Enhancing teaching and learning speech acts: action research of Japanese as a foreign language /
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This action research observes a second year Japanese class at a university where foreign language courses are elective for undergraduate students. In this study, using the six strategies to teach Japanese speech acts that Ishihara and Cohen (2006) suggested, I conducted three classes and analyzed my teaching practice with a critical friend. These strategies assist learners toward the development of their understanding of the following Japanese speech acts and also keep the learners to use them in a manner appropriate to the context: (I) invitation and refusal; (2) compliments; and (3) asking for a permission. The aim of this research is not only to improve my instruction in relation to second language (L2) pragmatic development, but also to raise further questions and to develop future research. The findings are analyzed and the data derived from my journals, artifacts, students' work, observation sheets, interviews with my critical friend, and pretests and posttests are coded and presented. The analysis shows that (I) after my critical friend encouraged my study and my students gave me some positive comments after each lesson, I gained confidence in teaching the suggested speech acts; (2) teaching involved explaining concepts and strategies, creating the visual material (a video) showing the strategies, and explaining the relationship between the strategy and grammatical forms and samples of misusing the forms; (3) students' background and learning styles influenced lessons; and (4) pretest and posttests showed that the students' Icvel of their L2 appropriate pragmatics dramatically improved after each instruction. However, after careful observation, it was noted that some factors prevented students from producing the correct output even though they understood the speech act differences.