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ERIC Number: ED552276
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 234
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-0189-7
Listening Behaviors in Japanese: "Aizuchi" and Head Nod Use by Native Speakers and Second Language Learners
Hanzawa, Chiemi
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Iowa
The purpose of the present study is to investigate similarities and differences in the listening behaviors of native speakers and learners of Japanese, focusing on the production of "aizuchi" and head nods. The term "aizuchi" is often interchangeably used with the word backchannel, and these are characterized as the listener's use of short utterances such as "oh" or "uh huh" in English or "hai," "un," or "aa" in Japanese. In this study, "aizuchi" is defined as a short verbal utterance that is produced in response to the primary speaker's speech in Japanese. A total of 14 NS-NS or 14 NS-NNS dyads were formed to elicit native speakers' and learners' "aizuchi" and head nods. With the exception of a few participants in their late twenties, most of the participants were female native speakers and learners of Japanese who were of college age. The learners of Japanese were native speakers of American English who had been labeled as intermediate/high-intermediate level learners of Japanese. Each interaction included a semi-free conversation and a narrative story-telling task, both of which were recorded and transcribed for analysis. The findings indicate that the differences in the use of "aizuchi" and head nods produced by native speakers and learners lie not mainly in their frequency, but in the types and functions. The results show that when the frequency of "aizuchi" and head nods was measured with a time-based scale, which was the frequency per 60 seconds, differences were found in the frequency of head nods and total frequency of "aizuchi" and head nods. However, no significant difference was found in the frequency of "aizuchi" and head nods based on the amount of speech the speakers produced. "aizuchi" were categorized into 16 groups to investigate differences in their types. The results show that the learners were using less "aa"-group, "hee"-group, "iya"-group "aizuchi" but more "soo"-group "aizuchi" compared to the native speakers. The number of different "aizuchi" each participant used was also measured to examine the variety of "aizuchi," and it was found that both the native speakers and the learners were producing a similar number of different "aizuchi." Head nods were analyzed based on nodding count, and it was revealed that more multiple head nods were observed in the learner's behaviors. The functions of "aizuchi" and head nods were categorized into seven groups, and the distribution of the functions was analyzed. The results indicate that learners tend to use more "aizuchi" to express their understanding and reaction to their interlocutors' response solicitation, while the use of "aizuchi" that do not show their attitude was more frequent with native speakers. The distribution of the functions of head nods was similar between the two groups. By further examining the types and the function of "aizuchi" and head nods, the study sheds light on which types of "aizuchi" learners may be lacking or overusing. Pedagogical implications are drawn from the results. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A