English Conversation at Native Speeds: A Preliminary Study on the Effects of Using Variable Sentence Response and Conversation Cards in a Japanese University

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I.Introduction

Variable Sentence Response (VSR)and Conversation Cards are two conversational activitieswhichhavebeenshowntoincreasestudentmotivationandperceivedimprovement amongJapaneselearnersofEnglishwithTOEIC scoresrangingfrom under200toover449 (French,2012).Thesetwoactivitieshavebeenvalidatedbysurveybefore,buttheextentto whichstudentsimprovedasaresultofbeingexposedtotheseactivitiesforasemesterhad yetto beshown.Therefore,thepurposeofthisstudy isto gatherpreliminary data on students・conversationalabilityafterbeinginclasseswithVSR andConversationCardsfor asemester.Thisdatawillbemeasuredbythestudents・percentageofEnglishspoken,words perminute,andlengthofconversation.Inaddition,astherearefew,ifanystudieswhich involvetranscribing Japanesestudents・conversationsandthen calculating theirwordsper minute and percentage of English spoken, this paper will also seek to serve as a transcriptionalandanalyticalguidelineforfutureresearcherswhoseektoconductresearch 学苑英語コミュニケーション紀要 No.894 82~98(20154)

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Abstract

ThisisapreliminarystudyontheeffectsofusingtheconversationalactivitiesVariable SentenceResponse(VSR)andConversationCardsinauniversityspeakingandlisteningclass in Japan.After using these activities for a semester,one class of twenty-two students engagedinfreeconversationsforuptotenminutes.Theseconversationswerethenrecorded andtranscribed.Eventhoughthestudentshadbeenhesitanttoengageinfreeconversation, and had struggled to complete two-minute guided conversations at the beginning ofthe semester,theywereallabletohavefreeconversationsforthefulltenminutesbytheendof thesemester.Aswell,theseconversationsattheendofthesemesterwereatanaveragespeed of93Englishwordsperminuteandin98.3% English.Furthermore,fourofthestudentswere abletohold theseconversationsatnativespeedsusing over99% English.Although thisis only a preliminary study,thedata found in thispaperprovesthatVSR and Conversation Cardscanbeusedtoelevatemany,ifnotallintermediatelevelstudentsinJapantothepoint ofbeing ableto hold long,uninterrupted conversationsatnear-nativeornativespeedsof EnglishwithverylittleJapaneseused.

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inasimilarfashion.

II.Research

TheprimarygoalsofthisresearchweretouseVSR andConversationCardstoimprove thestudents・conversationalabilitiesand to gather data which would show thelevelof conversationalability thestudentshadattainedafterthesein-classactivities.Thefocusof thisresearchwasonhelpingstudentstobeabletoconverseinEnglish,todoitquickly,and to do itfor extended periods oftime.Therefore,the measurements this study uses to analyzethestudents・ability includepercentageofEnglish used,Englishwordsspokenper minute,and length of conversation,but do not include other measurements such as grammaticalcorrectness.

1.Testsubjects

Thestudentsin thisstudy werefirstyearco-edstudentsfrom auniversity in Japan. The students were internationalrelations majors and were taking a required English speakingandlisteningclass.TheirEnglishlevelwasintermediate,andasdeterminedbythe ACE PlacementTest,thestudentshadan averageequivalentTOEIC scoreofaround440. Therewereatotalof22students,with11boysand11girls.

2.Researchperiod

Thisresearch wasconducted during thefall,2013semester.Classeswereheld for90 minutestwotimesperweekforfifteenweeks.

3.Instruction

Instructionwashandledbyoneinstructorforthewholeoftheresearchperiod.Aswell, in addition toVSR andConversation Cards,therewasalsoarequiredtextforthisclass. TherequiredtextforthisclasswasPathways:Listening,Speaking,andCriticalThinking (1B).Inordertoavoidthistextbookfrom contaminatingtheresearchresults,thistextbook wasprimarilyutilizedasasourceforvocabularyinstructionandtesting,howeverlistening activitieswerealsousedafew times.Allin all,therequiredtextwasusedatotaloften timesforroughly45minutesperusage,oraround17% ofthetotalclasstime.Whenitwas used,itwasusedasavocabularysourceforroughly75% ofthistime,andasalistening practiceresourcetheother25% ofthetime.Theother83% oftheclasswasdedicatedto VSR andConversationCards.

