a specific
meaning. Oral communicative practice is in antithesis with traditional oral
practice largely used in traditional text-bo
ok. In traditional oral tasks, learners
are asked to look at some pictures or a dialogue and then perform that dia-
logue following a specific pattern (a typical task/exercise is: look at the pictures
and practice the following patterns in Japanese). Another form of traditional
oral task which is normally found in language text-books is to ask L2 learners
to talk about a topic (e.g. describe a friend or a member of your family or talk

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 115
about your weekend. . .) without taking into consideration the main principles
of the communication act.As described by Savignon (2005) and emphasized by Lee and Van Patten
(1995:148), the communication act involves ‘the expression, interpretation and
negotiation of meaning’ in a given context. Assuming that the context is the
classroom, we must create classroom activities that stimulate communication
in the language classroom. These activities are called by Lee and Van Patten
(1995) as ‘information–exchange tasks’. Lee and Van Patten (1995:156) have pro-
posed some guidelines to be used to develop these types of activities such as
(1) identification of a topic;
(2) design an appropriate and immediate purpose;
(3) identify the information source.
(1) First of all, when deciding what type of activity we should develop, we
must establish a topic that is familiar, appropriate, interesting and relevant
Activity G
'5( ç5ô9Ý
"],Q,æ
×
ÒÚÆ”
ù1�ã.dÒ'ÞáÊÛп•
'5( ç5ô9Þ
Step 1 ",é
qæ
é ]ˆæØÞá.d
(^¿á-+
b‘ÐÖáÊÛп•
 "],Q,!.d
1  è
2  è
3  è
Step 2 ½åÚÇ",é
qÆ(^¿Ú"],Q,é.dã½åÚé"],Q,

§ô”§0»
 #t


Namae Doko ni Dare to Itsu Donogurai Nani de Tabemono Kaimono

Japanese Language Teaching 116
(related to every-day life) to the language. In the case of Activity G (adapted
from Lee and Van Patten, 1995, 2003), the topic is holiday and birthday
celebrations. In designing ‘information–exchange tasks’ two main points must
be kept in mind: level of learner; linguistic demands of the task.(2) In designing a task, we must make sure that learners collect data through
production speech activities for a speci fic purpose. In Activity G learners are
given a questionnaire in order to find out what their friends would like to do
over the holiday. In Activity G, learners must complete the table in order to
gather some information about their friend’s (e.g. filling a table or answering
questions) birthday celebrations. The main purpose of ‘information-exchange tasks’ is not just about getting
or exchanging information but also to do something with the information
gathered. L2 learners must have a specific reason for obtaining information
and be guided in what to do with the information they have collected. (3) The purpose of the task would clarify the information source required.
In the case of Activity G the information source is learners’ personal experience. Another example of an exchange information task (adapted from Lee, 2000)
is Activity H.
Activity H
1. ½åÚéDo;=oã”ØÙé
G
Þê”5RÆå
G
ÞÆt"’å
G
ÞÆ”1@
ôáÊÛп•½åÚãDo;=oéç-×Ç+Óâ½ÎãÇ-ÐâÔ•
 ÒÕÆåäÁÐ ÆÞìßåäÁÐ
Do9oâÅä ::
C"æé ::
9_F%oSâ½Øñ : :
,Po7
 : :

 : :
9_F
 : :

 : :

 : :
Îé ½6
Ìæ
�é",é
qý+çÒùÔÆ•
2. ½åÚãDo;=oâ”
�æ9ßßé5RÆå
G
ÞùÚêt"’å
G
Þé¥
ƒ

Ãåп•
ÒÕÆåäÁÐ ÆÞìßåäÁÐ
: :
::
::

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 117
3. Do;=oæ 51s
×
ÒÚÆ(^¿á”,96J9àâ-Ðåéâ”-áÃá¿
áÊÛп•
4. Do;=oé%uÃ
”,96J9Ý9Ø9Þâ ½6ÒÚéã§ô”ØÒá
éä
æ°áêùùÔÆ•
ãáýÒÕÆ äÜãý¿Ãå¿ ““ãáýÆÞìß
1 2 3
4 5
5. ØÙé-
Gæ»Òáé½åÚé.O 
ýãæ”",é-+
ÞÞáÊ
Ûп•", K
Õé 51sé-
GêäÁÛÞÚâÒÁÆ•
Lee and Van Patten (1995, 2003) have suggested that we should move from
structured input activities (see Chapter 4) to structured output activities (see
activities I and J below) when we aim at practising grammar. Both activities
follow the guidelines provided by Lee and Van Patten( 2003:154, 1995:121) to
(1) present one thing at a time;
(2) keep meaning in focus;
(3) move from sentences to connected discourse;
(4) use both written and oral output;
(5) others must respond to the content of the output.
Learners of Japanese should be involved in the exchange of previously
unknown information while at the same time use and produce a particular
target form or structure to express meaning.
Activity I
1. ½åÚé…ÖæãÞá
.%éØÙé-
GêʽÎãÆ”½ùå
¿ÎãâÒÁÆ•
 


ʽ ½ùå¿
1. úÆÌÚãÈæÛÈÒü½Á
2. úÆÌÚãÈæ ,Ò½Á
3. Êâ

Æ̽Á
4. ÅÚÇ¿
ÚÔ̽Á
5. ÅÚÇ¿
ÊÆ¿Òá¿
2. ,96J9Ýé:
öÞáf2FXoéQé",T;óé/°ç

((ÃáØÒáf2FXoÒáÊÛп•
3. ,96J9Ý9Ø9Þé:
öÞᔽåÚé…ÖãDo;=oé…Öé
ÔÎã
§ô”ŽT 
ÞÞáÊÛп•Ø
",éúåæŽT
Ò½¿”½åÚé&¿.°
´ÒáÊÛп•

Japanese Language Teaching 118
Activity J
1. 5!¢é
­æß¿á”¥é¨ Ëé1ñ ½
(^È”ÆÞÎé
é
G.V
ÒÊ
 Ô¥
b‘ÐÖåп•
1. ________________
-ë
.0èùÒÚ•
2. ________________ Êù
ñßÌùÒÚ•
1. Æê2]æ¿ÈùÒÚ“
2. Æê2]æ¿ùÒÚ•
2. äéÁæ
­
1ŠÏÒÚÆ”¨
Ð9áßé¥
é-+æ Èåп•
 Do;=o
U
-'Do;=o
-+ Èåп•
“)D ½
ù1�
3. ¥
§ô½¿”ÛÇ û!ßÚéÒ¿
­
ÔÏÒÚÆ-×ßÌáåп•
Question to reflect on . . .
Look at the oral tasks presented so far. Can you think of an additional activity in
Japanese?
Developing role plays tasks
Littlewood (1981:49) has pointed out that ‘in looking for ways of creating
more varied form of interaction in the classroom, teachers of foreign languages
(like their colleagues in mother-tongue teaching) have turned increasingly to the
field of simulation and, within that field, especially role-playing’. Role-playing
is a technique which is essentially a form of simulation where learners are
involved in gathering, exchanging information and communicating efficiently.
As indicated by Littlewood (1981:51) there is a typology as far as role-playing
is concerned. The so-called ‘cued dialogues’ (see example below) allow learn-
ers to interact with each other to convey a specific message. Although it is a
quite controlled task as learners are asked to use specific language to commu-
nicate, they need to listen and understand their partner in order to respond.

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 119
Cued Dialogue
o<
.’â`o^J_o
Žüåп•10%uÔ èæDo;=oé.Þá¿
Îã
#Õ.zÒåп•
Player A Player B
A:
1
.B:
1
- 0
A:Ÿ 0ÇâÔ ã.Á B:
1
66.
A: .
 B: )/÷
-+ ûÔ
You can develop another form of cued-dialogue with additional informa-
tion as in the example below. Learners need to gather some information for a
specific communicative purpose (e.g. book a room, decide on the price, gath-
ering information to make a decision). The result is that learners are assuming
greater responsibility to convey a message and gather the information required.
There is less control from the teacher, and learners are asked to become more
creative.
Cued dialogue with additional information
 Xo3`o#ã1J
鱎
Role Play A
½åÚêò
iæ¿ùÔ•ØÒáN9^é1ñð

�Òá¿ùÔ• û1”*Vbo
ãÅ6M
ƒé û
q1ñðÇ-ÐâÔ• o‘ã
�æN9^æäå.3 »Ç½Æ

èÎãÇ-ÐâÔ•
Role Play B
½åÚêN9^â Û¿á¿ùÔ•
Q
q1ñðê$è¿á¿ùÖ• û
q1ñðæê*V
boãÅ6MäÜý
ƒ¿á¿ùÔ•Ôôáé1ñðæ9_FǽùÔ• û1
15000 ^âº6)
ƒÈâÔ•N9^æêJo^ã(=
ƒÈé+SǽùÔ•
In the next example of role-playing with situation and goals as Littlewood
(1981:56) suggests ‘learners are initially aware only of the overall situation and
their own goal in it. They must negotiate their interaction itself as it unfolds,
each partner responding spontaneously to other’s communicative acts and
strategies’. In the example below learners are giving a role card designed to encourage
L2 learners to manipulate the language in the input in a very creative way. The
framework of this role-play would facilitate the skimming and scanning of the
cards. Each card is divided into four parts: background, start, core, end (see
Benati and Peressini, 1998). The background part is to provide both players

Japanese Language Teaching 120
with the background and set up the scene. The starting part is to help learners
to begin the action and be aware of social conventions. The core part is to pro-
vide suggestions and to direct the interaction. The suggestions in brackets are
there to stimulate thinking so that learners can develop their own ideas for
their interaction (see below how to implement the role play in the language
classroom) and also given the opportunity to improvise in a real communica-
tion task.
Role playing with situation and goals
`o^J_oã A+ã"á"›
Role A (At the Bar)
(›J9æ½åÚê!],
qéG!¢âÔ•ØÒáãÄéFo^
DIâ66â¿ù
Ô•9Ô½åÚ“êãÄéFo^Ç"bÈâÔ9Õ9(”ãÄ
qãA
öÆé
G!¢ÇDIæ IÞáêùÔ•
Žù9æãÄ
qG!¢éHç
�È”)DÆ&«
zÒåп•Fo^

Xüåп•
m9æ
³.d
&ïÌ”4é/°ç
Òåп9ÔÁ,”Ö& ”G$|”””9Õ•
�ééG
!¢é/°ç
(^Ê9Ô½åÚé1sÃé
Mo”””9Õ
&³
9æ(.
-×á”-ÆåÌëåå¿ã.‘ÿÒ”ÐÁåã.Á•
Role B (At the Bar) Coæá
(›J9æ½åÚê`f<fæ¿ãÄ
qG!¢â”)÷.†

@�Òá¿ùÔ•
y”
9(â”ãÄéFo^
66üë¿¿åãDIæ I•
Žù9æ½åÚæ1-à¿áêG!¢æ”ÎæÜêã.Á•
m9æ)DÆ&«
z
Ò”ÆèÚ/°çæ%uÃ9Ô, è”Ö& ”G$|”””9ÕØÒá
/°ç
Ô9ÔG!¢é1sÃé
Mo9Õ•G!¢æ+ZféÎã
#nÞá¿ÆÆè”
ýÒ-ÐÛÞÚ+Zfé $ý
1@ô•
&³
9æÐÁåã.Á
Îé`o^J_oê
.%éÁæ
ö!ªÐôÈÛ•
‘4Ï9Ý9Ô0 »9Õ9æG( (*ê0 »ÔÚüæ Θé`o^o<
Õ
("ç»éo<
-×áê¿Ìå¿)•Îé0 »ê
Ä(%u &Îé2€öåÒâ”
1g
ã#ÕÐé0


%ÌÛÁ•
‘4Ï9Þ9ÔvÛ9Õ9æG( (*êMâ"á¡..†â
dyÔ•Îé‘4Ïâê
M¼Òå¿
A+óé»óéÏ
³
­ ÔÛÌâêåÊ”G( (*é(^È”.dÒÇéy
pÐ
0
ÐÖ•
‘4Ï9ß9ÔŽT9Õ9æG( (*éÿÇã¥
{"ݍ/
7üÎã
�
{ÔÛÌâê

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 121
åÊ”"á¡..†é
ö!ªæ
û ÔÁæ”G( (*é ´êUÃæ»ÒáHo<C
6"Ç
ÃôÈÛ•
As Littlewood (1981:51) argues role-plays ‘gives the interaction some of the
uncertainty and spontaneity involved in real communication.’
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you develop one more activity/task in Japanese for each of the following:?
Cued dialogue
Cued dialogue with additional information
Role playing with situation and goals
Functional communicative tasks
Littlewood (1981:22) has identified four types of functional communication
activities:
(1) sharing information with restricted cooperation;
(2) sharing information with unrestricted cooperation;
(3) sharing and processing information;
(4) processing information.
As indicated by Littlewood (1981:22) ‘the principle underlying functional
communication activities is that the teacher structures the situation so that
learners have to overcome an information gap or solve a problem.’ In the first type (1) of Littlewood’s communicative tasks tipology learners
must share and exchange some basic information, through interaction, in
order to complete the task. Tasks can be designed so that one learner has to
interact with another learner to discover some missing information. In the second type (2) of functional communication task presented by
Littlewood, learners are allowed to interact without restriction in order to
solve the problem and complete the task. In both types of tasks, learners must
share information to complete the task. As explained by Littlewood (1982:33) in the third (3) and fourth (4) type of
functional communication activities he pr oposed, these activities ‘work on the
“jigsaw” principle: each learner in pair or group possesses information which
is unique to him: he must share it with others; together, the different pieces of
information provide the material for solving a particular problem’. Learners
are not only asked to share information but also to discuss and evaluate spe-
cific information to complete the task.

Japanese Language Teaching 122
Developing reading
communicative tasks
Japanese is different from romance languages in that reading in Japanese is
made more complicated by Japanese writing unique features. As argued by
Chikamatsu (2003:187) ‘Japanese writing system does not involve only one
type of orthography. Japanese involves both logographic and alphabetic
orthographies. Logographic kanji does not have any systematic sound-letter
correspondence, and this make reading challenging for L2 Japanese readers.’
Similarly the development of listening skills, reading skills are affected by two
types of processing: bottom-up and top-down processing. The bottom-up
approach consists of the ability for the reader to decode the linguistics informa-
tion (e.g. orthographic knowledge , lexical (kanji) and syntactic knowledge) in
a written text in a gradual way: from the small to large units. Readers will pro-
cess letters and characters, and analyse and interpret the meaning words and
sentences. Top-down processing will involve processing beyond the analysis of
linguistics information (e.g. knowledge of text structure, prior knowledge
(topics fami liarity, culture awareness)). The so-called Schema Theory (Lee and Van Patten, 1995, 2003) suggests
that as learners, our knowledge impacts on how we process and understand
new incoming information. As argued by Nunan (2001:257) ‘the basic princi-
ple behind schema theory is that texts themselves, whether spoken or written,
do not carry meaning; rather they provide signposts, or clues to be utilized
by listeners or readers in reconstructing the original meaning of speakers or
writers.’ Some research into the development of reading skills has yielded very
interesting results. Minaminosono (1997) conducted a study investigating
reading behaviours in intermediate and advanced learners of Japanese. Despite
the fact that the results of this study showed that advanced L2 learners of
Japanese rely less on bottom-up strategies than poor readers, bottom-up strat-
egies play overall a much more important role in the development of reading
skills among L2 Japanese learners than top-down strategies. Japanese second language researchers have undertaken research on bottom-
up processing in L2 Japanese reading. They generally found that L2 learners
of Japanese, even at advanced level, rely mostly on bottom-up processing
(Everson and Kuriya, 1999). Research findings on reading Japanese texts by
foreign learners have shown that pre reading activities are extremely useful in

