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The purpose of this single case study was to explore authentic communication for Japanese language learning in second-year Japanese classes at a small, private university in the Midwest. Types of authentic Japanese communication and materials in and outside of Japanese class were studied from four learners’ and one professor’s perspectives.
Data were collected throughout one academic year, the first semester of 2004 through the second semester of 2005. Multiple methods of data collection were used in this study including personal interviews, casual conversations, participant observations of classes and related events, and studying relevant documents including the textbook, students’ study sheets, videos, oral exam transcripts, e-mail copies, reflection sheets, and web log copies.
Qualitative research procedures were used to study second-year Japanese language learners’ authentic communication. Data were analyzed by categorizing into codes then themes and sub-themes. Five themes emerged in this study: 1) the e-mail writing process, 2) the e-mail reading process, 3) the learning process, 4) learning through e-mail, and 5) authentic Japanese. Lastly, implications and recommendations based on the data were concluded.
Advisor: Aleidine J. Moeller