4.Subject

ThesubjectofVSR activitieswas・studyingabroad・.However,unlikethepreviousstudy (French,2012),theConversationCardstopicwasnotmatchedtotheVSR storylineforthis

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study.Instead,theteacherchosetopicsforConversation Cardswhich wereeasy to talk about,suchas:hobbies,music,vacations,sports,andweekends.

5.Implementation

Studentsfollowed thesameVSR/Conversation Card pattern asthey did in previous research (French,2012).Activitieswerebasedon VSR chapters,andeach chapterconsisted of a story,story-telling,and VSR conversation activity.This was then followed by Conversation Cards,andthen sometimesby therequiredtextbook.Oncethestudentshad completedthesefouractivities,thenextchapterwouldbegin,andthestudentswouldstart withthestoryactivityofthenextchapter.

6.Activities

AstheactivitiesforVSR havebeenwritteninfullinpreviousresearch,thispaperwill only briefly summarizetheactivitiesin aVSR chapter.Pleaserefertopreviousresearch articlesforthefulldescriptionofstory,story-telling,andVSR activities(French,2012).An exampleVSR chaptercanbeseeninAppendixA.However,ConversationCards(previously knownastheEnglishConversationWheel)hasslightlychangedsincepreviousstudies,and willthusbedetailedinfull.Anexampleofthenew ConversationCardsworksheetcanbe seeninAppendixB.

Story

ThestoryforVSR isroughly100wordslongandisreadtothestudentsthreetimes. Thestudentslistentothestoryandanswerfivecomprehensionquestionswhichtheylater answertogetherasaclass.Ifthestudentscannotcollectively answerthequestionsafter listeningtothestory,theteachergivesthem acopyofthestoryandtheyreadthroughit toanswerthequestions.

Story-telling

Thestudentsgetfiveminutestomemorizethestory,andthenfindapartner.Oneof thepartnersturnsoverthestoryhandout,andtellsthestorytotheotherwhiletheother looksatthehandoutandchecksit(alsogivinghintsifthepartnerforgets).Thishappens foratotaloftwotimesperpartner.

VSR

Thestoryactivityleadstoaconversationbetweenthestudentandanothercharacterin thestory.Thisconversation containsa lead-in sentenceand then fifteen sentenceswhich mightbesaidbytheothercharacter.Theothercharacterwillonlysaythingsfrom thislist ofsentences,buttheorderin which they aresaidisunknown.Studentsmustbeableto

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understandandthenrespondtothesesentences.

Thestudentsstartoffbywritingpracticeresponsesindividually,andthenprogressto practicingwithapartnerwithoutlookingatthepracticeresponsestheymadebefore.After practicingwithmultiplepartners,thestudentslineupandtakeaninterview testwiththe teacher.The teacher says five sentences from the list and students must be able to understandandrespondquicklyandunderstandablyinordertopassthetest.

ConversationCards

TherootofConversation Cardslieswithin ninequestion wordsandone・change・card which isused differently than thequestion words.Thequestion wordsare:who,what, where,why,when,how,is/are,do,andhave.Inpreviousresearch,therewasno・change・or ・have・card,anditbeganwithaworksheetwhichonlyhadfiveofthequestionwords.The teacherwouldthen chooseatopicthatwasrelevanttothecurrentVSR chapter,andthe studentswrotetwoquestionsforeachofthefivequestionwordschosen.

However,upon furtherexperimentation and observation,theteacherdeemed itmore efficienttogivethestudentsanextraquestionword・have・,andtochangetheworksheetso thatitincludedonequestionforeachoftheninequestionwordsinsteadoftwoquestions forfiveofthewords.Aswell,thetopicchosenwaschangedsothatitnolongerneededto be relevantto the currentVSR chapter,butinstead contained a topicwhich mimicked conversationsinthestudents・dailylives,suchas:sports,music,vacations,etc.