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 123
activating the Schema (Chikamatsu, 2003). Among the main pedagogical impli-
cations from research in L2 Japanese reading (see Chikamatsu, 2003) are:
– Pre reading activities are very effective to improve schema activation and use of reading strategies;
– Reading should be done for a real-life specific purpose;
– Learners should be asked to perform tasks based on information learned through their reading.
The pedagogical implication of the Schema Theory is the understanding
that reading is an interactive process between readers, and texts and readers
must associate elements in a text with their pre reading knowledge (Rumelhart,
1980). Reading activities in traditional text -books consist mainly of two types:
translation tasks (read a passage and translate into Japanese); answer ques-
tions from a text (a typical task/exercise is: Read the dialogue/text and answer
the following questions). Reading should be viewed, as claimed by Van Patten
and Lee (1995:189), as ‘reading in another language rather than as an exercise
in translation’. The fact that language learners do not necessarily have the ver-
bal virtuosity of a native reader means instructors need to use some strategies
to help them. The framework presented here takes into consideration the need
to guide learners in their comprehension of a text. The three main steps (see Lee and Van Patten, 1995:199–211) that need to
be undertaken in a reading comprehension activity are
(A) preparation
(B) guided interaction
(C) assimilation
Our intention is to develop a reading activity to teach Japanese using the
model presented by Lee and Van Patten (1995, 2003).
(A) Pre reading activities must be included to improve the activation of
learners’ existing knowledge. In order to prepare the learners and activate the
knowledge which is relevant to a particular text we want to present and use,
many techniques are available. Some of these have been highlighted by Lee and
Van Patten (1995:199–204):
brainstorming as a whole class exercise or in pairs. This can take place before reading the
text and should help to bridge the gap between the reader and a text;z

Japanese Language Teaching 124
titles, headings and illustrations can be exploited as a means to activa
te learners’ back-
ground knowledge;
scanning for specific information can be used in the case of a text that
does not need
extensive preparation. We could ask learners to scan the text for specific information
that will activate appropriate knowledge.
In Activity K, step 1, learners are asked to read the title of the text and based
on that to write down some of the issues they expect to find in the text. This is
to activate readers’ knowledge that will be needed to use to understand the
information in the text. This is an attempt to bridge the gap between the read-
ers and the text. (B) This is the phase where learners explore the content of a text. We should
provide a guide to this process so as to avoid learners reading word for word.
This phase consists of a combination of two types of tasks (Lee and Van Patten,
1995:204):
management strategies in which we suggest ways to divide a text and divi
de it into small
parts;
comprehension checks implemented during the guided interaction phase so that
readers
are monitored in an ongoing way.
In step 2 of Activity K, readers are asked to read the text quickly and check
whether they have discovered some of the details and issues covered in this text. In step 3, learners are asked to interact with the text by exploring part or
section of the text. (C) In the assimilation phase the learners are given a series of tasks in which
they organize the information in the text (see Lee and Van Patten, 1995:207). Step 4 of Activity K, is designed to check and verify comprehension. The pur-
pose of this activity is to encourage readers to learn from what they have read.
Activity K
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Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 125
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Japanese Language Teaching 126
Activity K—Cont’d
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Question to reflect on . . .
Look at reading and comprehension Activity K. Can you think of an additional activity in
Japanese?
Developing writing
communicative tasks
As outlined by Lee and Van Patten (1995, 2003) researchers in composition
have emphasized the importance of composing processes. As highlighted by
Lee and Van Patten (1995:216), Flowers and Hayes (1981) have argued that
writing is a cognitive process that involves a series of sub-processes. Writing
is a process where learners explore, consolidate and develop rhetorical
objectives. The same definition used for communication is applicable to the written
language. We express ourselves both in speaking and in writing. When we
write a grocery list we accomplish an act of communication (Lee and Van
Patten, 1995:215). The most famous cognitive process theory of writing is

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 127
the one put forward by Flower and Hayes (1981). Their model develops around
three main components (see Lee and Van Patten, 1995:216):
(1) task environment (the title can constrain the content of a paper);
(2) learner’s memory (refers to the long-term memory the writer possesses);
(3) writing processes (i.e. planning, translating, reviewing, monitoring).
Kingawa (1993) carried out a study with learners studying Japanese at
intermediate level. This study supported Flower and Hayes’s model (1981) as
the findings showed that although different L1 (the participants were native
speakers of different L1) might have in impact on how L2 learners of Japanese
develop writing skills, overall the study showed that all learners of Japanese use
planning, writing and reviewing extensively as strategies for writing. Another study (Hatasa and Soeda, 2001; and see also Hatasa, 2003) which
investigated the importance of composing processing in writing among
advanced L2 learners of Japanese, also provides some support to Flower and
Hayes’s model. The findings of this study showed that the L1 and L2 writing
processes are very similar and L2 learners rely on planning and evaluation in
their composition. The Flower and Hayes’s model presents the different set of thoughts and
processes writers engage in while writing. Lee and Van Patten (1995:222) pro-
pose an approach to language writing (‘co mposing-oriented activities’) which
is based on the Flower and Hayes model. This approach consists of two main
phases (in Lee and Van Patten: 1995:222):
pre writing activities in which learners are given different options so that they can make
a choice and decide on the direction of their composition;
writing phase which begins when the preparatory phase is over.
The following is a sample of the various steps (from Lee and Van Patten,
1995:222) used in developing a composing activity from the pre writing phase
to the writing phase:
Step 1. Instructor assigns one topic to students in groups;
Step 2. Each group has an amount of time to make a list of ideas related to that topic;
Step 3. Each group should copy the lists from the other groups to be used later in writing;
Step 4. Take your outline and list of ideas and write your composition. You should write a
draft of the work and let it sit sometime. You should ask yourself two questions:
Are these still the ideas I want to include? Does the order in which the ideas are
presented help get my message across? If the answer is no, you should rewrite the
composition.
z
z

Japanese Language Teaching 128
Activity L is an example of how we can develop writing activities following
Lee and Van Patten’ model (1995, 2003).
Activity L
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Question to reflect on . . .
Look at written Activity I. Can you think of an additional activity in J
apanese?

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 129
Summary
In this chapter, we have provided some practical suggestions for developing
L2 learners’ communicative language abilities by focusing on classroom
communication and interaction. Our main purpose was to offer alternative
and more communicative techniques to the teaching of listening, speaking,
reading and writing skills in Japanese. The results of classroom research in second language acquisition briefly
reviewed in previous chapters have revealed the limited role of explicit and
formal instruction. However, in a communicative approach we should not
renounce the teaching of grammar and we should develop less implicit
approaches to grammar instruction. Grammar instruction is traditionally
taught through this sequence: explanation + drill + output practice. To chal-
lenge the traditional approach to grammar teaching we have examined in
Chapter 4 a type of grammar instruction called processing instruction. This type of grammar instruction takes into consideration the way learners
process input and offers opportunities for learners to make better form mean-
ing connections. Structured output activities should follow structured input
activities. One particularly important part of communicative language teaching is
to help students to develop the ability to listen for a specific purpose. In order
to develop learners’ listening skills, instructors should provide some tasks
which reflect listening situations occu rring outside the classroom. Learners
should be guided to the task of listening in terms of what meanings they should
expect from the passage. However, as in the case of communicative tasks they
must be able (take responsibility) to extract the main content/information
from the text. Our goal in the classroom is not to make L2 learners practise language
but to make them use the language to obtain information and then perform
some kind of communicative act with the information they have gathered.
For this particular reason, we have presented ‘information-exchange tasks’ as
a communicative oral task. Role plays can be used to recreate everyday
situations and give L2 learners the opportunity to interact with each other.
Communicative tasks will allow learners to interact in communicative situa-
tions, express real language, develop communicative skills and express their
own opinion.

Japanese Language Teaching 130
Reading is also an important component of a communicative classroom.
However we have proposed a reading comprehension framework which has
challenged the way reading is done in traditional approaches (translation and
answering questions). In a communicative approach, we take into account the
processes responsible for reading comprehension and should develop a step by
step approach (from pre reading to personalization). For writing we have described a similar step-by step approach (pre writing
to writing).
More questions to reflect on . . .
(1) Can you compare communicative oral tasks with traditional tasks and provide an
example?
(2) Can you compare communicative reading tasks with traditional tasks and provide an
example?
(3) Can you compare grammar output communicative tasks (e.g. structured output
activities) with traditional instruction output tasks and provide an example?
Key terms
Listening comprehension communicative tasks: we presented communicative tasks
for listening comprehension based on the understanding that L2 learners must be
motivated communicatively.
Oral communicative tasks: we presented and described exchange information tasks (Lee and Van Patten, 1995, 2003) as oral communicative tasks which stimulate comm
u-
nication in the language classroom.
Reading comprehension communicative tasks: we presented and described reading comprehension activities (Lee and Van Patten, 1995, 2003) based on an interactional
framework between the reader and the text.
Role play tasks: we presented different simulation techniques (Littlewood, 1981) to pro- mote interaction in the language classroom.
Structure output activities: output-based practice which would allow L2 learners to exchange previously unknown information while at the same time focus on a particula
r
target form or structure to express meaning.
Writing communicative tasks: we presented and described composing-oriented activi- ties (Lee and Van Patten, 1995, 2003) as communicative tasks to L2 writing which
involves a step by step approach to writing (Prewriting phase is followed by the writing
phase).

Designing Communicative Tasks in Teaching Japanese 131
Further reading
Lee, J. (2000a). Tasks and Communicating in Language Classrooms. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Lee, J. and Van Patten, B. (1995). Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen . New York:
McGraw-Hill.
Lee, J. and Van Patten, B. (2003). Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen , 2nd ed. New York:
McGraw-Hill.
Nunan, D. (2001). Second Language Teaching and Learning . Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.
Omaggio Hadley, A.(2001). Teaching Language in Context , 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.
Savignon, S. (2005). Communicative Competence: Theory and Classroom Practice . New York:
McGraw-Hill.

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In Chapter 6 of Part C of this book the ‘experimental methodology’ used in
classroom research will be presented with the view of encouraging teachers
and researchers to undertake classroom studies to investigate Japanese lan-
guage learning and teaching. Findings from classroom-based research investi-
gating the role of grammar teaching in the acquisition of Japanese will be
presented in Chapter 7.
Part C
Classroom Research

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Introduction
Before examining in detail the main components of the experimental method-
ology, we must stress that second language research has very often a theoretical
and an applied scope. In the so-called ‘applied research’ approach (Nunan,
1992) the researcher is interested in verifying the effectiveness of a theory. The
researcher might be interested in investigating a particular theory in second
language to look at practical implications for language teaching. At the same
time, findings from classroom-based research could lead to a revision of sec-
ond language theories. Let us consider, for example, an experiment that inves-
tigates and compares the effectiveness of different language teaching methods
or techniques. Although the main aim of this experiment will be to establish
which method or technique is more effective, the results from this experimen-
tal research would be of interest to theoreticians since a particular theory
might predict that using a particular method would be more effective than
another.
The Experimental Methodology 6
Chapter Outline
Introduction 135
Experimental research: characteristics and components 139
The research cycle 143
Designs in experimental studies 154
Summary 165
More questions to refl ect on . . . 165
Key terms 166
Further reading 166

Japanese Language Teaching 136
Chaudron (1988) identified four main traditions in second language
research:
psychometric tradition;
interaction analysis tradition;
discourse analysis tradition;
ethnographic tradition.
The interaction analysis tradition is based on the analysis and observation
of classroom interaction in terms of social meanings. It utilizes various instru-
ments and observation systems for co ding classroom interactions. The dis-
course analysis tradition aims at, from a linguistic perspective, fully analysing
classroom discourse through studies of classroom transcripts. The ethno-
graphic tradition seeks to study the classroom as a cultural system through
naturalistic observation and description. The psychometric tradition genera lly aims at investigating and determin-
ing language gains from different methods, techniques or materials through
the use of the an experimental method. This approach was first applied
in large-scale method comparison studies (Sherer and Wertheimer, 1964). In
these studies, students were randomly assigned to groups. The experimental
groups were taught through an innovative teaching method and the control
groups through a ‘traditional multiple approach method’. The groups were
then tested at the end of the experimental period. Despite the fact that usually
some differences between groups were found through achievement tests, the
results of this type of study are difficult to interpret as little control was used
in establishing what exactly went on inside the classroom. There was no instru-
ment to provide a systematic observatio n to describe classroom practices in
detail, and there was no control as far as the characteristics of the population
is concerned. Therefore, it was difficult to know in what way the classes were
different from each other. Even if the groups were found to perform differently
on certain measures, it was very difficult to establish to what to attribute these
differences. Long (1980) called for a mo re precise description of specific
instructional procedures in studies examining the relationship between
instructional input and learning outcomes. Small-scale method comparison studies were carried out with the intention of
isolating and comparing the effects of smaller units of instruction on learning.
Although these studies were very valuable, they produced inconclusive results.
The language teaching process cannot be restricted to the description of a
particular method or technique. Other factors (linguistic, sociological and

The Experimental Methodology 137
psychological) play their part and contribute to the complex series of interac-
tions which take place in the classroom.Allwright (1988:196) has pointed out that
‘it is necessary to find out what actually happens in language classe
s, not assum-
ing that all that happens is that a particular method or a particular te
chnique is
simply implemented, but assuming that something below the level of techn
ique,
something less pedagogical takes place.’
Larsen-Freeman and Long (1991) have claimed that in order to promote
experimental research in the area of teaching methodologies, future research
should focus on more local practices. Another main requirement, pointed out
by Spada (1990), is that, experimental research design should include both
process (what is actually happening in the classroom) and product (what the
learning outcomes are) with an observation component built in to verify the
implementation of a particular method or technique. A final requirement is that
experimental research should be theoretically motivated in order to present a
coherent view of the language teaching and language learning process. The psy-
chometric tradition is quantitative in its approach as it is concerned with prod-
uct outcomes. Its methods and instruments involve numerical measurement
and statistical analysis. However, despite the goal of this approach, a process
dimension (classroom observation instru ment) should be built into the experi-
mental design to give a better account of the teaching and learning process. Second language research is carried out for different purposes and is gener-
ated from different sources. Sometimes we are driven to research through
reading an interesting article or through our own personal interest in a theory
for which we intend to collect some su pport to prove its effectiveness. Other
times our common sense and our personal interest guides us into research.
Box 6.1 Why instructors carry out research
To monitor and influence the direction of new developments.
To try to find out what is actually going on, recognizing that what actually occurs
is not always the same as what is thought to occur.
To evaluate what is already taking place.z
z
z
Whatever the reason we are driven to conduct research (see Box 6.1 and
Box 6.2), research could be described as a scientific enquiry comprising

Japanese Language Teaching 138
different components. Overall research contains the following basic compo-
nents (Nunan, 1992):
(a) an attempt to investigate a behaviour which is not clearly understood;
(b) an observation of that behaviour;
(c) some possible explanations about that behaviour are suggested;
(d) one possible explanation is considered the right one;
(e) more data are collected to test initial hypotheses/questions formulated to investiga
te
that behaviour.
Box 6.2 Where does research come from?
Published materials (books, chapters in books, articles, report, conference paper,
dissertation)
Personal/Professional interestz
z
The minimal definition of research (Seliger and Shohamy, 1989) is that it is
a systematic and scientific process of enquiry. The main aim of any research
project is to obtain results which would prov ide evidence to support or reject
the research question or hypothesis of a study (see Box 6.3). The results must
be objectively valid and obtained using scientific methods. The research pro-
cess involves different stages such as defining a problem, stating an objective
and formulating a hypothesis. It also involves gathering information, classifi-
cation, analysis and interpretation to se e to what extent the initial objective has
been achieved, or supports a specific theory. Research is carried out to solve
problems, to verify the application of theories which might lead to new insights,
to prove or disprove theories or practical methods or to discover the cause of
a problem and find the solution.
Box 6.3 Why read
At the beginning of your research, to check what other research has been done,
to focus your ideas, explore the context for your project.
During your research, to keep up-to-date with developments, to help understand
better the methods you are using, and the field you are researching.
At the end of your research, to see what impact your own work has had and to
help develop ideas for further projects.z
z
z

The Experimental Methodology 139
Experimental research: characteristics
and components
One of the essential characteristics of experimental classroom-based research
is that the researchers must control and manipulate various conditions which
might be the factors determining the events in which they are interested.
Experiments involve manipulation and control of the various variables and
factors. Most of the time an experiment will be characterized by manipulating
or changing one or more variables and observing the effect of that change on
another variable. As stressed by Seliger and Shohamy (1989:10), generally
experimental research consists of at least three components:
(1) an initial question/hypothesis generated from previous research;
(2) a procedure to collect data;
(3) a procedure to analyse and interpret the data collected.
(1) A question or a hypothesis. In order to carry out any type of investigation
we need to clarify what we want to invest igate or identify in a specific research
problem which needs a solution or furthe r investigation. We formulate a ques-
tion or a hypothesis as a result of a review of the current state-of-the-art of a
particular research area. We need to identify a problem that needs to be solved. (2) In order to attempt to answer the research question or hypothesis some
form/procedure of data collection must be used. Different procedures might
be used to collect data according to the nature of our study. (3) The analysis and interpretation of the data collected will provide an
answer to the question or hypothesis of the study. The correct procedure to
analyse the data must be used.
In the previous section, the general components of research used to carry
out a research project were presented. Now we have to consider the beginning
stages of a research project which involves experimental methodology. The
initial steps taken in carrying out a research project are very important and
vital for the success of the project itself. A logical progression in starting a
research project and setting a careful plan is now provided.
Step 1: Developing a question and/or hypothesis
(see Box 6.4 and Box 6.5)
The first step is to formulate a question or a hypothesis. Questions might arise
from everyday experience as a teacher (behaviour observation), curiosity from

