Exploring the effects of the Shadowing method: Case studies of Japanese language learners at an Australian university
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 17:31 by Hideki Sumiyoshi
While listening is an essential skill in any spoken language, there are limited practice methods for developing learners' listening skills (Seo, 2005). In classrooms, teachers usually employ simple 'repetition', which is a traditional audio lingual method to improve this skill. Today's technological advancement has generated readily available authentic materials for listening practice. However, learners tend to engage in passive listening since they have no control over the speech speed, unlike the other three language skills where one can adjust the speed (of speaking, writing and reading) at will. Research conducted in the past decade on English as a foreign language (EFL) in Japan has shown that shadowing is an effective method for improving listening skills. Shadowing requires learners to listen and speak at the same time. This simultaneity is considered to trigger active listening since it requires close attention to phonological loop of working memory (Kadota , 2007). Nevertheless, the popularity of shadowing is mostly limited to Japan, with limited studies conducted in the other parts of the world (Hamada, 2014). The present study aims to explore effective implementation of shadowing method in an Australian un iversity for Japanese as a foreign language (JFL), by investigating the effect of shadowing through multifaceted approaches, and to propose implications emerge from the findings of this study. This research conducts shadowing method in Japanese language c ourses among Australian university students. Four case studies are conducted in four separate semesters. Each focuses on different research objectives as follows: (1) the effect of shadowing on sound recognition ability in relation to the speed variety of shadowing model audio; (2) the effect of shadowing on listening comprehension skills with a focus on the use of different listening strategies; (3) the effect of shadowing on the prosodic feature of high low pitch accent in speech production; and (4) learn ers' perceived motivation and attitudes towards shadowing method. Measuring instruments are devised according to the research objectives: pinpoint dictation tasks for sound recognition ability; listening tasks at different lengths and formats for listening comprehension strategies; marking method using visualised intonation curves for judging pitch accent in order to minimise marker's subjectivity; and survey questionnaire items in reference to the literature review to explore learners' perceptions toward s hadowing. Statistical analysis is performed using SPSS to examine the collected data. The main findings highlight four aspects of the shadowing practice: (1) appropriate speed range of shadowing model audio for the target audien ce; (2) positive relationship in the improvement between the competence of shadowing skill and use of listening comprehension strategy; (3) improvement in pitch accent accuracy in shadowing reproduction; and (4) contributing motivation factors towards shad owing. A summary of the common shadowing procedures applied in this study are presented; and the implications of further shadowing conduct are discussed. The study explores how dominant discourses, in public debates and in visa decision making, present refugees and asylum seekers and the social actors who interact with them (van Leeuwen, 1996). In particular, it aims to uncover how these discourses construct language, communication and diversity, and how they present discourse creation itself. It compares these constructions with the sociolinguistic realities in these settings, exploring how communication occurs and the individual, interactional and structural influences and limitations on refugees' ability to communicate credibly and produce a credible identity. The study finds that dominant discourses in these settings problematically construct credibility as an individual attribute of the refugee. It finds that this contradicts the sociolinguistic realities: credibility is constructed discursively, and whether a refugee can communicate in the manner required to be regarded as credible relies on a number of factors beyond their individual control. These include the impact of other persons involved in their interactions, and the institutional and legal structures they must navigate. However, these factors are largely erased from the discourse. Therefore, the discourse unfairly places a burden of performing credibility on the refugee, dictating criteria for this performance that are often difficult and sometimes impossible to satisfy. Beyond its immediate impacts for the individuals in question, this construction of credibility also acts to limit their ability to challenge the dominant discourse. This conclusion has implications for the way in which credibility assessments are administered, and their broader overall validity. However, given the connections drawn between the public discourse and institutional processes, the findings suggest that meaningful improvement to institutional approaches to credibility assessment are unlikely without significant changes in the prevailing political discourse.