TheConversationCardsactivitybeginswiththeteachertellingthestudentsthetopic, then giving them theworksheetwith theninequestion words.Whilethestudentswrite their questions,the teacher walks around and corrects their grammar.After they are finishedwriting,thestudentsfindapartner,andeachpairisgivenasetoftenlaminated cardswhichhavetheninequesti onwordsandthechangecard.Thestudentsdorock-paper-scissors,andthewinnerofthisisgiventhecards.Thestudentsarethengiven45seconds tomemorizetheirquestions,andafterthattimeisup,thestudentsareinstructedtoturn overtheirworksheetssotheyareunabletoseethequestionstheyhavewritten.Theteacher says・go・,and thewinneroftherock-paper-scissorsgameholdsup a card,theirpartner asksaquestion,andthepartnerholdingthecardanswersthisquestion.Thisthencontinues foronetoone-and-a-halfminutesdependingonthestudents・abilitytoaskquestions.The teacherthen tellsthem tostop aftertheallotted time,givesthem another45secondsto memorizetheirquestions,hasthestudentsswitchsothattheotherpartnerisholdingthe cards,andthenhasthem dotheactivityagain.Thisprocessiscalledcardsonly.

Inpreviousresearch,oncethestudentswereabletodocardsonlyforone-and-a-halfor two minutes,thiswould mark theend oftheactivity.However,theConversation Cards activitywaschangedtoincludeanumberofconversationlengtheningelements,andsonow graduallybuildsuptoten-minutefreeconversations.

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Thefirstoftheseconversationlengtheningelementsiscalledplusone.Plusonerefers toadding an additionalpieceofinformation afteranswering aquestion.When using plus one,studentsdon・tjustanswer・yes・or・no・,butactivelycontributemoreinformationtothe conversation to help itmovealong moresmoothly.Thesecond conversation lengthening elementischange.Changeispromptedbythe・change・cardandsignalsstudentstochange thetopicoftheconversation,thusleadingtheconversationinadirectionthatthestudents have not prepared for.The ・change・card is separated from the other cards untilthe studentsareready touseit.Thefinalconversation lengthening elementisnocards.Once thestudentsarecomfortablewithcardsonly,plusone,change,andconcurrentuseofplus one& change,theteacherremovesthescaffolding andtellsthestudentstoputthecards away.Thestudentsthen engagein freeconversationswhich startwith thesubjectthe teachergivestothestudents,butcanthenchangetowhateverthestudentsfeelliketalking aboutfrom there.

Theprogressionofcardsonly,plusone,change,plusone& change,andnocardscanbe seeninFigure1.Oncethestudentsareabletocompleteastep,theteacherhasthestudents trythenextstepwithanew partner.Thelistmovestoptobottom,lefttoright.Aswell, evenifstudentscompleteastepwithonetopic,theymayneedtostartatalowerstepfor thenexttopicbeforeproceedingfurtherdownthelist.

Althoughitmayseem strangethatstudentsjumpedfrom fourminutestotenminutes withnocards,onlyfourofthe22studentswereunabletomakethisjumponthefirsttry. By the second try,every studentwas able to hold free conversations for the fullten minutes.

Oncethestudentsareableto do 10minuteswith no cards,theteacheradvisesthe studentstospeak only in English,asthey shouldbeabletodothisforthemostpartat thispoint.

7.ResearchMethodology

Attheendofthesemester,thestudentschoseapartnerandengagedinarecordedfree conversationforuptotenminutes.Theinitialtopicforthisconversationwas・sports・and waschosenbytheteacher.Thestudentswereunawareofthetopicchoiceuntiljustbefore

Cardsonly Plusone Change Plusone&change Nocards 1minute 1.5minutes 2minutes 3minutes 2minutes 1.5minutes 2minutes 2.5minutes 4minutes 3minutes 3minutes 4minutes 10minutes Figure1.RecommendedbenchmarksforConversationCards

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their conversation wasrecorded.Thiswasdoneintentionally so thatthestudentswere unableto preparea scripted conversation beforehand.However,although theinitialtopic choicewasdecided by theteacher,thestudentswereallowed tochangethetopicifthey chosetolaterintheconversation.

