Reconceptualising the Silent Period: Stories of Japanese Students Studying Abroad

(1) * Tae Umino Mail (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan)
*corresponding author

Abstract


In this paper I attempt to reconceptualise the silent period from the perspective of situated learning theory to understand how it is experienced by adult second language (L2) learners during study abroad. The silent period has largely been regarded as a cognitive phenomenon during which some beginning L2 learners are unwilling or unable to produce the language they are learning. It initially attracted attention in relation to Krashen’s Input Hypothesis but, even though a number of studies were carried out in the 1970s and 80s, they have not been followed up, leaving a number of questions unanswered. Furthermore, these studies did not take into account the perspective of the learners who experienced the silent period. In the present study I conducted life-story interviews with Japanese university students who experienced a silent period during their study abroad. As a result, it was found that their silence was related to their intolerance of insufficient self-expression in the target language. The study suggests that the silent period is not to be seen as a period of incomprehension, rejection or abandonment of learning but a site of struggle and a pathway to finding new ways for self-expression and participation in the new language.

Keywords


silent period; second language acquisition; communities of practice; study abroad; life-story interviews

   

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31763/jsse.v2i2.32
      

Article metrics

10.31763/jsse.v2i2.32 Abstract views : 801 | PDF views : 137

   

Cite

   

Full Text

Download

References


Atkinson, R. (1988). The life story interview. Thousand Oaks, US: SAGE.

Baldauf, R. B., & Luke, A. (Eds.). (1990). Language planning and education in Australasia and the South Pacific. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Bao, D. (2019). The place of silence in second language acquisition. English Language Teaching and Research Journal (ELTAR-J), 1(1), 26-42. doi:10.33474/eltar-j.v1i1.4771

Burr, V. (1995). An introduction to social constructionism. London, UK: Routledge.

Dulay, H., Burt, M., & Krashen, S. (1982). Language two. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.

Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

Ervin-Tripp, S. M. (1974). Is second language learning like the first. TESOL Quarterly, 8(2), 111-127. doi:10.2307/3585535

Gibbons, J. (1985). The silent period: An examination. Language Learning, 35(2), 255-267. doi:10.1111/j.1467-1770.1985.tb01027.x

Granger, C. A. (2004). Silence in second language learning: A psychoanalytic reading. Bristol UK: Multilingual Matters.

Hakuta, K. (1976). A case study of a Japanese child learning English as a second language. Language. Learning, 26(2), 321-351. doi:10.1111/j.1467-1770.1976.tb00280.x

Hakuta, K. (1974). Prefabricated patterns and the emergence of structure in second language acquisition. Language Learning, 24(2), 287-297. doi:10.1111/j.1467-1770.1974.tb00509.x

Hall, S. (1996) Introduction: Who needs ‘identity’? In S. Hall, P. du Gay (Eds.), Questions of Cultural Identity (pp. 1-17). London, UK: Sage.

Hanania, E. A. S., & Gradman, H. L. (1977). Acquisition of English structures: A case study of an adult native speaker of Arabic in an English-speaking environment. Language. Learning, 27(1), 75-91. doi:10.1111/j.1467-1770.1977.tb00293.x

Harder, P. (1980). Discourse as self-expression: On the reduced personality of the second language learner. Applied Linguistics, 1(3), 262-270.

Hoffman, E. (1989). Lost in translation: A life in a new language. New York, US: Penguin Books.

Huang, J., & Hatch, E. (1978). A Chinese child’s acquisition of English. In E. Hatch (Ed.), Second language acquisition: A book of readings (pp. 118-131). Rowley, US: Newbury House.

Ishizaki, T. (1997). A hypothesis on two types of the silent period. Tsukuba Review of English Language Teaching, 18, 201-211.

Ishizaki, T. (1993). Two types of the silent period: Some considerations. Tsukuba Review Of English Language Teaching, 14, 13-28.

Itoh, H., & Hatch, E. (1978). Second language acquisition: A case study. In E. Hatch (Ed.), Second language acquisition: A book of readings (pp. 76-88). Rowley, US: Newbury House.

King, J., & Harumi, S. (2020). East Asian perspective on silence in English language education. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Krashen, S. D. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. Oxford, UK: Pergamon.

Krashen, S. D. (1987). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. London, UK: Prentice-Hall International.

Krashen, S. D. (1985). The input hypothesis: Issues and implications. London, UK: Longman.

Krashen. S. D., & Terrell, T. D. (1983). The natural approach: Language acquisition in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Alemany Press.

Lantolf, J. P. & Pavlenko, A. (2001). (S)econd (L)anguage (A)ctivity theory: Understanding second language learners as people. In M. Breen (Ed.), Learner contributions to language learning: New directions in research (pp. 172-182). London: Routledge.

Lave, J. Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

McKay, S. L. & Wong, S. -L .C. (2000). New immigrants in the United States: Readings for second language educators. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Miller, J. (2003). Audible difference: ESL and social identity in schools. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Naiman, N., Frohlich, M., Stern, H. H., & Todesco, A. (1978). The good language learner. Toronto, Canada: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Peirce, B. N. (1995). Social identity, investment, and language learning. TESOL-Quarterly, 29(1), 9-31. doi: 10.2307/3587803

Norton, B. (2000). Identity and language learning: Gender, ethnicity and educational change. Harlow, UK: Pearson Longman.

Norton, B. (2001). Non-participation, imagined communities, and the language classroom. In M. Breen (Ed.), Learner contributions to language learning: New directions in research (pp.159-171). London: Routledge.

Rodriguez, R. (1988). Hunger of memory: The education of Richard Rodriguez. New York: Bantam.

Saville-Troike, M. (1988). Private speech: Evidence for second language learning strategies during the ‘silent’ period. Journal of Child Language, 15(3), 567-590. doi:10.1017/s0305000900012575

Schmitz, U. (1994). Eloquent silence. LAUD papers nr 346. Essen: University of Essen.

Spolsky, B. (1988). Conditions for second language learning. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Taylor, C. (1985). Human agency and language: Philosophical papers 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Toohey, K. (2000). Learning English at school: Identity, social relations and classroom practice. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Umino, T. (2011). Language learning experiences of international students in Japan: Facilitating access to communities of practice. In J. Phillion, M. T. Hue, & Y. Wang (Eds.), Minority students in East Asia: Government policies, school practices and teacher responses (pp.195-216). New York: Routledge.

Wenger, E. (1988). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Willet, J. (1995). Becoming first graders in an L2: An ethnographic study of L2 socialization. TESOL-Quarterly, 29(3), 473-503.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2023 Tae Umino



Journal of Silence Studies in Education


Published by Association for Scientific Computing Electronics and Engineering (ASCEE)
Website: https://jsse.ascee.org/index.php/jsse/index
email: jsse@ascee.org
P-ISSN: 2808-1005
Address
: 19 Ancora Imparo Way, Clayton VIC 3800, Australia


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

View JSSE Stats