August 5, 2011

Article: Teaching Japanese Pragmatic Competence Using Film Clips

From http://blc.berkeley.edu

Teaching Japanese Pragmatic Competence Using Film Clips
By Wakae Kambara
Published Jul 24, 2011

While checking 3rd-year Japanese students’ scripts, I have noticed a pattern of student errors consisting of sentences that are grammatically correct, but that sound unnatural.

It should be emphasized that these errors are purely pragmatic, not grammatical. Therefore, proper usage cannot be taught independently of context. How can we teach pragmatic features of the language in class? Lengthy explanations usually do not enable students to acquire the skills of proper usage.

This paper addresses how we might use film clips to teach sentence-final expressions in Japanese. Conversations in films are scripted, differing from the spontaneous unfolding of real conversations. Nevertheless, they are perceived by the audience as naturalistic verbal exchanges. In this sense, utterances in films can be considered as representing an ideological prototype of language use. In addition, students enjoy film clips; they show the visual contexts in which the verbal expressions are used.

Read the full article describing how this instructor uses film clips in his classroom at http://blc.berkeley.edu/index.php/blc/post/teaching_japanese_pragmatic_competence_using_film_clips

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