Japanese Language Teaching 140
something observed in the classroom, reading other research findings (theories
in SLA or/and empirical studies) as a source for more questioning. All these
sources might provide the stimulus for formulating a research question. Let us
pretend that we want to investigate the role of grammar instruction in second
language learning, and we formulate the following question: would grammar
instruction have a positive effect on second language learning?This question is really too broad and the next step is to break down the
question and narrow the scope of the research. Therefore, a more focused
question will be: would a comprehension-based type of grammar instruction
have a positive effect on Japanese second language learning? In order to focus
even more on the scope of our research we should identify the type of grammar
instruction we want to investigate, the context and the population involved in
our study. As a result of these processes a more focused question will be: would
processing instruction have a positive effect on the acquisition of Japanese
verbal morphology among adult intermediate students of Italian? As highlighted by Seliger and Shohamy (1989:51), importance and feasi-
bility are the two main components in a research project. Once a general ques-
tion is formulated, it is necessary to establish whether it is possible to carry out
research on such a question. In other words the question to be asked is now:
is the general question important and f easible? The importance of a question
can be easily demonstrated by a literature review, but the feasibility of a
research project might be a more difficult task. These are some of the ques-
tions which should be addressed at the initial stage of research to avoid having
to abandon a study at a later stage due to unforeseen problems. Once we have
generated a question, there are several possibilities in terms of settings (natural
or classroom) and type of approach (synthetic or analytic, see Seliger and
Shohamy 1989:25, for more details). The synthetic approach would view the
research as a combination of factors to be analysed (classroom practice as
an exercise made up of different parts: drill, group, pairs, etc.). To isolate one
form from another may distort its role. Using this approach may allow us to
evaluate the relative contribution each form of practice makes to the overall
process of acquisition. The analytic approach looks at some aspects in isola-
tion and requires a clear definition of the terms which will become the focus
of research (a specific construct to be investigated). It is necessary to acquire
the general knowledge and eventually the very specific familiarity with the
subject to be investigated. This will be achieved through a contextual process
in the development of a research project. This involves the selection of a research

The Experimental Methodology 141
problem, and the creation of a rationale for the study through existing knowl-
edge in the literature. Some of the questions which should be asked are:
(a) Are the terms and concepts used in the formulation of the general question
s clearly
defined? In order to avoid problems of ambiguity and inconsistency the main terms of
the research project should be clearly defined.
(b) What logistical and practical problems can be anticipated? Any possible practical
obstacle should be looked at in order to anticipate any possible problems arising from
the study.
Research starts with a preconceived notion, a sort of prediction or hypo-
thesis to be confirmed or rejected. This design is hypothesis driven and the
hypothesis is usually grounded in a theory which attempts to explain the
behaviour in question. A so-called deductive purpose aims at demonstrating
the existence of a clear relationship between variables or factors which are
taught and some aspects of language acquisition.
Box 6.4 Generating research questions: summary
Step 1. Make explicit the precise area of an investigation.
Step 2. Identify specific aspects of particular interest, within the area of general
concern.
Step 3. Critically analyze the relevant literature review to identify a gap in the knowledge.
Step 4. Formulate a hypothesis or research question.
Box 6.5 Hypothesis: definition
A tentative proposition which is subject to verification through subsequent investi-
gation. In many cases hypotheses are hunches that the researcher has about the
existence of relationship between variables.
Step 2: Writing the research plan/project
A careful plan needs to be developed. This implies the process of organizing the
elements or components of a research study. The lack of a coherent plan might
have a devastating effect on the clarity of the project and the impossibility of

Japanese Language Teaching 142
finding answers to the questions posed. As stated earlier, research is a scientific,
methodical and disciplined inquiry. It is structured, organized and systematic.
In designing a research project once the research question has been focused, a
clear plan is needed. A coherent plan should clarify the focus of the researcher
and define the goals and questions of the experimental research. One of the
main tasks to be addressed is the identification of the main variables involved
in a study: the independent (the predictor) and the dependent (the predicted)
variables. The predictor will predict what will happen to another variable to
which it is related in some way. The so-called independent variable is the fac-
tor manipulated by the researcher, and the dependent is the means by which
any changes are measured. Once we have reached a clear definition of the variables (see Box 6.6) and
the terms in the main question, the next step is formulating the research
hypotheses which will be confirmed or rejected after the data analysis process.
Although we might believe that only one factor or variable is responsible for
the effects measured, we have to consider other variables which have to be
controlled. This is to ensure that our research has a sound design and that a
careful methodology is used in the investigation. Our main goal is to make the
research more effective in order to strengthen the reliability of the data. Let us
suppose that we want to investigate the effect of a teaching technique on the
acquisition of a specific linguistic feature of a target foreign language. We pre-
dict that this technique is better than another and we embark in a classroom-
based experiment evaluating the effects of the two techniques on the acquisition
of the targeted feature. Despite the fact that we might find that there is a rela-
tionship between a particular teaching technique (independent variable) and
scores on various tests (dependent variable), it would be still necessary to con-
sider other factors interfering with the results (e.g. subject variables: sex roles,
age, reaction to testing, distribution of males/females and external variables:
teachers, method of teaching, effect of time, attrition of subjects, etc.). It is
possible that other variables influence our findings. We will come back later on
the two concepts of validity and reliability of experimental study.
Box 6.6 Fundamentals for starting research
Clarify what aspects of a general area are of most concern to you.
Think about the purpose of the research.
Why am I interested in finding out more about the issue? This helps to identify
a list of priorities and then to decide what is the most important.z
z
z

The Experimental Methodology 143
The research cycle
Research as defined by Seliger and Shohamy (1989:2) is cyclical. Experimental
research is a cyclical process which involves interrelated phases. When we first
approach research, we develop an interest and a purpose which is transferred
into the formulation of a question or hypothesis. We then review the literature
and, as a result of placing the research problem within a larger body of knowl-
edge, we design and plan the research according to the specific problem we
want to investigate. We then select a collection procedure for gathering the
necessary data and eventually obtain the results which will be analysed. In
the last phase of the research process we interpret and summarize the results.
The interpretation of the findings will lead us back to the starting point (ques-
tion or hypothesis). The answers we have obtained, however, do not close
the research cycle as other questions arise and our conclusions lead to other
questions as you can see from the student’s statement at the beginning of the
chapter. The following are the main phases taken in the research cycle:
(A) From the general to a more focused research
problem – formulate questions/hypotheses
This process involves the identification of a research area, aims and objectives
and the formulation of questions and hypotheses for which the research
project is justified. As previously indicated it will involve the researcher to
identify a general research area, narrow down the topic and formulate some
researchable questions or hypothesis.
(B) Design the study
This process involves the selection of subjects, materials and overall methodo-
logical procedure. In the following paragraph, we will describe some of the
experimental designs.
(C) Collect the data
This process involves making the decision on what constitutes data and the
type of data suitable for the research question to be investigated. Once a
specific design for the research project has been selected, consistent with the
aims of the study, decision has to be taken on which procedure needs to be
used to collect the data. What constitutes data needs to be established and the
procedures to collect the data need to be chosen. The variables which need to

Japanese Language Teaching 144
be investigated in a given research study need to be identified and defined.
Determining what constitutes data in second language research depends on
the focus of the study and the specific variables which have been identified.
You need to operationalize the variables in your study, i.e. you have to identify
specific behaviours which would provide evidence to describe the variables
involved in your study. Once you have decided on the data to collect, the next
step is to decide how to collect them. The data collected through the assess-
ment of a specific behaviour in the experimental method occur in a number
of forms: observation schemes, questionnaires, tests.
Observation schemes
Observation as a research tool in an experimental study is perhaps one of the
oldest methods used to collect data in the classroom. The rationale behind the
growth of classroom observation as a means for experimental methodology is
to provide detailed and precise information about what goes on in the class-
room for various purposes. Although, it was always considered a major way of
collecting qualitative data, in recent years we have witnessed a shift in the use
of observation schemes towards more deductive, quantitative and experimen-
tal study. This is the case of an observation scheme called COLT (Communica-
tive Orientation of Language Teaching, see Spada, 1990). COLT was developed
in a research project investigating differences in instructional treatments.
More specifically this observation scheme identified the main characteristics
of communicative language teaching and was a very sensitive instrument in
the communicative orientation of second language teaching. COLT has two
parts: part A was developed to describ e classroom events at the level of class-
room tasks and activities, while part B analyses the communicative features of
verbal interactions between instructors and students in classroom activities.
This observation scheme includes five major categories (Spada, 1990):
activity type (type of tasks learners are required to do)
participant organization (type of interaction)
content (type of instruction, meaning-based or form-based in its orient
ation)
student modality (time spent on developing the four skills)
materials (type, length and source of materials used).
Each of these categories is divided into subcategories (Spada, 1987, 1990)
designed to describe categories of classroom procedures based on theories of
second language acquisition and teaching. COLT describes differences in the
kind of instruction students receive in the language classroom. The classroom

The Experimental Methodology 145
is observed by an investigator and all the activities are coded and subsequently
analysed. In order to establish differences among groups in the categories
considered, the analysis involves the calculation of the amount of time spent
by teachers and students on the various categories and subcategories of the
observation scheme. By following these procedures we obtain percentages for
the various categories. Let’s assume that we are carrying out an experiment to establish possible
instructional differences among three groups learning Japanese at intermedi-
ate level through a communicative programme. The data are collected by
an observer using COLT part A in three classrooms for 4 weeks. The results of
the analysis indicate that the three classes are similar in most features. For
example, in the case of the participant organization category, the analysis
shows that instruction is teacher-centred for 50 percent of the time for all
classes. Similarly, in terms of the student modality category, the three classes
spend most of their time primarily listening to the teacher or other students
(45 percent of the time). However, some of the results of this analysis show
some important instructional differences among the three groups. In the case
of the content category, although the three classes spent most of the time
(50%) focusing exclusively on meaning-based activities and less time on form-
based activities, the analysis shows that there are some individual group differ-
ences in the amount of time spent on form-based instruction (group one
32 percent, group two 22 percent, group three 9 percent).
Questionnaires
In experimental methodology, questionnaires are often used to collect data
on phenomena not easily observed such as attitudes or motivation. They are
also used for two further reasons, i.e. to collect data on the processes involved
in using languages and to obtain background information. Questionnaires
(see Figure 6.1) could provide, among other features, the following:
(a) background information
(b) quality and quantity of the learner’s previous exposure to different types of foreign
language learning
(c) learners attitudes to the different language-teaching methods already experienced
(d) learner’s expectations, attitudes and degree of motivation to learn a language
We also require L2 learners involved in an experiment to fill a consent form
(see Figure 6.2).

Japanese Language Teaching 146
PROFILE QUESTIONNAIRE
1) Name: 2) Nationality:
3) Mother Tongue: 4) Age:
5) Sex: 6) Degree course:
7) Previous study or knowledge of Italian: yes no

if yes what kind?
Other foreign languages you know or you are studying:
French
German
Spanish
Greek
others(specify)
Do you have any quali cation in a foreign language? If yes what mark did you get?
O level specify the mark you obtained _______________
A level specify the mark you obtained _______________
8) yes no
a) Do you use Italian in any way with someone outside the classroom?
b) do you have any contact with native speakers outside the classroom
c) have you ever visited Italy
if yes for how long?
CONSENT FORM
This is a consent form for you to take part to an experiment in language instruction.
You will be tested and with other students receive instruction and practice on a particular
structure in Italian. Your answers will remain con dential. All the results will be reported
through statistical representations and no individual results will be made available. Your participation is only voluntary and you may choose to leave at anytime and not
complete the experiment. If you agree to participate, please indicate by signing below. I agree to participate in this experiment. My participation is voluntary and I have read
the above informed consent information.
____________________________________
Name
L1
____________________________________
______________________________________ ______________
Signature Date
Figure 6.1 Profi le questionnaire.
Figure 6.2 Consent form.

The Experimental Methodology 147
Tests
Tests are a procedure used to collect data about the subjects’ knowledge of a
second language in areas such as vocabulary, grammar, reading, metalinguistic
awareness and general proficiency. There are different types of language tests
(see Bacham and Palmer, 1996) such as achievement test, proficiency test and
diagnosis test. In experimental study, we use achievement tests (dependent variable) to
measure the effects of the independent variable (e.g. method, technique or an
instructional approach to teaching). In the example below, two tests (interpre-
tation and production tasks) were developed for an experimental study inves-
tigating the effects of different instructional treatments in the acquisition of
Japanese (Lee and Benati, 2007a) present forms. The interpretation test con-
structed consisted of 20 sentences (five affirmative, five negative and 10 dis-
tracters in a different tense). Participants had to rely on the verb (in final
position) to establish whether the sentence was in the present negative or affir-
mative forms. If they were not sure they could choose the ‘not sure’ ( wari-
kasen) option. The scoring was calculated as follows: incorrect response =
0 point, correct response = 1 point.
Test 1
Interpretation task
Listen to the following sentences and establish whether the sentence in
the present form is
negative or affirmative or you are not sure.
1 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
2 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
3 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
4 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
5 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
6 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
7 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
8 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
9 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
10 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
11 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen

Japanese Language Teaching 148
12 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
13 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
14 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
15 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
16 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
17 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
18 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
19 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
20 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
Sentences heard by learners:
1. Watashi wa tomodachi to dekakemasu
2. Watashi wa tomodachi to dekakemasen
3. no shumatsu tomodachi to sugoshimashita
4. Watashi wa terebi o mimasen
5. totemo ii hon o yomishamita
6. Joan to gekijyou ni ikimashita
7. wa terebi o mimasu
8. ronbun o kakimashita
9. nohongo de shinbun o yomimasen
10. uchi/ie ni kaerimashita
11. san-ji ni basu ni norimasen
12. uchi/ie ni kaerimashita
13. watashi wa Alessandro to hanashimasu
14. Bernie to hanashimashita
15. watashi wa gimu ni ikimasen
16. watashi wa gimu ni ikimashita
17. watashi wa gekijyou ni ikimasu
18. Kinou watashi wa john to kouen a arukimashita
19. gengogaku o benkyou shimasu
20. bar de wain o takusan
A sentence-completion production task to measures the learner’s ability to
produce correct forms. In the case of the positive vs. negative present forms,
the written production grammar test consisted of ten sentences to complete
(five affirmative and five negative) in the present form. The scoring procedure
was the following: a fully correct form received 1 point and no points to a form
that was not fully correct.

