Developing critical consciousness: Shutaisei in teaching and learning a foreign language
KeywordsEducation, Language and Literature.
AdvisorGoodman, Kenneth S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation examined students' learning processes and development of Japanese as a foreign language (FL) in relationship to a human ability called shutaisei in Japanese. Based on the premise that aspects of shutaisei and language use have an intrinsic relationship, this study explored the meanings of the concept of shutaisei and FL ability. It challenged the current notion of FL proficiency that sets a native-like competence as a major goal. Shutaisei is the ability to direct one's own conduct as an autonomous person. In order to lead an independent life harmoniously with other people in human society, this autonomous ability has three over-arching characteristics: make critical decisions, put decisions into action, and respect other people's attempts to lead equally independent lives. These characteristics involve further attributes: the unity of subjectivity and objectivity, the unity of reflection and action, risk-taking, introspection, critical pursuit of one's own interests, among others. Based on learner-centered philosophy and the functional view of language, this study examined how students' shutaisei actually affected their functional use and development of Japanese in two consecutive beginning Japanese as a FL courses. Both the practice and the lack of their shutaisei had considerable effects on the extent and quality in every phase of their studying Japanese, such as learning grammar, participating in activities and using Japanese meaningfully. Shutaisei induced the students' willingness and initiative in their learning, and enhanced the development of their control over the use of Japanese. The contribution that this dissertation offers to foreign language education is a significant implication of shutaisei in the development of critical, functional, and independent FL ability. This view of FL ability acknowledges the same responsibility that native speakers must take as language users: to search for the form that truly reflects one's own meanings. This dissertation extends the importance of practicing and developing shutaisei to every learning context inside and outside of school. It also calls for developing teachers' own shutaisei in their decision making. Students will not develop shutaisei unless teachers present themselves as learners and practice their own shutaisei in the classroom.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture