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Language Acquisition of Mixed Roots Individuals in Japan

Page No.: 
197
Writer(s): 
Takara K. Allal, Konan University

In this study, individuals who have not only Japanese roots but also other ethnic roots (commonly referred to as haafu in Japan) were interviewed regarding their language proficiency and language acquisition experiences in Japanese society. There are high expectations in Japanese society regarding the language ability of mixed root individuals (MRIs). The aim of the study was to identify factors that influenced MRIs’ process of language acquisition. People in Japan often believe that children of international marriages can naturally and easily learn two languages. However, all MRIs interviewed said that they have experienced inferiority complexes while attempting to maintain their language abilities, while trying to improve them, or because of social friction, reflecting how their experiences with language acquisition was neither natural nor easy. Their language acquisition has been affected by the society surrounding them, and this in turn influenced psychological factors.

本研究では日本と日本以外の両方にルーツをもつ人々(主に日本においてハーフと呼ばれる人々)を対象に、言語能力と習得経験についてインタビューを行った。日本社会において、国際結婚家庭に生まれた子ども達は容易く自然に二言語を習得するといった言語習得に関する誤った認識が多々ある。本研究の目的は彼らの経験の一部を紹介し、日本の社会が彼らの言語習得にどのように影響しうるか、その要因を探ることである。インタビューを通し、全ての被験者が言語習得、保持の過程で劣等感を感じた経験をしており、彼らは決して自然に、また容易に言語を習得、保持しておらず、彼らの言語習得過程において、社会環境、つまりここでは他者からの反応や評価と実情とのギャップが言語習得、保持の際に心理的に影響していることが分かった。

 
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