The Experimental Methodology 149
Test 2
Complete the following sentences using the present form.
1. Watashi wa Italia ni ---------------(vado).
2. Watashi wa Italia ni---------------(non vado).
3. Watashi wa mainichi tenisu o ---------------(gioco).
4. Watashi wa mainichi tenisu o ---------------(non gioco).
5. Watashi wa maiban tereibi o---------------(non guardo).
6. Watashi wa denwa de Paul to---------------(parlo).
7. Watashi wa denwa de Paul to --------------(non parlo).
8. Watashi wa mainichi osoku made---------------(dormo).
9. Watashi wa rajio o---------------(ascolto).
10. Watashi wa rajio o ---------------(non ascolto).
(D) Analyse the data
This process involves making decisions on the type of analysis required.
In experimental data analysis, different designs imply different methods of
analysis. Let us suppose that an experiment has been carried out to compare
the performance of two groups of subjects – an experimental group and a
control group. An independent t-test is a method used to compare the means
of two groups and helps to determine that the statistical difference between
two groups is not due to chance. The result of this test provides the researcher
with a t-value which is entered in a table which indicates whether the t-value
is statistically significant. In order to prov ide a better picture when presenting
the result of a t-test it is advisable to carry out descriptive analysis and display
the mean (X), standard deviation (SD) and size of sample (N). The group mean is the average of the scores in each instructional group.
The standard deviation provides information on the range of scores obtained
by each group. In Table 6.1 an example of a table used in summarizing descrip-
tive analysis in an experimental study is provided. In Table 6.1 the mean and
standard deviation of three groups in three different tests are summarized. One-way ANOVA is the method used to examine the differences in more
than two groups, for example, two experimental groups and one control group.
The One-way ANOVA procedure produces a one-way analysis of variance for
a quantitative dependent variable by a single factor (independent) variable.
The analysis will result in an F-value which is entered in a table to establish

Japanese Language Teaching 150
whether the F-value is significant. When the F-value is significant, the
researcher will reject the null hypothesis of no difference and, therefore, estab-
lish the existence of some differences in the groups. Let us suppose that we
want to investigate the effects of two different grammar treatments and two
instructional groups and a control group are set. In this case, the independent
variable is the three conditions representing the treatments and the dependent
is the scores of tests developed to measure the effects of those instructional
conditions. Although we have discovered that the means of the three groups
are different, we need to carry out an ANOVA to verify tests whether there is
significance (significance of the F-value) somewhere among the means of the
three groups. The ANOVA in Table 6.2 shows whether there is significance in
the following variables: treatment, time and interaction between treatment
and time. In this case (Table 6.2) the results of the ANOVA shows that there
is statistical difference for treatment, (F-value inferior to 0.05) and for time
(F-value inferior to 0.05), but not for the interaction between treatment and
time (F-value superior to 0.05). However, in addition to determining that differences exist among the
means, you may want to know which means differ. Post-hoc range tests (e.g.
Tukey honestly significant difference test, Scheffe test) can determine which
means differ. Range tests identify homogeneous subsets of means that are not
different from each other and yield a matrix where asterisks indicate signifi-
cantly different group means at an alpha level of 0.05 (significance numerical
Table 6.1 Means and Standard Deviations (pre-test, post-test 1, post-test 2)
Variable Treatments Mean (X) SDN
pre-test
GROUP 1 input 3.84621.405113
GROUP 2 output 4.0769 1.115213
GROUP 3 control 3.7692 1.012713
post-test 1
GROUP 1 input 8.3846 .9608 13
GROUP 2 output 5.8462 .9871 13
GROUP 3 control 4.0000 .8165 13
post-test 2
GROUP 1 input 8.1538 1.0682 13
GROUP 2 output 5.6923 .9473 13
GROUP 3 control 3.3846 .9608 13

The Experimental Methodology 151
measure as in the case of the ANOVA). Most of the analysis techniques used in
applied linguistics can be carried out with a computer and a number of statis-
tical packages have been designed and are available.
(E) Interpret and discuss the findings and
draw some conclusions
This process involves the interpretation of the results in the light of the
research questions/hypotheses raised. Our intention is not only to report and
summarize research results but also to identify the implications of the results
and recommend possible further research.
It is now time to summarize the results reporting the main findings. The
final three steps are: reporting, summarizing and interpreting the results. In
the reporting and summarizing phases, you have to report the results obtained
in your study through the analysis techniques you have used. You are allowed
to use tables, charts, category lists or graphs to present your data in a clear way.
An important element is the inclusion of the reliability and validity of the pro-
cedures you used to collect data so that the research is replicable. In the inter-
preting phase, you go beyond the results obtained in your analysis and discuss
the implications in relation to more gene ral theoretical and practical issues of
the research topic. You discuss the meaning of the research results and place
them in a broader and general context. You also recommend different applica-
tions for your study and possible new areas of research which derive from your
research. It is important that the discussion, reflections and recommendations
you make are linked to the context in which the research was conducted.
Research is a cyclical exercise formed by a sequence of events (see Figure 6.1)
which leads us back to the starting point in order to answer our questions.
However, in the nature of research the more answers we obtain, the more ques-
tions arise and lead us to more problems, more questions and more research
areas.
Table 6.2 ANOVA (Repeated Measures) summary table (post-tests)
Source of Variation SS DF MS F(value) Signifi cance
TREATMENT 273.10 2 136.55 85.09 .000
TIME 2.17 2 2.17 9.14 .005
TREATMENT X
TIME .79 2 .40 1.68 .201

Japanese Language Teaching 152
The project
The Research Project provides an opportunity for the researcher to undertake
a study in depth, extend an understanding of the theoretical and practical basis
of a specific area and topic, demonstrate the ability to reflect and conduct a
study on a specific area, and demonstrate awareness of potential and limita-
tions of the research methods chosen.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Signi cance of the Study
De nition of Terms
Outline of the Thesis
CHAPTER 2: BACKGROUND AND MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY
Review of the literature
Motivation and justi cation of the study
Hypotheses and/or Research Questions
CHAPTER 3: METHOD AND PROCEDURE
Overview of the Study
Participants
Materials
Procedure
Scoring and Analyses
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS
Overview of the Results
Statistics
Summary of the Results
CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
Discussion
Limitations of the Study
Implications
Future Research
Conclusion
REFERENCES
APPENDICES
Figure 6.3 The research project structure.

The Experimental Methodology 153
In a research project (see Figure 6.3), the researcher should introduce and
describe the problem first. This is the int roduction section (Chapter 1) where
the researcher discusses the purpose of the study, the significance of the prob-
lem and the questions to be addressed. The researcher would need to give rea-
sons as to why the topic is of sufficient importance for it to be researched. The literature review (Chapter 2) is a report on the theory and research evi-
dence relevant to the problem (focusing on different aspects of the problem).
In the literature review, we provide a conceptual and theoretical context in
which the topic for research can be situated. In the description of the litera-
ture, the researcher focuses on the theoretical claims made in the research.
A survey of findings is made, particularly the major findings of the relevant
studies, with a discussion of how they were obtained and what can be learned
from them, particularly in relation to the specific research we want to conduct.
An important part of the literature review (see Box 6.7) is the critique of the
research studies, pointing out problems in design, argumentation, analysis and
conclusions.
Box 6.7 Why we write a literature review
– To give reasons why the topic is of sufficient importance for it to be
researched.
– To provide the reader with a brief up-to-date account and discussion of literature on the issues relevant to the topic.
– To provide a conceptual and theoretical context in which the topic for research can be positioned.
– To discuss relevant research carried out on the same topic or similar topics.
At the end of the literature review, the researcher will formulate the main
hypothesis or question of the project. A hypothesis is a tentative proposition
which is subject to verification through subsequent investigation. In many
cases hypotheses are hunches that the researcher has about the existence of
relationship between variables. In questions, the researcher makes explicit the
precise area of an investigation, iden tify specific aspects of particular interest,
within the area of general concern. The purpose of the literature review is to provide a theoretical framework
for the study we want to conduct and a description of how different studies

Japanese Language Teaching 154
could contribute to the topic. This would lead to a statement and a rationale
for the study.In the Design and methodology (Chapter 3) part of the project, the
researcher would need to provide a clear description of the research questions
or hypotheses and of the different variables of the study. The design would
need to be presented in detail, so that the reader has a very clear idea of the
method used by the researcher to investigate the research problem (questions/
hypotheses). Common components of this section are: description of the par-
ticipants involved in the project (population), procedures used to collect data
(e.g. materials, tests), procedures to analyse data (statistical analysis). In the data analysis chapter (Chapter 4), the researcher reports on the results
of data collected and the analysis conducted in the study. In the final part
of the project, the researcher provides a summary statement of the research
results obtained and then a discussion of their meaning in relation to previous
literature and in a broader context and perspective. This includes the contri-
bution of the results to the general area of research, their implications and
whether they can lead to recommendations, limitations of the present study
and suggestions for further research. The reference list contains the sources and references used and consulted,
and the appendices includes additional material used, tests, raw data, ques-
tionnaires or any other procedures used which is to detailed to be included in
the body of the research report.
Designs in experimental studies
Experimental methodology has been evaluated over the years, however, many
scholars such as Long (1984), are committed to experimentation as the strong-
est research design available for foreign and second language programme
evaluation. The way to strengthen the internal validity of classroom experi-
mentation is to monitor classroom pr ocesses in experimental and control con-
ditions. This monitoring has different purposes such as checking the feasibility
and degree of implementation of classroom procedures promoted by the pro-
gramme or monitoring the interactions between old and new procedures. Long
(1984:419), however, reserves the term ‘process’ for a main purpose ‘monitor-
ing for the maintenance of key planned differences between treatments’. This is
also the point of view of Spada (1990) who claims that ‘a process component
in the experimental methodology will provide support and explanations for

The Experimental Methodology 155
the findings of product evaluations’. Having established the need for a product
and process approach to experimental design, we should move to a descrip-
tion of experimental research in order to explain the components of the
experimental method and the way this methodology can be implemented by
a researcher. Experimental research is carried out to explore the strength of a
relationship between variables. As practitioners, we often want to investigate
the relationship between a variable such as a teaching approach and a second
variable represented by the test scores on an achievement test. The teaching
approach will be given the label of independent variable as we expect that
this variable would influence the other variable (the test). The variable upon
which the independent variable is acting is called the dependent variable.
The independent variables in this study are obviously the two instructional
treatments and the dependent variables are the three tasks used to measure the
possible effects of the two different treatments. Experimental research is care-
fully planned and constructed so that the variables involved in the study are
controlled and manipulated. In the study mentioned above, we can identify
the three main components of an experimental research design (see Seliger
and Shohamy, 1989:136):
(a) the subject pool;
(b) the instructional treatment (independent factor);
(c) the measurement of the instructional treatment (dependent factor).
(a) The main objective of experimental design broadly speaking is to mea-
sure the relative effects of different instructional treatments given to subjects
arranged in groups. Groups can be formed by the researcher specifically for an
experiment (Quasi-experimental designs) or pre-existing groups can be used.
In the latter case, we talk about true experimental designs. In forming experi-
mental groups, the researcher needs to take into account subject variables and
uses randomization or matching procedures to make sure that the groups
belong to the same population. (b) The instructional treatment is the independent variable in an experi-
mental research design and it is specifically constructed for the experiment. An
instructional treatment refers to a technique, method or material presented
under controlled circumstances which we want to apply to groups in order to
measure its effects. (c) The measurement is the way in which the effects of the treatment are
evaluated and observed. Different types of test are the logical way to evaluate
the effectiveness of a treatment.

Japanese Language Teaching 156
As previously stated, normally in experimental classroom-based studies,
the independent variable is a stimulus (e.g. a new method, technique) and the
dependent variable is a response to that stimulus (e.g. student’s performance
on a test). Experiments in classroom settings are usually quasi-experimental
and rarely experimental. The main difference between these two designs is that
in a quasi-experimental design the researcher undertakes his research with
groups that have been constituted by means and not by random procedure as
in the case of a ‘true’ experimental design. The distinction will be clearer when
we identify and explain the essential features of the pre-experimental, quasi-
experimental and ’true’ experimental designs. However, before we do that, we
need to use some specific symbols to describe the main element of experimen-
tal research. Campbell and Stanley (1963) have used specific symbols to refer
to the main components of the experimental methodology:
X = represents the exposition of a group to a kind of treatment, and the effects of which
we intend to measure;
O = refers to the process of measurement or observation of a particular treatment;
R = indicates the use of a random procedure.
The experimental methodology can be categorized through various designs
which reflect the different contexts and conditions in which the research is
conducted. There are different ways of carrying out an experiment; however,
the design has to be constructed so that variables can be controlled and manip-
ulated and at the same time it is methodologically very rigorous. Let us con-
sider a practical example in which the most appropriate way to collect data is
through the experimental method. All language teachers have strong views
and beliefs about language teaching and learning and the methods or materi-
als they use. Imagine that we have used a new technique to teach a foreign lan-
guage and have developed very innovative reading and comprehension type
materials for intermediate students. We strongly believe that this material is
better and more effective than the more traditional materials used normally.
Although convinced that this is the case, you need to persuade your colleagues
who do not think the same as they are used to the more traditional set of mate-
rials. You need, therefore, to collect some sort of evidence which supports your
view and you are presented with many choices. You can interview the students
and gather their impressions or you can make an ethnographic record of the
teaching and learning in the classroom with the help of an external observer.
However, the only way to obtain reliable data in this case is using tests to
measure the effects of your new set of materials. You must now decide which

The Experimental Methodology 157
research design to follow in order to construct a satisfactory study. In the fol-
lowing section we will explore the different experimental research designs
available using this practical example and see how differently we might
approach our research.
One shot design
The one shot design is used for pilot studies where researchers want to try out
treatments or tests before entering a full experimental design. It is a very basic
design and involves the use of a single treatment and a single group (X, O). We
may be tempted to use the group of students you are teaching and to test them
at the end of the instructional period. Let’s say for example that we develop some new task for teaching Japanese
verbal morphology and we want to test their effectiveness. We develop the
materials and administer it to a single group. At the end of this experiment, we
might find that the students have responded well to the material we have
developed and we might conclude that it is very effective. The main problem with this type of design is that it does not control other
factors that might influence your findings. Another problem with this approach
is that we do not have information about the individual characteristics of
the group involved in the study before the beginning of the instructional
treatment. Our inclination would be to exercise a better control over the
group involved in the research.
Pre-experimental design: one group pre-test
and post-test design
In this design we intend to use the same group as its own control through
a pre-test and post-test procedure in order to eliminate a number of subject
variables as only one group is used and the subjects are tested twice on the
dependent variable. Let’s say that we want to measure the value of a new
method or technique in the teaching of Japanese. In the case of our practical
example, one group of students will be tested before the treatment begins.
Following a week of that treatment, the researcher will administer a post-test
to measure the effects of the treatment on students’ performance and will pro-
ceed to account for differences between pre- and post-test by reference to the
effects of the instructional treatment. Let’s suppose that the researcher has
found out that post-test scores indicate an improvement in learners’ perform-
ance compared with the pre-test scores. How justified are we in attributing

Japanese Language Teaching 158
the cause of these differences between pre- and post-test to the experimental
treatment? Initially, we might argue that there is a casual relationship between
treatment and the measurement of the treatment; however things are rather
more complex and we can’t simply make an assumption. The main problem
using this design is that we cannot be sure that the possible positive results
and changes between the pre-test applied before the treatment and the post-
test carried out after the treatment are due to the delivery of that treatment.
Factors other than our treatment could be responsible for these changes.
We can’t be confident that the observed changes in learners’ performance are
to be attributed to our treatment because in the confines of our classroom we
have not excluded or controlled all other extraneous variables. The previous
exposure to other material inside and outside the classroom, the teacher, the
classroom organization, the individual c haracteristics of the population and
many other factors (e.g. the use of the pre-test might have sensitized the
group towards specific aspects of the tr eatment) might all or individually
have affected and influenced student’s improved performance. These variables
outside the experiment are a threat to the validity of the experiment and a
different design will have to be considered to address this problem.
The ‘true’ experimental design
In an experimental design (see Box 6.8), the independent variable is manipu-
lated in some ways and its effects measured through some dependent variables
while all the other factors are controlled. In the so-called ‘true’ experimental
design, the treatment is administered to one group and the group’s perform-
ance is compared with another group which has not received the same
treatment. The difference between this design and the one described previ-
ously (the pre-experimental design) is that the ‘true’ experimental design
involves the use of two groups which have been formed through a process of
randomization. Randomization would ensure that subjects are equally distributed to
groups and by doing that it is assumed that all the independent variables are
controlled. It is also the addition of a control group in our experimental design
that increases the soundness of our experimental methodology. If both groups
are made equivalent before the beginning of the instructional period then any
other possible extraneous variable might be present in both groups. Many of
the possible internal validity threats are controlled in the pre- and post-test
control group design. One of the possible internal validity factors called task

The Experimental Methodology 159
sensitivity can be controlled by adding two more groups that have not experi-
enced the pre-test measures. A true experimental design was used in a classroom study (Lee and Benati,
2007a) were the possible effects of two different instructional interventions
(structured input practice vs. traditional instruction) in the acquisition of
Japanese use of affirmative vs. negative present forms were investigated. The
relative effects of an innovative approach to grammar instruction were com-
pared with a traditional approach to grammar instruction Learners consisted
of twenty-seven Italian native-speakers (beginner students) who were learning
Japanese in a private school in Italy. They were randomly assigned to two
groups. One group received the innovative instructional treatment and the
other group the traditional instructional treatment. A pre- and post-test pro-
cedure was adopted. Two tests were developed for each linguistic feature and
consisted of an aural interpretation task and a written completion production
task at sentence level. The pre-tests were used to measure learner’s perfor-
mance before the beginning of the instructional treatments. After the treat-
ments which lasted over two days, learners received a battery of post-tests
(interpretation and production tests). The scores were measured with the use
of a statistical analysis procedure which revealed that subjects in the innova-
tive groups performed better than subjects in the traditional group in the
interpretation measure and the two gr oups performed equally in the produc-
tion test. The results were proved to be parallel to those obtained by other
studies investigating other languages and grammatical features.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you select one experimental study in Japanese and identify the follo
wing:
1 Research Question/motivation of the study
2 Subjects
3 Method
4 Type of data
5 Type of analysis
6 Main findings
The quasi-experimental-design
This design is also called quasi-experimental and is very economical as it
allows us to use existing groups rather than reassign subjects to groups. The
problem with this design is that we are not sure whether the two groups are

