On the afternoon of February 10, we enjoyed 5 hours of graduate and undergraduate thesis presentations. All the students put such a great effort into their presentations, that the day really did not feel long. Below, I have written to the best of my ability, a brief summary of each of the presentations. The variety of topics shows that range of interests of the English Department members.
Aurore Nesme, Content Based Language Teaching at Super Science High Schools (English)
Aurore argues that Content Based Language Teaching is ideal for Super Science High Schools in Japan. She investigated whether or not CBLT is compatible with High School English teacher’s language learning beliefs. She gave a questionnaire to 176 teachers at 62 schools. She found that teachers’ beliefs, regardless of whether or not they taught in the Super Science program, were compatible with CBLT. However, contextual factors made it difficult for them to practice CBLT. She also found that the Super Science program did not change teachers’ beliefs.
Sun Jie, University Perceptions of English as a Lingua Franca (English)
First, Sun Jie explained what ELF is, the language spoken between two people who share English as a common language but not a first language. ELF. In her study, she conducted interviews and observed classes of 4 university lecturers of English. She identified their attitudes towards ELF and how they actualize their principles in the classes. Some principles she identified were teachers prioritize communication over grammar, some teachers even think that grammar is not necessary.
Marino Sato, A comparison of bullying in the USA and Japan (English)
She found that in both countries there was a significant time lag between people’s awareness of bullying and the establishment of actual laws. She also found that in the US parents are responsible for educating their children about bullying but in Japan the responsibility is with schools. She thinks that awareness of bullying is essential to eradicate it.
Shun Kumagai, A Study of Narrative Techniques in ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ (Japanese)
He talked about how the timeline of the narrator is not necessarily the same as the timeline of the story. He then related this to the theme of lonliness. This was a highly original presentation!
Fumie Nishidate, A Study of the Movie, Tonari no Tottoro: A Contrastive Analysis of the Japanese Lines and the English Dubbing and Subtitles (Japanese)
She focused on the kinds of lines spoken when the pace of the conversation was fast. It was interesting that very short phrases in Japanese such as ううん, were translated to “I think she’s going to Shichikoku yama.”
Sakiko Yahaba, A Study of Syntactic Constituent Order in Japanese Sign Language (Japanese)
She presented about subject position in Japanese sign language.
Kako Matsuda, English Education in Elementary School and Communicative Language Teaching (English)
She argued that Japanese students are not good at communicating and investigated reasons for this.
Yukiko Sato, What kind of learning strategies do elementary school students use in a task-based lesson? (English)
She recorded an English class at Fuzoku Elementary School and transcribed students’ interactions to investigate the kind of communication strategies that students used.
Masato Sasaki, A Contrastive Study of Japanese Proverbs in Terms of Structure (Japanese)
He compared 219 proverbs in Japanese and English. He found that English proverbs were more dependent on context than Japanese ones and there was a larger variety of expressions used.
Naoki Tanaka, A comparison of baseball team management between the US and Japan (Japanese)
He talked about the role of owners in MLB and NPB as well as how trades are done. The number of trades done in MLB is significantly higher.
Manami Takasugi, A Study of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Japanese)
Manami discusses how the female characters in Shakespeare’s Sonnets differed from the typical female characters in conventional prose at the time.
Sayaka Abe, Current class society and consciousness in the United Kingdom (English)
She talked about the birth of the middle class which took place during the Industrial Revolution. She considered why the class system in UK continues to this day. Her findings is that class can determine schools, housing, occupation and all aspects of life.
Michiru Omori, A Contrastive Study of Japanese and American Advertisements (Japanese)
She compared online announcements. She found that the American ones used more adjectives and could see these differences even when the merchandise advertised was the same. She also found that US advertisements used “you” while the Japanese ones did not. She thought that the former was perhaps an effort to reach out to the consumer.
Shota Sugawara, A Study of Task Based Language Teaching (English)
He spoke about what TBLT is and then summarized some strengths and weaknesses of TBLT.
Fumiya Suzuki, A Study of “Hamlet” (Japanese)
He talked about how Hamlet did his monologues. He talked about two kinds of Hamlet, the True Hamlet and the False Hamlet. Fumiya had a message for juniors, he said find something that you are interested in!
Hinako Kino, Effective English Instruction for Elementary School Students Based on a Focused on Form Approach (English)
Hinako analyzed an elementary school class to see the types of focus on form techniques the teacher used and the effect it had on students’ learning. She found that students were able to use the phrases they were exposed to fluently but some students used the phrases incorrectly. This was a flaw of one of the techniques used by the teacher, inpu flooding.
Yukiko Jomori, The Effects of Thatcherism on Changes in the Popular Culture in the UK (English)
Margaret Thatcher’s policies benefited the economy but people with a weak position in society did not benefit so she received a lot of criticism.
Takato Kogure, A comparison of child-rearing between Japan and other countries (English)
He introduced the term IKUMEN which is used in Japan to refer to a father who likes to raise children. He compared Japan, Switzerland, and France. He had a very thorough reference list.
Tomomi Sato, A Study of Japanese Subtitles in the English-language Movie, Tangled (Japanese)
She found a significant difference between the Japanese written in subtitles and the Japanese voice-overs in the movie.
Kaho Kudo, A study of how to effectively correct EFL learners’ writing (English)
Based on an experimental class at Miyako Technical High School, Kaho proposed five principles for giving feedback on student writing.
Kaito Takayama, The history and roots of jazz, and its impact in the US. (Japanese)
He talked about the history of jazz and explained how it spread from New Orleans to Chicago and then New York.
Shinji Atarashi, A Contrastive Study of Color Terms in Japanese and English (Japanese)
He identified three ways humans interpret color: 1) human evolution; 2) regional influence; 3) personal influence.
Yuka Tamura, A Study of Care for Intellectually Disabled ~ A Comparison between Japan and United Kingdom (Japanese)
Facilities for intellectually disabled people in Japan are becoming smaller in scale but people do not seem to be dissatisfied with large-scale facilities. This tendency of converting to smaller scale facilities is also evident in England.
Kota Sato, The Impact of Charles Schulz’s Life History on PEANUTS (English)
He looked at how the life of the author affected the comic strip. A lot of difficult experiences in his life appeared in the comic strip.
Tomoaki Kinoshita, What kind of skills are targeted in the TOEIC test and Iwate Teachers’ Employment Test? (English)
Using CEFR, he compared the level of difficulty and skills targeted of the TOEIC and Iwate Teacher’s Employment Test.
Kotaro Kudo, An Onomasiological Study of Japanese Confectionery (Japanese)
He explained how Japanese candies are named.
Tomoyo Owada Differences in special needs education between Japan and the Netherlands
Tomoyo could not attend and has written the below summary:
“I studied about special needs education in Japan and the Netherlands. I found that the history that special needs education developed, current situation, teaching methodologies and future trends are different by for each country;, but in Japan and the Netherlands, people created special needs education to hope for children’s better development. I also learned that the education which fits children’s needs and the education that children with disabilities can participate in society are required in both of countries.”