Social and interactive perspectives on Japanese language proficiency

Assumptions about language, language learning, and language learners affect the design of language textbooks and classroom practices. Three main chapters in this monograph explore the gap between how language is represented in textbooks versus how language is used outside the classroom. Focus of the explorations is on “grammar and interaction,” “sociolinguistic variations and the construction of identities,” and “communication styles and intercultural encounters.” A final chapter discusses pedagogical implications, what can and cannot be accomplished inside and outside the classroom and how the two types of learning environments can be linked to each other in order to enhance the quality of the language learning experience.

Guided observations of video-recorded interactions among speakers of Japanese are presented to encourage reflection on assumptions and to illustrate language use outside of the classroom.