Japanese Language Teaching 160
equivalent before the treatment. One way to avoid this is to match the subjects
in the two groups according to various characteristics (sex, aptitude, language,
scores, etc.). This would increase the comparability of the groups. However,
researchers use randomization to reduce the bias factor in assigning subjects
to groups and controlling extraneous variables as they are equally distributed
by chance between the groups. This procedure also provides an option for not
using the pre-test procedure. A quasi experimental design was used in a study comparing the teaching of
Japanese in the ALM and the Counseling-Learning Approach (Samimy, 1989).
The main aim of this study was to measure whether Counseling-Learning
Approach would be an effective language teaching methods in improving learn-
ers’ communicative and linguistics competence. The study involved 29 partici-
pants, all st udying Japanese in an undergraduate programme at the University
of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. At the beginning of the semester, question-
naires were used to gather information about student’s background, motiva-
tion, attitude, anxiety and self-esteem. The two control groups received a
modified version of the ALM. The experimental group was taught using the
Counseling-Learning Approach. Communicative Competence Tests were used
to measure learners’ performance. The statistical analysis revealed that there
was no statistical difference between the experimental and the control groups
on communicative competence measures. However, the descriptive analysis
showed that experimental group scores were higher than the control groups
scores in the communicative tests.
Box 6.8 Experimental study: main characteristics
The Participant
The treatment (independent factor)
The measurement (dependent factor)
Internal and external validity
The main purpose of research methodology is to make the research design as
effective and valid as possible. The main goal is to make sure that the results of
the study we have conducted are valid internally and externally. What does this
mean? Internal invalidity of findings occurs when the findings might have

The Experimental Methodology 161
been affected by other factors (see Seliger and Shohamy, 1989 for a full discus-
sion of external and internal validity factors). External invalidity is when the
results cannot be extended or applied to outside contexts. One of the main
internal factors that might invalidate findings is for instance the size and char-
acteristics of participants in an experimental study. The characteristics of the
subjects and the number of students involved are two important factors we
need to take into consideration when we embark in a classroom study. Some-
times we assume that the population involved in a research project is repre-
sentative of the general population to which the research applies. However,
subjects in a group are affected by many variables (e.g. attitude, motivation,
gender, age). The question we need to address before we start collecting our
data is: are the groups representative samples of the same population? In order
to equally distribute subject variables to groups, a random procedure might be
used so that we can claim that the subject variables are divided by random
chance. Alternatively, a matching procedure can be used to match subjects to
groups in terms of the factors we believe that might have an impact on the
results of the study. The size of subject population could also be a factor influencing the validity
and reliability of the results. Small populations magnify the effects of individual
variability, the greater the size, the smaller the effect of individual variability. The calculation of the time needed for data collection or the experiment
treatment is also another factor for internal validity which should be looked at
in a classroom study. How can I establish how much time is needed to show an
effect for a treatment? There is no hard and fast rule for deciding when enough
time has been given to collecting a valid sample of data; it is relative to factors
such as context, amount of available time, sensitivity of the instruments used
to elicit data, etc. The instruments used to collect data could also influence internal validity.
Sometimes instruments (task sensitivity) are used as a tool to obtain informa-
tion about the status of the subject (pre-test used before the experiment).
However, the pre-test could affect the internal validity of the experiment
as learners can become test-wise and this practice might affect the subjects’
performance. In order to make a study internally valid we need to be able to
demonstrate that the relationship between the independent and dependent
variables is unambiguous and not explained by other variables. External validity is concerned with applying and generalizing the findings
to situations outside those in which the research was conducted. One of

Japanese Language Teaching 162
the main factors affecting external validity is again the characteristics of the
population. The question needed to be addressed is: can we apply the findings
obtained in a study to a different population? Can the effects of an instruc-
tional treatment on school-age learners be generalized to adults? The interaction of subject selection and research is another external factor
that might influence the findings of a classroom-based study. Very often volun-
teers have to be used to collect data. The question which needs to be addressed
is: to what degree do paid or volunt eer subjects represent the general popula-
tion to which the research will be generalized? It could be said for instance that
volunteers might have a better attitude towards an experiment than existing
subjects participating in an experiment. The descriptive explicitness of the independent variable is also a very
important factor to be controlled by the researcher. It is crucial to be able to
describe the instructional treatment (independent variable) as explicitly as
possible providing details of how the treatment is implemented. Linked to this
latter factor are the possible effects of the research environment. Learners’
awareness of taking part in an experiment might affect the behaviour of the
sample the researcher or experimenter effects: the researcher could have a
biased attitude for one method or another.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you select one classroom-based study in Japanese and discuss validity and reliability of
the study?
Action research
Action research is a very effective me thodology to investigate a problem that
needs to be resolved or when some changes are necessary to improve learner’s
performance. It is usually a method that can be used by individual teacher or
a group of teachers working in co-operation. Teachers are interested in understanding how learning takes place and
therefore undertake small-scale studies on their own. Action research can be
used in a variety of areas and more specifically in second language research
teachers might want to explore and measure the effectiveness of a teaching
method in the attempt to find a new replacement and make changes. Action research is often motivated by teachers reflecting on their current
teaching and subsequently identifying a ‘problem’ related to their teaching.

The Experimental Methodology 163
Ellis (1997:200) has identified three main sources used by teachers to develop
an initial research question:
from a theory and previously published research;
from the need of a replication of previous research;
from the need to carry out micro-evaluations of courses, programs or materials.
Teachers must be up-to-date with SLA theory and research findings. Not
only because this awareness might help teachers to improve their teaching
methodology but also because it could provide the stimulus and motivation
to carry outtheir own research to test and measure the effects of a particular
SLA theory on language pedagogy. Teachers have the opportunities to repli-
cate a study to measure whether or not previous research findings on the
effects of particular methods in language teaching on language learning can be
generalized. Teachers can carry out a micro-evaluation of teaching materials,
tasks or a particular methodology of approach to language teaching. As Argued
by Nunan (1989), this type of action research contains the same components
as the experimental method and consists of various stages:
identifying an issue;
describing the issue;
planning the research;
collecting the information;
analysing the information;
drawing a conclusion and making recommendations;
writing a report and disseminating results.
At the beginning a practitioner identifies an issue or a problem related
to their own teaching they want to investigate. Let’s assume that the problem
the teacher has identified is that students do not seem to master some of the
morphological and syntactic grammatical features of Japanese he is teaching
them. The practitioner decides first of all to evaluate his current teaching
method and collects some data through observation and discussion with
the students. As a result of the analysis of the data he has collected, he develops
the idea that it is his own approach to grammar teaching that causes learners
the problem of not mastering the some of the grammatical features of
Japanese. As a result of this observation, he makes some recommendations
and he suggests that a different approach to grammar teaching would help
students to learn the grammatical features of the target language better. He
produces some new material to teach the students Japanese and notices that

Japanese Language Teaching 164
students are performing much better than before. He then decides to dissemi-
nate his findings and investigates alternative approaches to grammar teaching. As previously stated, this approach to classroom research could be very
effective in addressing a problem or issues in learning and teaching and pro-
vides a possible solution. This method of research is initiated by a problem the
practitioner has noticed, therefore a hypothesis is formulated and a form of
intervention is devised. An evaluation of possible interventions is carried out
and the practitioner plans to disseminate the results of his action research as
he is prepared to look at different form of interventions in order to improve
his teaching and student’s experience. Despite the importance for teachers to address practical issues in the lan-
guage classroom and collect their own data, this approach might not be the
best approach for conducting research. In fact, there are some methodological
faults that the reader needs to be aware of. We cannot establish that students’
performance is in any way related to the administration of the new material
(treatment) as it could be argued that it was caused by other variables we
did not control (e.g. previous knowledge). In the absence of a pre-test we also
do not have any measurement of student’s knowledge before the beginning
of the instructional treatment. We do not have a control group, and therefore
we cannot measure the effects of the instructional treatment vs. no treatment.
In addition to that, we cannot say whether the performance is due to a parti-
cular component of the treatment (explicit information or a particular task) as
we do not have a specific and detailed description of the treatment used.
Although, action research is a useful tool for teachers to respond actively to
everyday classroom problems, this approa ch has clearly some methodological
limitations.
Question to reflect on . . .
Can you select one action research study in Japanese and identify the following:
1 Research question/motivation of the study
2 Subjects
3 Method
4 Type of data
5 Type of analysis
6 Main findings

The Experimental Methodology 165
Summary
In this chapter, we have provided the reader with an overall view of how
research in language learning and teaching is conducted using an experimen-
tal methodology. We have looked at the main components in classroom-based
research (population, data collection and data analysis) and the main designs
used, from one shot design to true experimental design. We have also addressed
some of issues related to external and internal validity in an experimental
study. Finally, we have indicated that action research is a very useful tool for
language teachers to carry out research in their own teaching environment. There is a clear need for research that examines the acquisition of Japanese
as a foreign language as it is an area that has received very little attention out-
side Japan. Teachers and scholars interested in this area should address research
in this area adopting research design and conduct classroom-based research
using experimental methodology.
More questions to reflect on . . .
(1) Please complete the following task.
You are asked to prepare a detailed research plan for a project of your choice.
You have to include the following:
1. Background of your study:a. the area and the specific topic
b. the title of the study
c. the problem
d. the purpose of the study (aims, justification, limitations and delimita
tions)
2. A statement relating to the literature review to be consulted.
3. The design: a. the research questions
b. the research hypotheses
c. population of the study
d. data collection methods
e. data analysis procedures
4. A statement of how results will be presented
5. A statement of what problems you anticipate and expect in your research and the possi- ble solutions.

Japanese Language Teaching 166
In this assignment you should demonstrate the ability to:
– Formulate a research question and hypothesis
– Design a research investigation
– Present, analyze and discuss data from a project of your choice
– Draw conclusions and evaluate your proposal
(2) Choose a couple of experimental studies in Japanese and answer the follo
wing questions: (a) What method did the experimenter use?
(b) What data collection and date analysis did the experimenter use?
(c) What results did the experimenter obtain?
Key terms
Action research: an enquiry conducted by a practitioner which is aimed at solving
practical problems.
Experimental study/method: an enquiry for testing questions/hypotheses and establi- shing the strength of a possible relationship between independent and dependent
factors.
Reliability: the question we need to address by evaluating a study is whether an inde-
pendent researcher carrying out the same study would obtain the same results.
Validity: the question we need to address by evaluating a study is whether what has been
measured is what we were supposed to measure. Also the extent to which the findings
from one study can be generalized.
Further reading
Mackey, A. and Gass, S. M. (2005). Second Language Research: Methodology and Design . Mahwah,
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Nunan, D. (1989). Understanding Language Classrooms: A Guide for Instructors Initiated Action. New York: Prentice-Hall.
Sanz, C. (Ed.) (2005). Mind and Context in Adult Second Language Acquisition . Washington, DC:
Georgetown University Press.
Seliger, H. and Shohany, E. (1989). Second Language Research Methods. Oxford: OUP.

Introduction
In this chapter, we present the results of a classroom-based experimental study
conducted to measure secondary effects for PI. The intent is to show to readers
how an experimental study is conducted in the language classroom and
describe how the findings are presented, in the hope that it can be a stimulus
for teachers to undertake their own research project.
Chapter Outline
Introduction 167
Background and motivation 168
Design and procedure of the study 173
Results 178
Discussion and conclusion 183
Limitations and further research 185
More questions to refl ect on . . . 186
Key terms 186
Further reading 187
A Classroom Experimental Study on the Effects of Processing Instruction
in the Acquisition of Japanese
7

Japanese Language Teaching 168
Background and motivation
Introduction
Van Patten (1996) has argued that a type of instructional intervention called
PI (see Chapter 4 in this book), which helps learners to process information
via comprehension practice, is a more effective type of instruction than that
which requires learners to produce language too prematurely. PI is thought to
be more effective than traditional instruction (explicit information + output
practice) as it provides a more direct route for the learner to convert input to
intake. Input processing (see Chapter 1 in this book) is what and how learners
initially perceive and process linguistic data in the language they hear or
read. As previously discussed in Chapter 1 and 4 of this book, only a portion
of the input is initially processed by L2 learners and this is due to processing
limitations. This, from a psycholinguistic perspective, is explained by the fact
that input does not automatically enter learners’ brains during their exposure
to it. Learners filter input through internal processors they possess.Intake refers to the linguistic data in the input that learners attend and hold
in working memory during online compre hension. Changing the way learners
process input might enrich learner’s intake, have an effect on their developing
system and subsequently have an impact on how learners produce the L2.
The question is how learners initially perceive and process linguistic data
in the language they hear or read. According to Van Patten (1996), learners
make form–meaning connections from the input they received as they con-
nect particular meanings to particular forms (grammatical or lexical). Research
on input processing (Van Patten, 2002, 2003, 2004) attempts to describe what
linguistic data learners attend to during comprehension, which ones they do
not attend to, what grammatical roles learners assign to nouns and how posi-
tion in an utterance influences what gets processed. Van Patten (1996, 2002, 2003, 2004) has identified some strategies (see also
Chapter 1 in this book) used by learners to decode input and he has addressed
the question of which features learners attend to in the input. The following
perceptual strategies are relevant to this study:
P1b learners prefer processing lexical items to grammatical items for semantic information
(The Lexical Preference Principle);
P1d learners tend to process items in sentence initial position before those in final position and those in medial position (The Sentence Location Principle).

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 169
In Van Patten’s view (1996) the main objective of PI is to help learners to
circumvent the strategies used by them to derive intake data by making them
rely exclusively on form and structure to derive meaning from input. In order
to achieve this goal PI must provide learners with a type of comprehension
practice called SIA which should force learners to process the target form in
the input and to make form–meaning connections. Van Patten (1996, 2000,
2002) has suggested that PI provides a more effective practice than traditional
instruction as it equips learners with the tools to convert input into intake.
Wong (2004a) has argued that PI ‘pushes learners to abandon their inefficient
processing strategies for more optimal ones so that better form–meaning con-
nections are made’ (p. 35). The general findings (see also Chapter 4 in this book) of studies measuring
the effects of PI (see for a full review Van Patten, 2002; Lee, 2004; Benati and
Lee, 2008) vs. traditional output-based instruction (traditional instruction as
described by Van Patten and Cadierno, 1993) show that learners receiving PI
seem to benefit in their ability to process input (interpretation tasks) as well as
being able to access the target feature when performing production tasks.
Unlike this type of instruction (paradigmatic explanation of rules in which is
followed by output oral and written practice) where the focus of instruction is
in the manipulation of the learners’ output to effect changes in their develop-
ing system, the purpose of PI is to alter how learners process input and to
encourage better form–meaning mapping that results in a grammatically
richer intake. Therefore, while outpu t-practice may help to develop fluency
and accuracy in production it is not responsible for getting the grammar into
the learner’s head.
Measuring primary effects for PI
Van Patten and Cadierno (1993) have initial ly investigated whether PI would
alter the First Noun Principle (P2). Van Patten and Cadierno (1993) investi-
gated the impact of PI and TI on the acquisition of Spanish direct object
pronouns. The results showed that PI is superior to TI and very beneficial
for learners. PI improved learners’ ability at interpreting object pronouns in
Spanish correctly and furthermore the study demonstrated that PI was also
effective in improving learners’ producti on, as the positive effects for PI were
not only limited to input processing but were also observable in learners’ accu-
racy to produce the target feature. PI was overall superior to TI.

Japanese Language Teaching 170
The results of this original study were confirmed by findings of similar
studies which investigated the effects of processing instruction on different
linguistic features and processing problems. Cadierno (1995) set out to inves-
tigate the effects of PI on a different processing problem (Lexical Preference
Principle). The linguistic item of Spanish which was researched was the Spanish
‘preterite tense’. Benati (2001) conducted an investigation on the effects of two
types of PI and TI on the acquisition of a feature of the Italian verbal morpho-
logy system (the future tense). The impact of the two instructional treatments
(PI vs. TI and a control group) was investigated on the Lexical Preference
Principle which has an effect on the linguistic it em under investigation. Cheng
(2004) measured the effects of PI on the acquisition of copular verbs in Spanish
( ser and estar). One of the processing principles (Preference for Nonredundancy)
was particularly relevant for this study as copular verbs in Spanish are of low
communicative value for L2 learners and redundant features of Spanish. Van Patten and Wong (2004) carried out a study comparing the effects of PI
and TI on the French faire causative. Of relevance to this study was the First
Noun Principle. Other studies have measured the primary effects for PI compared with a
different and more meaning output-based type of instruction. Farley (2001a,
2001b, 2004a) compared the effects of PI vs. meaning output-based instruc-
tion (MOI) on the acquisition of the Spanish subjunctive. Unlike TI, the MOI
contained no mechanical drills and the activities developed for the treatment
were based on the tenets of structured-output activities proposed by Lee and
Van Patten (1995, 2003). The subjunctive was selected because of the process-
ing principle (The Sentence Location Principle). Benati (2005) conducted a similar and paral lel classroom experiment inves-
tigating the effects of PI, TI and MOI on the acquisition of English simple past
tense. The relevant processing principle in this case was the Lexical Preference
Principle.

