ERIC Number: ED377684
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
The Role of Cultural Awareness in Contrastive Rhetoric.
Kamimura, Taeko; Oi, Kyoko
A study compared the rhetoric of letter-writing in English and Japanese, focusing on: (1) relationship between degree of cultural awareness and writing behavior of Japanese students of English as a Second Language (ESL); and (2) relationship of cultural awareness and English proficiency in ESL student writing. Subjects were 120 Japanese college students majoring in English who wrote a college and scholarship application letter to an institution in the United States. English language proficiency was measured by a standardized test and cultural awareness by a test developed for this study. Subjects were grouped into four categories according to high and low language proficiency and high and low cultural awareness. Letters were analyzed for frequency and content of 16 distinct semantic formulas: self-identification; social talk; reference to the advertisement; reference to letter-writing; application message; reason; qualification; disqualification; petition; personal appeal; personal reference; promise; apology; request; closing remark; expectation of reply. Results indicate that students with high English proficiency and high cultural awareness showed letter-writing behavior closest to that of native English-speakers; those with low English proficiency and low cultural awareness showed patterns closest to Japanese letter-writing patterns. It is recommended that language teaching methods and materials integrate cultural and linguistic content. Contains 14 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Contrastive Linguistics, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Context, Discourse Analysis, English, English (Second Language), Foreign Countries, Japanese, Language Proficiency, Language Research, Letters (Correspondence), Linguistic Theory, Rhetoric, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Pragmatics and Language Learning (8th, Urbana, IL, 1994).