LYNDON SMALL (FUKUOKA UNIVERSITY)

FEATURES OF JAPANESE DISCOURSE STYLE THAT IMPEDE COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE IN ENGLISH. : INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

The presentation explains the design, procedure, results and implications of a study to gauge the extent to which native Japanese speakers prefer to use (English) loanwords when communicating in English. This study was developed and replicated in 2019. The presenter will explain the compilation of a comprehensive loanword corpus from the commonly used Genius English-Japanese dictionary (2014), thirty loanwords chosen at random, and the instrument developed to gauge their preferred selection by native Japanese university students. The results of the initial and replicated studies (N=560) showed an overall preference for loanword vocabulary selection. However, the use of loanwords can impede effective communication because they are not always an appropriate lexical choice. The presenter will explain the way in which some elements of Japanese discourse style can negatively impact communication in English. In addition, a limited lexical range and lack of lexical flexibility of Japanese speakers in English can result in low proficiency test scores, e.g. IELTS. Overall, to minimise perceptual and pragmatic failure in English conversation, Japanese speakers need to be aware of the pitfalls of using loanwords, to increase their lexical flexibility and to understand cultural differences in discourse styles.

The presenter is a professor of English language at Fukuoka University, Japan. His research interests include loanwords in Japanese, semantics, cognitive linguistics and discourse styles.