In all these studies where the primary effec ts of PI have been investigated
and compared with two different types of output-based instruction (namely
TI and MOI), the results have showed the following
(a) PI is a more effective approach to grammar instruction than TI and MOI as it seems to
have a direct effect on learners’ ability to process input (various processing problems,
various linguistic forms, different languages and populations).
(b) PI also seems to provide learners with the ability to produce the target linguistic fea-
tures during output practice. The PI groups performed as well as the TI and MOI groups
on the production task and this is a remarkable finding given that subjects in the PI
group were never asked to produce the target features through output practice.

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 171
Motivation of the present study
The present study focuses on the effects of PI model by assessing secondary
effects (see Lee, 2004) of this approach of grammar instruction in the acquisi-
tion of two grammatical features of Japanese. As briefly reviewed in the previ-
ous paragraph and in Chapter 4 in this book, research on PI has so far focused
on measuring its direct and primary effects by comparing this type of instruc-
tion with traditional and meaning-output based instruction. The results of the
empirical research have shown that PI is a better approach to output-based
approaches to grammar instruction. PI is very effective approach towards
altering inappropriate processing strategies and instills appropriate ones in
L2 learners. Research measuring secondary effects for PI (Benati and Lee, 2008) has
shown that learners receiving PI training in a form or structure affected by
a processing principle would transfer those effects on a different form or struc-
ture affected by the same processing problem. Data exists in Italian, English
and French. Despite the positive results obtained on measuring the secondary
effects of PI, no research has yet been conducted to look into the secondary
effects in the case of a non-European languages such as Japanese. In fact, as
pointed out by Kanno (1999:1) studies on the acquisition of Japanese by for-
eign language learners are very limited and there is a clear need to expand ‘the
range of target languages whose acquisition is being investigated.’ The main aim of this study is to determine whether learners receiving PI
can transfer that training on the acquisition of other forms affected by the
same processing principle without further instruction. The data will be gath-
ered in order to address the following questions:
(a) Will learners who receive training on one type of processing strategy for one specific
form appropriately transfer the use of that strategy to other forms without furth
er
instruction in PI?
(b) After receiving instruction on the use of affirmative vs. negative present tense in
Japanese, can learners process Japanese past tense morphology that is an inflection
that appears in word final position?
The effects of PI practice have only been measured in isolation with indi-
vidual strategies and linguistic features and therefore we are not aware of the
possible training effects for a group of L2 learners who receive PI to alter a
specific processing strategy. Therefore, this study extends previous research on
secondary effects of PI on the acquisition of Japanese (see a review of these
studies in Benati and Lee, 2008), by comparing the relative effects of two types

Japanese Language Teaching 172
of instructional interventions (PI vs. TI) on the secondary effects of PI on
acquisition of Japanese past tense forms.
Question to reflect on . . .
What is the main purpose of this study? Please summarize main aims and o
bjectives of the
present classroom study.
Grammatical features
Japanese present tense morphology is an inflection that also appears in word
final position. The morphology for affirmed verbs (-masu) is different from
those for negated verbs (-masen). Standard Japanese word order places the
verb (and its markings) in sentence final position. The semantic distinction
between affirmative and negative verbal propositions is conveyed through
word final, sentence final morphology. Learners will have to attend to the mor-
phological difference between shimasu and shimasen to determine whether a
proposition (studying) is affirmed or nega ted. This form is affected by the
Sentence Location Principle. The past tense marker is high in communicative value when it is the only
indicator of tense. The marker’s communicative value drops when it co-occurs
with a lexical temporal indicator. The lexical temporal indicator makes the
verb morphology redundant (P1c). Additionally, standard Japanese word
order places the lexical temporal indicator in sentence initial position. It would
be the first sentence element learners encounter whereas the verb morphology
would be the last. In a sentence such as Kinō kaisha ni ikimashita (Yesterday,
I went to the office) both the lexical item Kinō and the verb ending ikimashita
communicate past tense. According to the ‘Lexical Preference Principle’ learn-
ers will naturally rely on the lexical item over the verb inflection in order to
gather semantic information. The ‘Lexical Preference Principle’ has been inves-
tigated in many PI studies (e.g. Cadierno, 1995; Benati, 2001; Benati, 2004;
Benati, 2005; Benati, Van Patten and Wong, 2005). The grammatical feature of Japanese past tense was mainly selected because
not only is it affected by the Lexical Preference Principle but also by the Sen-
tence Location Principle as in the case of the first linguistic feature. According
to Van Patten (2002), learners tend to process items in sentence initial position
before those in final position and those in medial position. This processing
strategy has been investigated in previous studies (Farley, 2001a, 2001b; Benati,

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 173
2005; see also Benati, Van Patten and Wong, 2005) and the effects of SIA have
been proved vital in helping learners to circumvent this processing problem.
Japanese past tense
morphology is an inflection that appears in word final
position (-shita). Japanese sentences end with verbs and the ending of the verb
encodes the tense and also provides information on whether the sentence is
positive or negative. Learners would tend to process elements in the initial
position before elements in the final position according to Van Patten’s princi-
ple, therefore they would skip over the grammatical marker and find it diffi-
cult to establish whether the sentence is positive or negative or whether it is
referring to the present or the past. PI is designed to push learners to process
the element in the final position that otherwise may not be processed and
would lead to misinterpretation of the sentence. The main purpose of PI is to
push learners to process the grammatical markers in the final position that
otherwise may not be processed.
Research questions
Based on the motivation outlined in the previous section two specific ques-
tions were formulated:
Q1. Will there be any differences in how learners of Japanese exposed to two different
types instructional treatments (PI vs. TI) interpret and produce sentences containing
and expressing positive or negative present forms?
Q2. Will learners who receive training on one type of processing strategy for one specific
form appropriately transfer the use of that strategy to other forms (namely past
tense
forms in Japanese) without further instruction in PI?
The first aim of this study was to compare the primary effects of PI and TI
on the acquisition of a Japanese linguistic feature. The second aim was to mea-
sure the secondary effects of PI and particularly the training effects on a sec-
ond Japanese linguistic feature affected by the same processing principles.
Design and procedure of the study
Participants and procedure
The experiment was designed to make the results as objective as possible
within the constraints of a private Japanese language programme in Italy.
Beginners students of Japanese participated in this study. All subjects were
Italian native speakers and were studying Japanese in a private school were

Japanese Language Teaching 174
they received 4 hours of instruction over 2 consecutive days every week. The
original sample of subjects (42) was reduced to 24 subjects (final data pool) as
the participants went through a series of filters (e.g. subjects with previous
knowledge in the two targeted linguistic features were not included in the
final pool). The reduction of the original sample was also due to the effects of
attrition. Participants who scored more than 60 percent were not included in
the final data pool. The randomized and reduced sample consisted of three
groups: PI group (n = 9); TI group (n = 8); C group (n = 7). The randomization procedure used in this study allowed us to argue that any
differences in the groups were due to the treatments because one can assume
that other variables which might have affected the results exist in equal quanti-
ties in the three groups. Two different packs of materials (one for the PI group
and one for the TI group) were produced for one of the two Japanese linguistic
features by the researcher and used during the instructional treatments. The
instructional materials were balanced in all ways (e.g. vocabulary, total number
of activities) except the type of practice the students received (i.e. input versus
output practice). A pre- and post-test procedure was used with a control group and the two
instructional treatments group. Participants were administered pre-tests in both
linguistics features before the beginning of the instructional period (on the
use of present forms and past forms) and post-tests immediately after the end
of the instructional treatment (see Figure 7.1 for an overview of the experimental
PRE TESTS (1 WEEK BEFORE)
Interpretation and production tasks
Present forms (affirmative and negative) Past tense forms
Final pool of 21 students
RANDOMIZATION PROCEDURE
1. PI 2. TI 3. C
INSTRUCTIONAL PERIOD (4 HOURS IN TOTAL)
ON THE PRESENT FORMS (AFFIRMATIVE AND NEGATIVE)
IMMEDIATE POST-TESTS
Interpretation and production tasks
Present forms (affirmative and negative) Past tense forms
Figure 7.1 Overview of the experiments.

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 175
design used in the present study). Learners received the instructional treat-
ments (4 hours in total, on 2 consecutive days) on the use of positive and
negative present forms in Japanese. After the end of the instructional period,
the groups were given post-tests on both the first instructed feature, and the
second instructed feature (past tense forms) to measure for both primary and
secondary effects.The groups were taught by the same instructor (who was also the researcher)
during the period of instruction.
Instructional treatments
Since the first aim of this study was to investigate the relative effects of two
different types of instructional intervention on the acquisition of Japanese,
two sets of materials were developed. One for the TI group which consisted in
grammar teaching and output practice, and one for the PI group which con-
sisted in teaching the subjects to process input sentences. The output-based
activities required the subjects to produce accurately, present tense forms
(affirmative and negative). The PI approach required learners to interpret sen-
tences containing present tense forms (affirmative and negative), and make
correct and appropriate form–meaning connections. The two instructional treatments were balanced in terms of activity types,
number of activities and use of visuals. Vocabulary was roughly the same and
consisted in highly frequent and familiar items for Japanese language learners.
The two treatments differed as to whether they were receptive or productive
and both included explicit information about the targeted form. However,
the explicit information provided to the PI group consisted in giving learners
information about psycholinguistics processing problems involved in the
grammatical form in focus in this study.
PI
The material was developed based on the guideline principles for the con-
struction of structured input activities presented in Lee and Van Patten (1995).
This input-based treatment consists of the use of SIA activities (referential
and affective types) in which learners have to respond to the content sentences
(see sample in Appendix A for the present tense) and some explicit informa-
tion about the target form. Students belonging to this group were never
asked to produce a sentence containing the targeted linguistic feature, but they
were engaged in processing input sentences so that they could make better

Japanese Language Teaching 176
form–meaning connections and therefore interpret and comprehend the
linguistic feature. In the present study, the input was ‘structured’ so that the
grammatical forms carry a meaning and learners must attend to the form to
complete the task.In both studies, the input was ‘structured’ so that the grammatical forms
carry a meaning and learners must attend to the form to complete the task. In
the case of the use of positive vs. negative present forms, learners were required
to pay attention to the verb in sentence final position to determine whether the
meaning of the sentence was negative or positive.
TI
The second pack constructed for the TI treatment was prepared following
the criteria of one approach to the teaching of grammar which involves the
presentation of the present tense forms and the subsequent practice in how to
make sentences in the present tense (affirmative and negative forms). The
activities used for the implementation of this approach were constructed to
make learners practise by producing the forms at sentence level. Some of those
activities lacked of any referential meaning. This output-based treatment (see a sample in Appendix B for the present
tense) had the following characteristics: presentations of forms, which was
followed by the use of activities in w hich learners have to practise producing
the correct forms.
Control group
The control group received no instruction on the target features but was sub-
jected to a comparable amount of exposure to the target language for the same
amount of time.
Assessment
Four tests (see Appendix C for the assessment task for the present tense and
Appendix D for the assessment task of the past tense forms) were produced:
one for the interpretation task and one for the production task for both
instructional features. The fact that b oth interpretation and production tasks
were present in all the tests is clear evidence that neither instructional group
was favoured. An interpretation task was used as a measure of knowledge gained
at interpreting present tense (affirmative vs. negative) and one developed

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 177
and used to measure student’s knowledge to interpret past tense forms at
sentence level. In the case of the interpretation test for the present tense, ten sentences (five
affirmative and five negative) were used, and participants had to rely on the
verb (in final position) to establish whether the sentence was negative or
affirmative. In the case of the past tense forms, temporal adverbs were removed from
the sentences so that the learners’ attention was directed towards the verb
endings as indicators of tense. Learners should use verbal morphology as an
indicator of tense since the lexical indicators of tense were absent. The inter-
pretation test consisted of 20 aural sentences (ten in the present which served
as distracters and ten in the past) in which temporal adverbs and subject nouns
or pronouns were removed, so that the participants could not rely on those
elements to assign tenses but had to focus on verb morphology as the only
indicator to establish when the action was taking place (present vs. past). The tests were presented to the subjects on a tape player. No repetition was
provided so that the test would measure real-time comprehension. In the
interpretation task, the raw scores were calculated as follows: incorrect response
= 0 point, correct response = 1point. In the present study, only the past sen-
tences were counted for the raw scores for a maximum score of 10. Written completion production tasks were developed and used to measure
learner’s ability to produce sentences in the past forms and the use of positive
and negative sentences in present forms. In the case of the positive vs. negative
present forms, the written production grammar test consisted of ten sentences
to complete (five affirmative and five negative) in the present form. In the
written production tasks (past tense forms) learners were required to com-
plete a text producing ten correct past forms in Japanese. The written comple-
tion production task was developed and used to measure learner’s ability to
produce sentences in the past forms. In the written production tasks (past
tense forms) learners were required to complete a text producing ten correct
past forms in Japanese. The scoring procedure in the production task was cal-
culated as follows: fully correct form = 1 point; incorrect = 0 point.
Question to reflect on . . .
How is this study designed in terms of subjects, materials and overall p
rocedures? What
type of design was used?

Japanese Language Teaching 178
Results
Primary effects (positive vs. negative
in present forms)
Interpretation data
Data were collected for the interpretation task to measure primary effects
of the instructional treatments. A pre-test was used and administered to the
participants some time before the beginning of the experiment. A one-way
ANOVA conducted on the pre-test alone revealed no significant differences
among the two class means before instruction (p = .987). A repeated measures
ANOVA was used on the raw scores of the interpretation task to establish the
possible effects of instruction on the way learners interpret sentences contain-
ing present forms in Japanese (affirmative vs. negative). The results graphically
presented in Graph 7.1 show that there is a significant effect for Instruction
(F(2, 24) = 95.344, p = .000). There was significant effect for Time (F(2, 24) =
108.527, p = .000) and for interaction between Instruction and Time (F(4, 24)
= 193.863, p = .000). The means in Table 7.1 indicate that the PI group made
greater gain than the TI group and the control group. The Scheffe post-hoc
tests revealed the following contrasts: the PI group was significantly different
from the TI group (p = .000) and the control group (p = .000); the TI group
and the control group were not different ( p = .339). PI as a type of instruction
had positive and statistically significant pr imary effects on how participants
interpret sentences containing the affirmative vs. negative present tense forms.
Those effects are significantly better that the other instructional treatment and
the control group. The Scheffe post-hoc tests revealed the following contrasts: the PI group
was significantly different from the TI group ( p = .000) and the control group
(p = .000); the TI group and the control group were not different ( p = .339).
Table 7.1 Means and standard deviation for interpretation
task pre-test and post-test (present). Primary effects
Pre-test Post-test
Variable n Mean SD Mean SD
PI 9 .733 .318 6.888 1.166
TI 8 .875 .356 .925 .246
C 7 .485 .112 .302 .173

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 179
Production data
A written production task was administered to the three groups. As in the case
of the interpretation data statistical analyses were performed on the raw scores
of the written task. A pre-test, administered to the subjects some time before
the beginning of the experiment revealed no statistically significant difference
between the groups (p = .571). A repeated measures ANOVA used to establish
the possible effects of the three groups on the way learners produce written
sentences to express affirmative vs. negative present tense forms in Japanese,
indicated significant main effects for instruction (F(2, 24) = 138.183, p = .000)
that there was a significant effect for Time (F(2, 24) = 35.960, p = .000). There
was significant interaction between Instruction and Time (F(4, 24) = 248.050,
p = .250). The means showed in Table 7.2 and graphically in Graph 7.2 indicate
PI
Groups 0.00 1.00
2.00
3.00
4.00
5.00
6.00
7.00
8.00
9.00
10.00
Mean
Pretestipre
Posttestipre
Control
TI
Table 7.2 Means and standard deviation for production
task pre-test and post-test (present). Primary effects
Pre-test Post-test
Variable n Mean SD Mean SD
PI 9 .333 .118 4.388 1.166
TI 8 .2575 .356 4.725 1.246
C 7 .642 .214 .485 .114

