Word Processing and WWW Projects in a College Japanese Language Class


  • Ryuko Kubota

    1. University of North Carolina
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      Ryuko Kubota (Ph.D., Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto) is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


ABSTRACT  This paper describes four computer-assisted Japanese language and culture projects using word processing and the World Wide Web (WWW) conducted in a college-level third-year Japanese class, and reports the impact of the projects as assessed by student pre- and post-questionnaires reflective comments from students, and instructor's reflective observation notes. Fourteen students provided their feedback on the four projects that they had engaged in: (1) journal writing; (2) creating a personal home page; (3) a Japanese culture project using the WWW; and (4) a collaborative class fiction using a discussion forum on the WWW. The projects were successful in that students enjoyed word processing, creating Web pages, and collaboratively creating a fiction all in the Japanese language. Students also felt that these projects benefited the overall development of their Japanese language skills, understanding of Japanese culture, and computer skills. They also felt that word processing made writing in Japanese easy. Observations found that students' motivation increased. There was also a significant decrease in students' anxiety toward using computers. Areas of difficulties included kanji recognition in word processing and in reading Web pages and mastering technical skills. This paper offers suggestions tor conducting similar computer projects in foreign language classrooms.