Theserecordedconversationswerethentranscribedandanalyzed.Aswell,studentswere alsogivenasurveytotryandfindcorrelationsbetweentheirconversationalabilityanda numberofothervariables.

Transcribing

Transcribing forthisresearch wasbased on transcription guidelinesprovided by the InstituteforSignalandInformationProcessing(ISIP)totranscribetheSwitchboardCorpus (Hamaker,Zeng,& Picone,1998).TheSwitchboardCorpusisacollectionof2,430spontaneous conversationswhichwererecordedovertelephonelinesforthepurposeofdevelopingspeech processing algorithms(Godfrey,Holliman,& McDaniel,1992).Thereason thatthiscorpus was chosen as a modelfor transcription is that it is one ofthe largest corpuses of spontaneous conversation for native speakers of English. By following the same transcriptionrulesasISIPfortheSwitchboardCorpus,itbecomesveryeasytocomparethe students・conversationstothoseofnativespeakers.

Someoftheguidelineswhich wereimplemented from theISIP guidelinesinclude:(1) writedown thetranscription verbatim,including grammarmistakesand wordsthathave beenrepeated;(2)standardreductionsapply(i.e.:write・wanna・not・wantto・if・wanna・ ishow itisspoken);(3)wordsthatarenotfullystatedaremarkedwitha・-・attheendof thewordandarecountedaspartialwords;(4)hesitationsoundsarealwaysmarkedas・uh・ or・ah・even when they don・texactly sound likethat(although exceptionsweremadefor thisstudy when thehesitation sound wasclearly a Japanesehesitation sound);and (5) yes/nosoundsshouldbenotedas・uh-huh・or・huh-uh・forallwordsthatsoundanything likethesewords(although exceptionsweremadewhen theyes/no sound wasclearly a Japaneseyes/nosound).

Two guidelines which were notfollowed were:(1)do notmark transcriptions with punctuation;and (2)donotcapitalizetheword ・I・.Thereason why theseruleswerenot followedisthatISIPusesacomputerprogram toprocesstheSwitchboardtranscripts.Since thisresearch doesnothaveaccessto such computerprograms,theserulesweredeemed unnecessaryforthisresearch.

CountingWords

Within the2,430conversationsin theSwitchboardCorpus,nativespeakersspokeata rate of111 to 291 words per minute (Yuan,Lieberman,& Cieri,2006).As such,these numberswillserveastherangefornativeEnglish conversation speedforthepurposeof

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thisresearch.Subsequently,allstudentconversationswhich average111wordsperminute orfasterareconsideredtobeatnativespeedsofEnglishinthisstudy.

In addition,thenativespeakerwordsperminutefigurewasreached by counting all fully statedwords,including wordssuch as・uh・and・ah・.Assuch,thesewordswerealso countedinthestudents・conversations.

JapaneseWords

WordswereconsideredtobeJapaneseiftheywerenotintheEnglishdictionary.The English dictionary usedforreferencewasMerriam-Webster・sOnlineDictionary (Merri am-Webster).Although thiswasthemethod used,itshould also benoted thatthereisnot alwaysaclearboundary between which wordsarepurely Japaneseand which wordsare loan wordsin English.Someloan words,like・budo・arein Merriam-Webster・sdictionary andarethusconsideredEnglishwords.However,otherwordslike・hatsumode・and・senpai・ arenotinthedictionary,andarethereforeconsideredJapanesewords.Bethatasitmay, both・hatsumode・and・senpai・haveEnglishWikipediapages.Ultimatelythough,alinehas tobedrawn somewhere,andthelinechosen forthisresearch istheunabridgedMerri am-Webster・sdictionary.