Japanese Language Teaching 180
that the PI groups and TI groups made similar gains from pre- to post-tests.
Both treatments seem to bring about the same improved performance on pro-
ducing Japanese present tense forms at sentence level. The Scheffe post-hoc tests revealed the following contrasts: the PI group
was significantly different from the control group ( p = .000); the TI group was
significantly better than the control group ( p = .004); the PI group and the TI
group were not different ( p = .987).
Secondary effects (past tense forms)
Interpretation data
Data were collected for the interpretation task to measure possible secondary
effects. This is in order to establish whether there were any possible training
effects on the groups receiving PI. The pre-test, administered to the three
groups, some time before the beginning of the experiment revealed no stati-
stically significant difference between the groups ( p = .346). A repeated meas-
ures ANOVA was used on the raw scores of the interpretation task to establish
the possible effects of instruction and no instruction on the way learners inter-
pret sentences where the past tense in Japanese is only expressed by verb
morphology. The results graphically presented in Graph 7.3. show that there is
a significant effect for Instruction (F(2, 24) = 75.425, p = .000); that there was
a significant effect for Time (F(2, 24) = 37.799, p = .000); and there was
PI
Groups 0.00 1.00
2.00
3.00
4.00 5.00 6.00
7.00
8.00
9.00
10.00
Mean
Pretestppre
Postetstppre
Control
TI

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 181
significant interaction between Instruction and Time (F(4, 24) = 122.253,
p = .000). The means in Table 7.3 indicate that the PI group made greater gain
than the TI and control group. The post-hoc tests revealed the following contrasts: the PI group was sig-
nificantly different from the TI group ( p= .000); the PI group was also better
than the control group (p= .000); the TI group and the control group were not
different ( p = .103).
PI is a type of instruction that has secondary effects on the way learners
process forms affected by the same processing problem.
Production data
A written production task was also administered to the three groups to meas-
ure secondary effects on the ability to produce past tense forms in Japanese.
Table 7.3 Means and standard deviation for interpretation
task pre-test and post-test (past). Secondary effects
Pre-test Post-test
Variable n Mean SD Mean SD
PI 9 .433 .118 4.288 1.166
TI 8 .675 .356 1.125 .246
C 7 .192 .214 .485 .114
PI
Groups
0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00
4.00 5.00 6.00
7.00
8.00 9.00
10.00
Mean
Pretestips
Postestips
Control
TI

Japanese Language Teaching 182
A pre-test, administered to the three groups, some time before the beginning
of the experiment revealed no statistically significant difference between the
groups (p = .219). As in the case of the interpretation data, statistical analysis
was performed on the raw scores of the written completion text. A repeated
measure ANOVA was used on the raw scores of the production task to estab-
lish the possible effects of instruction and no instruction on the way learners
produce sentences containing past tense forms. The results graphically pre-
sented in Graph 7.4, show significant effect for Instruction (F(2, 24) = 14.157,
p = .001); that there was a significant effect for Time (F(2, 24) = 9.352,
p = .001); and there was significant interaction between Instruction and Time
(F(4, 24) = 104.483, p = .000). The means showed in Table 7.4 and graphically
in Graph 7.4 indicate that the PI groups and TI groups made similar equal gains.
Table 7.4 Means and standard deviation for production
task pre-test and post-test (past). Secondary effects
Pre-test Post-test
Variable n Mean SD Mean SD
PI 9 .333 .148 2.388 1.166
TI 8 1.175 .356 1.725 1.246
C 7 .142 .214 .085 .114
PI
Groups 0.00 1.00
2.00
3.00
4.00
5.00
6.00
7.00
8.00
9.00
10.00
Mean
Pretestpps
Postestpps
Control
TI

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 183
PI seems to have secondary effects learners’ performance on producing
Japanese past tense forms at sentence level task. The post-hoc tests revealed the following contrasts: the PI group was not
significantly different from the TI group ( p = .821); the PI group was better
than the control group (p = .000); the TI group was also better than the con-
trol group (p = .001). PI is a type of instruction that has secondary effects on the way learners
process forms affected by the same processing problem.
Summary of results
Based on previous research it was hypothesized (Q1.) that the group who
received PI would perform better in the interpretation task than the TI group
on the present tense forms (affirmative vs. negative). The instructional data
collected through the interpretation and production task and the subsequent
statistical analysis revealed that the differences among the two groups under
investigation were statistically sig nificant as far as the interpretation task. The
PI group’s performance was better than that of the TI group and the control
group in the interpretation task. Both the PI and the TI group performed
equally in the production task. The results confirm primary positive effects for
PI as a type of grammar instruction. On the basis of previous research it was also hypothesized (Q2.) that the
subjects receiving PI would transfer the training on the processing principles
related to the present tense forms to another form affected by the same princi-
ples, namely the past test forms in Japanese. The results revealed that the PI
group performs better than the other two groups on the interpretation task
and the two instructional groups performance was very similar in the produc-
tion task. The results confirmed previous results on the cumulative and sec-
ondary effects of PI (Benati and Lee, 2008).
Questions to reflect on . . .
What type of data collection and data analysis were used?
What are the main results?
Discussion and conclusion
The results of the interpretation data in both experimental studies, although
parallel to those obtained by other studies in vestigating the primary effects of

Japanese Language Teaching 184
PI on a perceptual strategy in different romance languages, expand previous
findings and provide a welcome addition to the continuing investigation on
the effects of PI in two linguistic features of Japanese. The evidence collected
in this study have shown that PI is a better instructional treatment than TI
practice as showed in previous studies (see for a full review Lee 2004; Lee and
Benati, 2007a, 2007b) and the positive primary effects of PI are generalizable
to the acquisition of present tense form in Japanese. In addition to that, the
results from this study have provided evidence that PI has indeed secondary
effects on L2 learners and these effects are measurable on a linguistic feature
(past tense forms) of Japanese.The participants who received PI were able to perform significantly better
than the TI group in the interpretation task in both linguistic features. The two
instructional groups equally improved their performance in the production
tasks in both linguistic features. The latter finding is extremely important if we
consider that the group receiving PI was never involved in activities in which
they had to produce the target features. Despite the fact that the PI groups were not familiar with the production
task, they were able to perform at least as well as the TI group. This particular
finding provides further evidence of the impact of PI on learners’ developing
system on a different language (Japanese). The findings from this study confirm previous findings measuring second-
ary effects of PI (Benati and Lee, 2008) as learners in the PI group outper-
formed the TI group in both interpretation measures. The participants in the
PI group were able to transfer the training received on the present tense forms
when they were asked to interpret sentences containing past tense forms.
Learners who were trained to pay attention to the verbal morphology forms to
interpret the meaning of the sentence were able to make better meaning form
connections and process the input correctl y and more efficiently. Learners
in the PI group were also able to transfer their training on one processing prin-
ciple (Sentence Location Principle) to another processing principle (Lexical
Preference Principle). Training subjects on one processing problem through
PI is transferable to other forms affected by the same or similar processing
problem without further instruction. PI practice on one particular processing
problem produce some effects on a different processing problem. Learners
trained on the Sentence Location Principle might be able to transfer the use
of this strategy to other forms affected by the Lexical Preference Principle
without any further instruction in PI.

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 185
The main outcome from this study is that it reaffirms the positive effects
of PI in altering learners’ processing principles, transfer positively this
training and consequently have an effect on learners’ developing system.
Research on PI has clearly indicated that this input-based approach offers
more instructional benefits than output practice. Lee and Van Patten (1995)
have rightly argued that ‘traditional instruction which is intended to cause
a change in the developing system, is akin to putting the cart before the
horse when it comes to acquisition; the learner is asked to produce when
the developing system has not yet had a chance to build up a representation of
the language based on input data’ (p. 95). Van Patten (2003:27) has strongly
argued that output practice is not responsible for the making of an implicit
system. The findings from of this study have repercussions at empirical and theo-
retical levels. At the empirical level, the findings from this study provide evi-
dence on the generalizability and effectiveness of PI primary and secondary
effects on the acquisition of another language (Japanese) among beginner
learners of a different L1: namely Italian. As far as the theoretical level is concerned, the contribution of the present
study is that it contributes directly to the discussion on the crucial role that
input processing plays in SLA. In respect of this, the results provide further
support for current models of SLA (Van Patten, 1996, 2002, 2004) which link
input processing and the developing system.
Limitations and further research
Despite the positive outcomes of this inv estigation, there are some limitations
that further research should address. The first one is related to the relatively
small number of subjects who took part in the experiment. Further research
should replicate the study with a larger population. A second limitation of the present studies is that instructional effects were
measured in an immediate post-test battery only. Hence, the longer-term
effects of PI and its components on the acquisition of the grammatical feature
of the present study should be re-investigated. Further research should be
carried out to compare secondary effects of PI in the acquisition of different
linguistic features in Japanese by measuring discourse level interpretation
and production tasks (Benati and Lee, 2 008) as secondary effects have only
focused on sentence level tasks. Further research should ensure that transfer of

Japanese Language Teaching 186
training is the only observable variable responsible for improved knowledge of
non-targeted linguistics feature. Further research must make sure that no other variables can accounted for
the positive learning outcomes obtained in this study. Further research should also investigate the transfer of training effects on
other linguistics features of Japanese which are captured by different process-
ing principles so that we can generalize the findings of the present study.
Question to reflect on . . .
How did the researcher interpret the results? Are there any other limitations and areas for
further research?
More questions to reflect on . . .
(1) What are the main findings? Has this study provided an answer to the questions raised?
(2) Can we consider this study valid and reliable? If Yes, Why?
(3) What is the next step? Can you indicate other possible avenues for furth
er research in Japa-
nese in this area?
(4) Can you read the following study in Japanese (‘Directing learners’ attention to sentence final
position.’ In Lee, J. F., Benati, A. G. 2007(b). Second Language processing: An analysis of
Theory, Problems and Possible Solutions (111–125). London: Continuum) and identify the
following:
(1) Research question/motivation of the study
(2) Subjects
(3) Method
(4) Type of data
(5) Type of analysis
(6) Main findings
Key terms
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA): this is a statistical procedure used to measure the differ- ence between the mean of two or more groups.
Assessment (tests): in an experimental study, this is the dependent variable used to measure the effects of the independent variable (instructional treatment/s).
Mean (M): this refers to the average of a set of scores.
Participants (population): a group of individuals, selected and chosen for an experiment, who share similar characteristics.

Effects of Processing Instruction in the Acquisition of Japanese 187
Post-hoc analysis: statistical analysis used to establish which groups have significant different value for the mean.
Treatment (s): in an experimental study, this refers to a method/technique whose effec- tiveness is to be measured. It is the independent variable in an experimental study.
Further reading
A., Lee, J. (2008). Grammar Acquisition and Processing Instruction: Secondary and Cumulative Effects .
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Benati, A. and Lee, J. (2009). Processing Instruction and Discourse . London: Continuum.

The purpose of this book was to reflect on some major topics related to
language acquisition and CLT teaching in order to provide an alternative
way to teach Japanese as a second language. The main aim of this book was to
help existing and future teachers of Japanese to have a better understanding as
to what CLT approach really is and how it can be implemented in the language
classroom (in Chapter 4 we use Lee and Van Patten (1995, 2003) theories and
practices in language teaching to provide a framework for CLT in Japanese).
The book also provides readers with explanation as to why at theoretical
level (findings in instructed L2 research reviewed in Chapter 1 and 2), the
CLT approach is justified as an approach to teach a foreign language such as
Japanese. Research findings in SLA have revealed the limited role of instruction.
However, this does not mean that in a communicative approach to language
teaching, teachers should renounce teaching the language. The creation of
learners’ implicit system is input driven and therefore instructors should pro-
vide comprehensible and meaning-bearing input in the classroom. Input and
communicative interactions should be encouraged from the beginning level of
learning. The idea is to create a classroom where communication is the main
goal for instruction and learners are involved in communicative tasks where
meaning and message are on focus in a input-rich environment. This type of
communicative practice should also be directed to the learners’ acquisition of
grammar and vocabulary. Grammar should not be taught in a traditional way
following a sequence which goes from the explicit and paradigmatic explana-
tion of forms/structures to output mechanical practice. Grammar should be
taught keeping in mind that the role of input is paramount in developing
grammatical competence. The type of grammar teaching we advocate consid-
ers the way learners process input and offers opportunities for learners to
make better form-meaning connections. In this book we have proved that this
approach to grammar instruction is successful in teaching Japanese grammar.
Conclusion

Conclusion 189
We have argued that learners after the input stage should be engaged in
communicative tasks where they need to produce language for the purpose of
expressing some meaning. Learners must use the language to obtain informa-
tion and do something with the information they have obtained. We have pro-
vided guidelines and examples to produce communicative tasks in Japanese
for developing learners’ listening, speaking, writing and reading comprehen-
sion skills. To summarize, in our suggestions for a more communicative approach to
teach Japanese to L2 learners we have recommended the following:
(a) expose learners to refined, comprehensible and meaning-bearing input;
(b) develop grammar tasks where learners can process the linguistics characteristics of
a target language in the input (structured input activities);
(c) develop communicative grammar tasks using a variety of techniques (e.g.
structured
input activities, textual enhancement, consciousness rising) that provide at the same
time a focus on form and a focus on meaning.
(d) develop communicative tasks that encourage learners to produce the language for
a meaningful purpose through interactive tasks and other tasks where the focus is on
grammar (e.g. structured output activities);
(e) develop communicative tasks that encourage interactions which focus on m
eaning
(e.g. task-based activities, role-plays).
Teachers of Japanese must take up this challenge and make their classroom
more communicative. At the same time one of the other main aims of this
book was to provide a platform for teachers of Japanese to get involved in
classroom and experimental research. We have provided a possible experi-
mental framework to help teachers engaging in this kind of research. The final
chapter is an example of how research on the effects of a specific focus on form
called processing instruction can provide some practical implications for the
teaching of Japanese grammar. The hope is that more students and teachers
can take this challenge forward.

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Appendices

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Appendix A
PI Treatment on Japanese
Present Affi rmative vs. Negative
Structured input activities
Attività A
Ascolta e determina se la frase è affermativa o negativa. Presta attenzione al
verbo in posizione finale!
Koutei (�o Hitei 8o
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Sentences heard by learner:
1. Watashi wa italiago o benkyou shimasu $sê2].†

@�ÒùÔ•
2. Watashi wa italiago o benkyou shimasen $sê2].†

@�ÒùÖ•
3. Watashi wa London ni sumimasu $sê`f<fæ
ÑúùÔ•
4. Watashi wa London ni sumimasen $sê`f<fæ
ÑúùÖ•
5. Watashi wa gekijyou ni ikimasen $sê

�æ-ÈùÖ•
Attività B
Ascolta le frasi riguardo alle abitudini di uno studente. Decidi se sono affirma-
tive o negative e poi stabilisci se sei in accordo o in disaccordo.
Koutei (�o Hitei 8o Hai Iie
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

194
Sentences heard by learner:
1. Watashi wa tomodachi to dekakemasu $sê
ù1�ã ´ÆÌùÔ•
2. Watashi wa tomodachi to dekakemasen $sê
ù1�ã ´ÆÌùÖ•
3. Watashi wa gekijyou ni ikimasu $sê

�æ-ÈùÔ•
4. Watashi wa John to hanashimasen $sê+Zfã.dÒùÖ•
Il presente in frase affermativa si forma con il suffisso – masu mentre in frase
negative con il suffisso - masen). Memorizza i seguenti verbi al presente (forme
positive e negative)
Appendix A

Appendix B
TI Treatment on Japanese
Present Affi rmative vs. Negative
Traditional instruction
Attività A
Trasforma le frasi dall’italiano al giapponese secondo l’esempio:
Io gioco a tennis/Io non gioco a tennis
watashi wa tenisu o shimasu
watashi wa tenisu o shimasen
1. Io torno a casa presto/Io non torno a casa presto
2. Io parlo il giapponese/Io non parlo il giapponese
3. Io guaro la TV/ Io non guardo la TV
4. Io ascolto la radio/ Io non ascolto la radio
5. Io prendo l’autobus alle 3/ Io non prendo l’autobus alle tre
Attività B
Cambia le frasi dall’affermativa alla negativa
(1) Watashi wa John to hanashimasu $sê+Zfã.dÒùÔ•
(2) Watashi wa nihongo de shimbum o yomimasu $sêãÄ.†âÂ(^
.’úùÔ•
(3) Watashi wa gimu ni ikimasu $sê+Sæ-ÈùÔ•
(4) Watashi wa gengogaku o benkyou shimasu $sê..†G

