Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education Issue 17
2014-03-01 発行

Teaching Formal Email Writing in English

フォーマルな英語E メールライティングの指導
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abstract
This article presents the results of a continuing action research involving a lesson designed to raise pragmatic awareness of Japanese university students as they engage in status-unequal and high-stakes email communications. A learner-centered approach was taken based on the responses to the beginning of term Self-introduction / Needs Analysis Questionnaire of the 34 second year Faculty of Education students enrolled in an elective English language class. For these learners with definite plans to use the English language in their future careers, development of formal email CMC (computer mediated communication) skill and pragmatic competence were deemed equally important as language accuracy. With both English language and email communication skills becoming necessary for increasing numbers of Japanese university students for their future careers, the action research explores whether it will be advisable to include CMC skills in a foreign language class. Questions to explore included whether the instructor's understanding of appropriate formal email writing in U.S. contexts will also be applicable to the Japanese workplaces that the learners will enter upon completion of their studies. In addition, whether such CMC education will be effective in English, a foreign language, will be considered based on follow-up assessment activities and post-lesson prompted and unprompted email communication efforts made by the learners.
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