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Iwasaki, Noriko (2010) 'Style shifts among Japanese learners before and after study abroad in Japan: Becoming active social agents in Japanese.' Applied Linguistics, 31 (1). pp. 47-71.

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Previous studies on L2 Japanese sojourners often reported that learners overuse the plain style or haphazardly mix the plain and polite styles upon return. These styles, which are often associated with formal or informal contexts, also index complex social and situational meanings, and native speakers are reported to shift their styles to create desired contexts. In order to better understand L2 development of the use of the plain and polite styles during study abroad, the current study examined the use of the polite/plain styles and style shifts among five English-speaking male students who studied in Japan for one academic year by comparing their performances both quantitatively and qualitatively in oral proficiency interviews before and after they studied abroad. Upon return, three predominantly used the polite style talking to the interviewer (their former teacher), while two primarily used the plain style. Though the quantitative analysis may lead one to conclude that these two students regressed in their pragmatic competence, the qualitative analysis revealed that all five learners gained some understanding of social meanings of the plain and polite styles and became more active social agents who make decisions to shift the styles.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 1477450X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2009 16:29

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