In addition,many Japanese words are formed by the combination oftwo or more charactersorsymbols.Assuch,itcanbehardtodeterminethenumberofJapanesewords in aphrasesaidin Japanese.In ordertosolvethisproblem,adictionary wasonceagain utilized.The dictionary used was Sanseido・s Web Dictionary(三省堂),and words were countedbythelongestdictionaryentry.Toexemplifythis,・hatsumode・willonceagainbe usedasanexample.・Hatsumode・comesfrom twosinglecharacterwords・hatsu・(first)and ・mode・(visit).Although both ofthesewordsarelisted separately in thedictionary,and couldthusbecountedaswordsontheirown,thecompoundword・hatsumode・(firsttemple visitofthenew year)isalsointhedictionary,andthus・hatsumode・isonlycountedasone Japaneseword.

Survey

Thesurvey asked studentsa totaloften questionsto seewhat,ifany,correlations between individualcharacteristicsofthestudentsandtheirconversationalability couldbe made.Itaskedquestionsabout:how outgoingtheywere,how importanttheyfeltstudying Englishwas,how importantitwastothem tobeabletospeakEnglish,how muchtheyfelt motivatedby theclass,previoushomestay/study abroadexperience,opportunitiestospeak English in theirdaily life,andhow they plan touseEnglish in thefuture.Thestudents wererequested to filloutand to writetheirnameson thesurvey,so thesurveyswere neithervoluntarynoranonymous.Therewereevensomeinstanceswheretheteachernoticed somestudentshadmissedquestionsandgaveitbacktothem sothattheycouldcomplete

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it.All22ofthestudentsin thetestclassturnedin asurvey.Theoriginalsurvey can be seeninJapaneseinAppendixC,andtheEnglishtranslationcanbeseeninAppendixD. 8.Results

Figure2showsthatstudentswereabletotalkinEnglishatspeedsbetween73and115 English w ordsperminute.Aswell,they w ereabletodothisin 96.4% to99.6% English. Thisgivesusanaverageof93Englishwordsperminutein98.3% English.Inaddition,all studentswereabletospeak forthefull10minutes(with noinstancesofasilencelasting 10secondsorlonger),andassuchthelengthofconversationstatisticisnotlistedonFigure 2.Furthermore,twopairs(fourstudents)wereabletohaveconversationsatspeedsover111 English w ordsperminutein over99% English.Asthisresearch isassuming thatnative speeds ofEnglish conversation are between 111 and 291 w ords per minute as per the SwitchboardCorpus,thesetwopairsofstudentsareconsideredtobehaving spontaneous Englishconversationsatnativespeeds.

JapaneseWords

Therewereatotalof179Japanesewords/incoherentutterancesthatweresaidin the eleven conversationslisted above.Ofthese179wordsand utterances,thetop threemost common Japanesewordswere(1)・eeto・or・ee・(uh),said 50times;(2)・un・(yes),said 42 times;and(3)・ee・(huh),said13times.Althoughboth・ee・(uh),and・ee・(huh),arebothlisted as・ee・,theirdifferenceofuse,marked by situationaldifferences,pitch,and/oremphasis, makethesewordsseparateentriesalthoughtheirphoneticspellingisthesame.Alltogether, thesethreemostcommonJapanesewordsweresaidatotalof105times,whichaccountsfor 59% oftheJapanesewords/incoherentutterancessaid.

Pair# Englishwordsperminute PercentEnglish

1 112 99.1% 2 99 98.2% 3 104 98.5% 4 115 99.5% 5 73 99.6% 6 86 98.6% 7 90 96.4% 8 83 98.7% 9 76 97.2% 10 89 96.5% 11 100 98.5%

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Surveydata

Asseen on Figure3,thestudentsweremoreextrovertedthan they wereintroverted; howevertherewasrepresentationfrom bothendsofthespectrum.

