PhD Research School in Linguistics and Philology

Nazuki Kobayashi

The Effects of Study Abroad - A Case of Norwegian Students of Japanese with Focus on the Speech Act of Request

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Studying abroad is considered a good and popular method to improve one´s foreign language proficiency. People often think that studying abroad will make you fluent in the target language. However, does immersion in a target language prompt all aspects of language learning and every one of them equally?


In my PhD project, I will focus on Norwegian learners of Japanese at the University of Bergen and examine their language use with respect to the speech act of request before and after their study stay in Japan. The speech act of request will be firstly examined separately how it is characteristically manifested in Japanese and Norwegian respectively and then classified by the framework used in the Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realization Project (CCSARP) by Blum-Kulka, House & Kasper (1989). The findings will be further discussed in terms of the social factors stated in the theories of Hall (1976) and Brown & Levinson (1987). In order to identify effects of study abroad, the given speech act of Norwegian students of Japanese will be compared before and after their study stay in Japan and against that of native speakers of Japanese. Implications for strengthening the pragmatic aspect of Japanese as a foreign language will be outlined as well.


As for data collection, I plan to use a Discourse Completion Test (DCT) in order to establish contexts that are as similar as possible for the comparison.