It is well known that L2 learners of Japanese have difficulty using the plain form (informal form) socially appropriately. The present study investigates how five Japanese high-intermediate L2 learners were socialized through interactions with their host family members over the course of their study abroad into indexical uses of the plain form for private, self expression (e.g., soliloquy, opinions, feelings, desires, emphasis, and empathy). Analysis of natural, unelicited conversations between the learners and their host families revealed that at the beginning of their stay the learners used the desu/masu (formal) form for private expressions (e.g., oishii desu! = it’s delicious), resulting in awkward, non-target like utterances. However, through exposure to and participation in interactions with their host family members, the data shows that by the end of their stay learners acquired the use of the plain form to index expressions that fore-fronted their private selves. The results also shed light on how learner beliefs, host family speech style choice, and routinized topics affected the socialization process. Ultimately, the study has important implications for teaching indexical uses of the plain form in the L2 classroom.
Abigail McMeekin, University of Lethbridge, Canada
Every human entity born in the universe, will possess distinct characteristics, some inherited, other their own. Human beings when compared mainly differ in their biological, chemical and psychological characteristics. These differences make human beings to receive, perceive, interpret and store information differently based on their cognitive abilities. This proposes a challenge for the design of traditional and/or electronic teaching learning systems to cater to the diversified needs of the learner. In traditional learning systems, the challenge is on the tutors to identify learning abilities of the pupils and teach accordingly. To some extent this has been achieved by good tutors, which most of the time is not a scalable proposition. The advent of electronic learning systems have, been able to successfully achieve the scalability aspect of this ecosystem. The current electronic learning systems to greater extent do not take into account the learning ability or comprehension index of the learner. This work attempts to propose a concept, model and/or mechanism for electronic learning systems to aggregate and deliver the content to the learner based on the profile of the user, which include comprehension index of the learner. This is achieved by utilizing self-learning satisfaction index of the learner as feedback.