Emotional factors in senior L2 acquisition: A case study of Japanese speakers learning Spanish
Aim. This research tries to explore whether a training course on tour guiding in a foreign language designed for senior learners could maximize their life experience, knowledge, and motivation (Author, 2018, 2019). The discussion argues that language learning for older adults is to be considered not only from cognitive aspects, but also from emotional and social aspects, since these are malleable and susceptible of being changed by the teaching method and the teacher's skills.
Method. We discuss the case of senior Japanese learners of L2 Spanish through their questionnaires, class observations and introspective materials. Literature regarding emotional factors such as tolerance to ambiguity is reviewed. Also, we further focus on the social factors including gender divide, a major issue in Japanese society that affects the older generation in particular.
Results. We used the Multidimensional Mood State Questionnaire (MDMQ questionnaire, English version of Der Mehrdimensionale Befindlichkeitsfragebogen MDBF; Steyer, Schwenkmezger, Notz, and Eid, 1997) to determine their mood before and after the course 5 times in total. We also introduce 4 learners’ cases (2 female and 2 male learners) including introspective materials results from senior learners showing their Spanish level transition.
Conclusion. A content-based course linked to practical occasions to be a volunteer tour guide seems not simple for the students and some learners felt ambiguous with regards to contents; however, independently of their Spanish level, they tried to find simple and alternative ways to manage the conversations or explanations. Some typical cultural and social factors in Japan, learners’ language level, experience, knowledge, and emotional factors seem more important elements for the creation of class atmosphere in this content-based L2 learning.
Amano, M. (2009). Ⅱ Gakkou kuukan – Byoudou to sexism no koubou [School space – Offense and defense in equality and sexism] (p. 60). [In:] M. Amano, K. Ito, R. Ito, T. Inoue, C. Ueno, Y. Ehara, M. Osawa, M. Kanou, & M. Saito. (Eds.), Shinpen Nihon no feminism 8 Gender to kyouiku [New version Feminism in Japan 8 Gender and education]. Tokyo, Japan: Iwanami Shoten, Publishers.
Bin Ya Shak, M. S. (2015). Tolerance of ambiguity and the use of language learning strategies among ESL learners at the tertiary level. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ad59/e792dffa964f3c7611b413b62d36e496f7c8.pdf
Budner, S. (1962). Intolerance of ambiguity as a personality variable. Journal of Personality, 30(1), 29-50. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1962.tb02303.x
Cabinet office, Government of Japan. (2018). Chapter 2 Situation Regarding Implementation of Measures for the Ageing Society. Annual Report on the Aging Society. Retrieved from: https://www8.cao.go.jp/kourei/english/annualreport/2018/pdf/c2.pdf
Council of Europe. (2001). Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Department of Methodology and Evaluation Research, University of Jena. (n.d.). MDMQ questionnaire (English version of MDBF). Retrieved from: https://www.metheval.uni-jena.de/mdbf.php
Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind, Third edition. New York: NY: McGraw-Hill.
Inoue, H. (1989). Maekoujou [Introduction]. Juippiki no neko [Eleven cats], Komatsuza the座 [The za], 14, 16-17.
Kachmaryk, K., Grabovska, S., Ostrovska, K., & Syniev, V. (2014). Tolerance for uncertainty in elderly people. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 5(1), 20-27. doi:10.15503/jecs20141-20-27.
Kawaguchi, A. (2013). Nihon no gender wo kangaeru [Discussing gender roles in Japan]. Tokyo, Japan: Yuhikaku publishing.
Marzban, A., Barati, H., & Moinzadeh, A. (2012). An investigation into ambiguity tolerance in Iranian senior EFL undergraduates. English Language Teaching, 5(1), 76-85.
Mori, S. (2009). Seiyakuwari no gakushuu to shitsukekoui [Gender role learning and discipline] (pp. 61-70). [In:] M. Amano, K. Ito, R. Ito, T. Inoue, C. Ueno, Y. Ehara, M. Osawa, M. Kanou, & M. Saito. (Eds.), Shinpen Nihon no feminism 8 Gender to kyouiku [New version Feminism in Japan 8 Gender and education]. Tokyo, Japan: Iwanami Shoten, Publishers.
Muramatsu, Y. (2003). Gakkoukyouiku to gender: Kenkyuu to jissen no doukou [School education and gender: Research trends and practical questions]. 学術の動向 [TRENDS IN THE SCIENCES], 8(4), 36-40.
Muramatsu, Y. (2009). Kagakugijutsu to gender [Science technology and gender] (pp. 261-272). [In:] M. Amano, K. Ito, R. Ito, T. Inoue, C. Ueno, Y. Ehara, M. Osawa, M. Kanou, & M. Saito. (Eds.), Shinpen Nihon no feminism 8 Gender to kyouiku [New version Feminism in Japan 8 Gender and education]. Tokyo, Japan: Iwanami Shoten, Publishers. (In Japanese)
Naiman, N., Fröhlich, M., Stern, H. H., & Todesco, A. (1996). The Good Language Learner. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Norton, R., W. (1975). Measurement of Ambiguity Tolerance. Journal of Personality Assessment, 39(6), 607-619.
Ramírez Gómez, D. (2016). Language teaching and the older adult: The Significance of experience. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Shibuya, E. (2018). L2 learning for seniors: Lessons from an exchange between Japanese learners of Spanish and a senior volunteer guide group from Spain. Journal of Linguistic and Cultural Studies, (50), 3-11.
Shibuya, E. (2019). MEXT policies and learning experience: Lifelong learners of languages other than English. Language Policy, Innovations and Practices: A Tale of Two Countries. Kobe City University of Foreign Studies Journal of Research Institute, 59, 39-53.
Steyer, R., Schwenkmezger, P., Notz, P., & Eid, M. (1997). Der Mehrdimensionale Befindlichkeitsfragebogen (MDBF). Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.
Yoshihara, K. (1995). Joshidaigakusei niokeru shokugyousentaku no mechanism Joseinaibunka no youin toshiteno joseisei [Job Selection of Women University Students: Femininity as a Factor of Intra-Gender (Women) Differentiation]. 教育社会学研究 [The Journal of Educational Sociology], 57, 107-124.
Copyright (c) 2020 Emi Shibuya
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. All authors agree for publishing their email adresses, affiliations and short bio statements with their articles during the submission process.