@�ÒùÔ•
(5) Watashi wa ronbun o kakimasu $sê.°¥
 ÈùÔ•

196
Explicit information for traditional
instruction
Il presente in frase affermativa si forma con il suffisso –masu mentre in frase
negative con il suffisso - masen ). Memorizza i seguenti verbi al presente (forme
positive e negative)
Forme del presente
Affermativa Negativa
Ikimasu (vado) -ÈùÔikimasen (non vado) -ÈùÖ
Kimasu (vengo) êùÔ kimasen (non vengo) êùÖ
Kaerimasu (ritorno)ëùÔ
kaerimasen (non ritorno) ëùÖ
Mimasu (vedo) -×ùÔ mimasen (non vedo) -×ùÖ
Kikimasu (ascolto) (^ÈùÔ
kikimasen (non acolto)(^ÈùÖ
Tabemasu (mangio) 6)ôùÔ
abemasen (non mangio)6)ôùÖ
Nonimasu (bevo)66úùÖ
nominasen (non bevo)66úùÖ
Kaimasu (compro)/ˆ¿ùÔ
kaimasen (non compro)/ˆ¿ùÖ
Yomimasu (leggo).’úùÔ
yominasen (non leggo).’úùÖ
Shimasu (studio) ÒùÔ
shimasen (non studio)ÒùÖ
Appendix B

Appendix C
Tests for Japanese Present Affi rmative vs. Negative
Interpretation task
Ascolta le frasi riguardo alle abitudini di uno studente e stabilisci se si tratta di
una frase affermativa o positiva al presente.
1 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
2 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
3 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
4 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
5 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
6 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
7 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
8 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
9 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
10 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
11 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
12 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
13 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
14 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
15 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
16 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
17 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
18 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
19 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen
20 Koutei Hitei Wakarimasen

198 Appendix C
Sentences heard by lesarners:
1. Watashi wa tomodachi to dekakemasu $s
1 
2. Watashi wa tomodachi to dekakemasen $s
1 
3. Shumatsu tomodachi to sugoshimashita 1s
11
4. Watashi wa terebi o mimasen $sê9_F
-×ùÖ•
5. totemo ii hon o yomishamita ãáý¿¿Ä
.’úùÒÚ•
6. Joan to gekijyou ni ikimashita +Zfã

�æ-ÈùÒÚ•
7. Watashi wa terebi o mimasu $sê9_F
-×ùÔ•
8. ronbun o kakimashita .°¥
 ÈùÒÚ•
9. nohongo de shinbun o yomimasen ãÄ.†âÂ(^
.’úùÖ•
10. uchi/ie ni kaerimashita …æëùÒÚ•
11. san-ji ni basu ni norimasen (æC,æ
6ùÖ•
12. uchi/ie ni kaerimashita …æëùÒÚ•
13. watashi wa Alessandro to hanashimasu $s_6(f<`.d
14. Bernie to hanashimashita $GTPKGã.dÒùÒÚ•
15. watashi wa gimu ni ikimasen $sê+Sæ-ÈùÖ•
16. watashi wa gimu ni ikimashita $sê+Sæ-ÈùÒÚ•
17. watashi wa gekijyou ni ikimasu $sê

�æ-ÈùÔ•
18. Kinou watashi wa john to kouen o ã”$sê+Zfã Oæ
`Èù
arukimashita ÒÚ•
19. gengogaku o benkyou shimasu ..†G

@�ÒùÔ•
20. bar de wain o takusan Coâbf
ÚÊÐ9ë
Production task
Completa le seguenti frasi al presente
1. Watashi wa Italia ni --------------- (vado). $sê2]æ
2. Watashi wa Italia ni --------------- (non vado). $sê2]æ
3. Watashi wa mainichi tenisu o --------------- (gioco). $sê¤ã9>,
4. Watashi wa mainichi tenisu o --------------- (non gioco). $sê¤ã9>,
5. Watashi wa maiban tereibi o --------------- (non guardo). $sê¤E9_F
6. Watashi wa denwa de Paul to --------------- (parlo). $sê5.dáPo^ã
7. Watashi wa denwa de Paul to --------------- (non parlo). $s5.dPo^
8. Watashi wa mainichi osoku made --------------- (dormo). $sê¤ã1ƒÊùâ
9. Watashi wa rajio o --------------- (ascolto). $sê+
10. Watashi wa rajio o --------------- (non ascolto). $sê+

Appendix D
Tests for the Past Tense Forms
Interpretation task
Ascolta le frasi e stabilisci quando avviene l’azione
1 Kyonen
ð Maitoshi ¤
2 Kyonen Maitoshi
3 Kino-
ã Mainichi ¤ã
4 Kino-
Mainichi
5 Kino-
Maiban ¤E
6 Kino-
Maiban
7 Sakuban E Mainichi
8 Sakuban Mainichi
9 Kino-
Mainichi
10 Kyno-
Mainichi
11 Kyonen Maitoshi
12 Kyonen Maitoshi
13 Kino-
Mainichi
14 Kino-
Mainichi
15 Kino-
Maiban
16 Kino-
Maiban
17 Sakuban Mainichi
18 Sakuban Mainichi
19 Kino-
Mainichi
20 Kyno-
Mainichi
Sentence heard by learners:
1. italia ni ikimashita 2]æ-ÈùÒÚ•
2. italia ni ikimasu 2]æ-ÈùÔ•
3. tenisu o shimashita 9>,
ÒùÒÚ•
4. tenisu o shimasu 9>,
ÒùÔ•

200
5. ii eiga o mimashita ¿¿ !¹
-×ùÒÚ•
6. terebi o mimasu 9_F
-×ùÔ•
7. osoku made nete imashita 1ƒÊùâ¢á¿ùÒÚ•
8. osoku made nemasu 1ƒÊùâ¢ùÔ•
9. de Paul to hanashimashita Po^ã.dÒùÒÚ•
in this position of de doesn’t make sense
10. de Paul to hanashimasu Po^ã.dÒùÔ•
11. gekijyou ni ikimashita

�æ-ÈùÒÚ•
12. no shumatsu tomodachi to sugoshimashita 1sÔ
ù1�ã1ŠÏÒùÒÚ•
in this position of no doesn’t make sense
13. restouran de hatarakimasu _,;fâ ÛÈùÔ•
14. John to kouen o arukimashita +Zfã Oæ
`ÈùÒÚ•
15. gakkou de nihongo o benkyou shimashita G^.

@
16. marason o shimashita Q0f
ÒùÒÚ•
17. totemo ii hon o yomimasu ãáý¿¿Ä
.’úùÔ•
18. Paul to kouen o arukimasu Po^ã Oæ
`ÈùÔ•
19. Jon to hanashimasu +Zfã.dÒùÔ•
20. uchi/ie ni kaeriimasu …æëùÔ•
Production task (sample)
Completa le seguenti frasi al passato
1. Kino-
rajio o --------------- (ascoltato). ã”+
2. Kino -
tenisu o --------------- (giocato). ã”9>,
3. Kino -
italiago o benkyou --------------- (studiato). 2].

@
4. Kino -
terebi o --------------- (guardato). ã”9_F
5. Kino -
italia ni --------------- (andato). ã”2]æ
6. Kino -
rajio o --------------- (studiato). ã”+
7. Kino -
italiago o --------------- (insegnato). ã”2].†
8. Kino -
totemo osuku ni --------------- (andato a letto). 1
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Author Index
Allwright, D. 137
Anderson, J. 24
Bacham, L. F. 62, 63, 147
Benati, A. 10, 11, 14, 49, 50, 51, 119, 147, 159, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 184
Bialystok, E. 24
Breen, M. 65
Brumfit, C. 65, 72
Burt, M. K. 23
Bygate, M. 37, 72
Cadierno, T. 38, 43, 48, 169, 170, 172
Campbell, D. 156
Canale, M. 62
Candlin, C. 65, 72
Caroll S. 12
Carroll, J. 21, 39
Chaudron, C. 136
Cheng, A. 170
Chikamatsu, N. 122, 123
Chomsky, N. 8, 9, 10, 36, 61, 82
Coakley, C. 109
Corder, P. 11, 28
Di Biase, B. 28
DeKeyser, R. 24
Doughty, C. 21, 36, 37, 38, 39, 43, 54, 83
Dulay, H. C. 23
Ellis, N. 16, 24, 31, 68
Ellis, R. 17, 27, 31, 37, 39, 40, 41, 69, 83, 91, 163
Evans, J. 39
Everson, M. 122
Farley, A. P. 49, 97, 170, 172
Felix, S. 23
Flower, L. 126, 127
Fotos, S. 41, 82, 83
Gass, S. 12, 17, 30, 39, 60, 66, 68, 108 Halliday, M. A. K. 62
Haneda, M. 20
Hansen-Strain, L. 28
Harley, B. 25
Hatasa, A. Y. 127
Hatch, E. M. 30
Hayes, J. R. 126, 127
Heikel, E. 82
Hulstijn, J. 38
Hymes, D. 61, 62
Inagaki, S. 18, 22
Iwashita, N. 20, 22
Johnson, K. 61, 71
Kanagy, R. 28
Kanno, K. 8, 171
Kaplan, M. 23
Kawaguchi, S. 28, 29
Kleinsasser, R. C. 71
Koyanagi, K. 22
Krashen, S. 15, 19, 23, 24, 30, 36, 60, 66,
68, 69, 82, 108
Kubota, S. 43
Kuriya, Y. 122
Larsen-Freeman, D. 25, 106, 137
Lee, J. 10, 11, 14, 16, 28, 30, 32, 50, 51, 53, 59, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73,
74, 83, 92, 97, 106, 107, 108, 110,
115, 116, 117, 122, 123, 124, 126,
127, 128, 147, 159, 169, 170, 171,
175, 184
Lightbown, P. 21, 23, 28, 37, 65, 66
Littlewood, W. 61, 71, 72, 73, 106, 110, 112, 118, 119, 121
Long, M. 17, 18, 21, 22, 25, 36, 37, 69, 82, 83, 108, 136, 137, 154
Loschky, L. 18
Lyster, R. 22, 39

212
Mackey, A. 17, 20
Mandell, P. B. 25
Maroishi, M. 22, 43
Maruishi, M. 22
McLaughlin, B. 24
Mitchell, R. 65, 71
Minaminosono, H. 122
Mito, K. 18
Muranos, H. 22
Nagata, N. 20
Nakakubo, T. 17, 109
Nassaji, H. 83
Newark, L. 71
Nobuyoshi, J. 39
Norris, J. M. 25, 83
Nunan, D. 37, 106, 109, 110, 122, 135, 138, 163
Ohta, J. 8, 18, 22, 88, 108
Oikennon, S. 25, 48, 49
Omaggio Hadley, A. 8
Ortega, L. 25, 83
Ota, M. 22
Palmer, A. S. 62, 63, 147
Paulston, C. 84, 92
Peressini, R. 119
Pica, T. 17, 20, 28, 66
Pienemann, M. 27, 28, 29, 31, 36, 59
Prabhu, N. 71
Ranta, L. 22, 39
Richards, J. C. 71
Rodgers, T. S. 71
Robinson, P. 24, 25, 36
Rost, M. 110
Rumelhart, D. 123
Rutherford, W. 40, 91
Samimy, K. 160
Sanz, C. 34 Sato, K. 71
Savignon, S. 10
Schmidt, R. 26, 54
Seliger, H. 138, 139, 140, 143, 155, 161
Selinker, L. 17
Shibata, N. 22
Sharwood-Smith, M. 12, 26, 40, 41, 42,
91, 93
Sherer, A. 136
Skehan, P. 37
Shohamy, E. 138, 139, 140, 143, 155, 161
Soeda, E. 127
Spada, N. 21, 37, 53, 60, 65, 72, 82, 83, 137, 144, 154
Stanley, J. 156
Sugiura, R. 37
Swain, M. 19, 20, 21, 25, 30, 39, 62
Takashima, H. 37
Terrell, T. D. 38, 44, 60, 93
Trahey, M. 39
van Lier, L. 69
VanPatten, B. 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17, 19, 20, 25, 28, 31, 32, 36, 38, 41, 43, 44, 46,
47, 48, 49, 53, 59, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 72,
73, 74, 83, 92, 93, 94, 97, 103, 106, 107,
108, 109, 110, 114, 115, 116, 117, 122,
123, 124, 126, 127, 128, 169, 170, 172,
173, 175, 185, 188
Varela, E. 21, 39
Wertheimer, M. 136
White, L. 21, 36, 39
Widdowson, H. G. 65
Wilkins, D. 64
Williams, J. 8, 17, 25, 30, 36, 37, 38, 39, 54, 68, 83, 103
Wolwin, A. 109
Wong, W. 10, 36, 39, 42, 43, 50, 53, 87, 89, 90, 97, 169, 172, 173
Author Index

Subject Index
Action research 161, 163, 164
Acquisition (SLA) 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29,
30, 31, 32, 36, 38, 39, 43, 44, 46, 47, 53,
55, 59, 66, 68, 83, 88, 95, 103, 129, 185,
188
Audio-lingual method (ALM) 8, 9, 10, 11, 54, 61, 67, 70, 81, 82, 84, 105, 107, 160
Behaviourism/behaviourist 8, 9, 11
Cognitive code method 81, 82
Communicative competence 10, 24, 60, 62, 64, 68, 69, 72, 73, 160
Communicative language teaching/ communicative (CLT approach) 8, 9,
10, 32, 37, 41, 53, 54, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65,
66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 82,
83, 85, 103, 105, 106, 107, 108, 129,
188, 189
Consciousness raising 26, 39, 40, 41, 67, 91, 92, 103
Corrective feedback/feedback (error correction) 15, 18, 20, 21, 22,
37, 54, 66, 72
Developing System/internal system 7, 12, 13, 20, 78, 93, 94, 168, 185
Direct method 81
Drills 9, 10, 20, 54, 81, 84, 85, 92, 105, 107, 129
Experimental research/methodology/ design 135, 136, 137, 139, 154, 157,
158, 159, 174
Explicit information 25, 48, 50, 96, 97, 168
Focus on form/s 23, 32, 36, 37, 38, 39, 43, 52, 53, 54, 55, 68 Form-meaning connections 13, 14,
15, 24, 30, 31, 40, 41, 52, 53, 54,
55, 73, 74, 93, 94, 97, 118, 169,
184, 188
Functional syllabus 64
Grammar translation method 81, 84, 105
Input/ Input comprehensible/meaning bearing 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,
18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 30, 31, 32, 36,
37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 53, 60, 61,
66, 67, 68, 69, 73, 74, 78, 82, 86, 87, 88,
89, 93, 94, 95, 98, 103, 109, 110, 118,
119, 129, 169, 184, 188, 189
Input/textual Enhancement 23, 41, 42, 51, 67, 87, 89, 90, 103
Input flood 39, 42, 87, 88, 89
Input processing, 13, 14, 26, 43, 44, 46, 48, 78, 94
Instruction (formal) 7, 8, 11, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 38, 41, 43, 44, 53, 54,
60, 71, 72, 73, 74, 81, 82, 83, 86, 93, 94,
96, 129
Intake 12, 13, 26, 46, 48, 93, 118
Interaction/interaction hypothesis 11, 17, 18, 20, 30, 31, 36, 40, 62, 66, 68, 69,
72, 108, 109, 118, 119, 121, 129, 189
Listening comprehension (communicative tasks) 108,
109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114
Monitor (theory) 15, 23, 30, 36
Natural Approach 16,
Negative evidence 21, 23, 32, 67
Negotiation of meaning 17, 18, 21, 30, 36, 40, 66, 69, 72, 108, 109
Noticing hypothesis 26, 52

214
Oral (communicative tasks) 114, 115, 116, 117, 118
Output/output practice 7, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 30, 39, 73, 74, 75, 78, 93,
94, 118, 129, 168, 169
Positive evidence 21, 23, 87
Processing Instruction 11, 39, 41, 43, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97,
101, 103, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172,
175, 184, 185
Reading comprehension (communicative tasks) 122, 123, 124,
125, 126
Recast 21, 22, 39
Role play tasks 118, 119, 120, 121
Skill acquisition 20
Structural syllabus 9, 36, 61 Structured input activities/practice
(SIA) 14, 23, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52,
73, 74, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 103,
159, 172
Structure output activities (meaning output-based
instruction) 73, 74, 102, 117,
170
Teachability/learnability/ processability
(hypothesis) 26, 27
Traditional instruction (TI) 10, 11, 40, 51, 85, 93, 101, 159, 168, 169,
170, 172, 176, 184, 185
Universal Grammar 9, 21
Writing (communicative tasks) 126, 127, 128
Subject Index