Beyond the Japan-Bowl, There is a Place that Our Students Display Their Work and May Have an Opportunity to Be Invited to Visit Japan
The process of high school students’ Japanese writing skills development is focused from the perspective of not only the instructional strategies, which are articulated on each level (from Level I through 5), but also the ways of integrating them with the Pennsylvania writing standards. My students’ written work on various levels will be used as reference samples. Language teaching/learning is comprised of other skills besides writing, and it is beyond this one session to discuss about it.
I would like to take the liberty to use this presentation as a meeting ground with other Japanese language teachers and to expand this particular session as a forum so that other Japanese language teachers may express their instructional as well as Japanese language advocacy issues and concerns.
Students Writing International Contest Sponsored by Japan Forum
Writing as one activity of developing communicative competence
The communication goal contains three macro domains according to ACTFL standards. They are:
The interpretive-- understanding spoken and written texts
The Interpersonal--direct interaction
Presentational -expressing ideas, information, feelings & experience through both spoken and written words. ( Foreign language Standards: Linking Research, Theories, and Practices, by June Phillips, National Textbook Company, 1999, p.18)
Text Levels at a Glance of Developmental Stages in Writing Iconic Formulaic Instructional Expository Abstract
After being introduced to the katakana writing system, and some 30 ~ 40 kanji, by the end of the first semester, students should be able to write a couple of different topics of writing, including the use of past tense.
My dream room,- with use of arimasu/imasu ( あります／います）
Imaginary Trip --with use of past tense of verb, adjective. ( わたしは カンクーンに行きました。
Not only expressing the enhanced self introduction with a variety of newly learned grammatical structures, students will be able to produce a short story writing in Japanese after reading a Japanese folk story.
Among several topics that students could express in writing. Here is a guideline of the students self-introduction assignment. (next page)
The topic might remain the same as in Level I through IV about expressing self, the content is in depth,the grammatical structure is more complex, the quantity is greater overall, the completion speed is accelerated without sacrificing the quality. . The orthography is more accurate and more kanji.
SAT II and AP Japanese don’t include a writing requirement, but there is a reading section, for which kanji knowledge is a prerequisite.
Benefits & Significance of the Contest Participation
Benefits and Strength
Students sense their own accomplishment as their own exit of their five years’ study of Japanese language
Relationship between teacher and student become closer.
The contest deadline motivate their work to be completed on a certain date.
Students learn a Japanese students profile.
There are students who can’t cope with the pressure of keeping the assignment’s deadline.
Text Levels at a Glance Developmental Stages Iconic Formulaic Instructional Expository Abstract PSSA, all students starts with expository writing practice at lowest. Whereas, Japanese lang. students begin from the bottom, by learning two kinds of alphabets in addition to a Chinese writing form called kanji, and a completely new syntactic structure.
Explanation #2 Developmental Differences in vocabulary, grammatical structure, accuracy of orthography, quantity of kanji use and cohesion of paragraph development
Level I ： わたしはじむです。 XX は YY です。
(plain simple sentence- ~ です。 〜 ます。
Level II: advanced to be able to use simple conjunctions. Existence expressions
Level III: Connecting form of adjectives, desu sentences, use of more relational forms あまり、ぜんぜん、しか、 more expanded use of particles with accuracy,
Level IV--expanding of vocabulary including nouns, adjectives, adverb, conjunctions. At the same time, new compound sentence learning, and manipulation of the language.
Level V -- SAT preparation, Japan Foundation’s Proficiency Test taking
Brings up their overall standards
Explanation #3 Comparison of PA Writing Assessment Domain Scoring Guide VS a teacher made writing assessment rubrics
Non-scorable items are:
Is readable but did not respond to prompt
Even non-scorable items, we accept especially up to Level III.