Inaddition,95% ofthestudentsrespondedthattheylikeorsomewhatlikeEnglish,100% agreedthatstudyingEnglishisimportant,100% agreedthatitisimportanttobeableto speakEnglish,and95% ofthem weremotivatedorslightlymotivatedinthestudyclass.

Intermsofstudents・extracurricularEnglishactivities,fivestudentshadstudiedabroad foramonthorless,10studentshadgonetoEnglishconversationcram schoolsbefore,and eightstudentswereabletospeakEnglishoutsideofclassatleastoncepermonth.

Finally,studentschosea variety ofpurposesforhow they believed they would use Englishinthefuture.AsseeninFigure4,themostcommonofthesewasprofession,and

Figure4.ReasonsforusingEnglishinthefuture Figure3.Studentextroversionhistogram

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20ofthe22studentschoseit(everystudentbutthestudentswhochose・don・tknow・chose this).Afterprofession,vacation wassecond,meeting peoplewasthird,study/research was fourth,makingfriendswasfifth,anddon・tknow waslast.

Inadditiontothepurposeschosen,thenumberofpurposeschosenbyeachstudenthas alsobeen madeavailable,andcan beseen in Figure5.Nineteen ofthe22studentschose betweentwoandfivepurposes.

Correlations

Asnearlyall(orallinsomecases)ofthestudentsagreedthattheylikeEnglish,that studyingEnglishisimportant,thatbeingabletospeakEnglishisimportant,andthatthey weremotivatedinclass,thesefouritemswereleftoffofthecorrelationchart(Figure6).

Although there were no strong correlations,there were a number ofweak positive correlationsbetweenthesurveydataandwordsperminute.Thestrongestofthesewere(1) choosing study/research forafuturepurposeofEnglish (0.51),(2)using English in their dailylife(0.49),(3)totalnumberofpurposeschosenforusingEnglishinthefuture(0.42), (4)choosing making friends as a future purpose of English (0.36),(5)having study abroad/homestayexperience(0.34),and(6)extroversion(0.30).

Likewordsperminute,thepercentofEnglish spoken alsohadnostrong correlations buthadanumberofweakpositivecorrelations.Thestrongestofthesewere(1,2)extroversion andchoosingprofessionasafuturepurposeofEnglish(0.42),(3)totalnumberofpurposes chosenforusingEnglishinthefuture(0.39),(4)studyabroad/homestayexperience(0.38),(5) choosing meeting otherpeopleasafuturepurposeofEnglish (0.36),and(6)using English in theirdaily life(0.30).In addition,therewasalso oneweak negativecorrelation with percentofEnglishspoken,andthatwaswithEnglishconversationschool(0.30).

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III.Discussion

Asthisresearchwasdoneaspreliminaryresearch,neithertheSwitchboardCorpusnor thewordsperminuteoffluentEnglishconversationwasknownbytheteacherduringthe timeofthestudy.Assuch,therewasnoattempttogetthestudentstospeakfasterduring theirfreeconversations.Therefore,whenfurtherresearchisdonewithVSR andConversation Cards,more focus willbe spent on increasing the students・fluency,and it willbe interesting to seeifan increased focuson fluency during VSR and Conversation Cards resultsinalargerincreaseinthestudents・Englishwordsperminute.

In addition,the mostcommonly used Japanese words (・eeto・or ・ee・,・un・,and ・ee・) accountedfor59% ofalltheJapanesewordsduringthestudents・freeconversations.Ifthe studentsweremadeawareoftheirJapaneseusage,andespecially thesethreewords,itis notinconceivablethattheaveragepercentageofEnglish spoken would increaseto above 99% infuturestudies.

Intermsofthecorrelationdata,itisveryinterestingtoseethattheplacementscores hadnocorrelationtoeitherwordsperminuteorpercentageofEnglishspoken.Perhapsthis istheresultoftheACE PlacementTestnotincluding aconversation assessmentsection. That said,English conversation schoolalso had no correlation to students・words per minute,and actually had a negativeweak correlation to students・percentageofEnglish used.Asthisisonly apreliminary study,itishard todraw hard conclusionsfrom the surveydatainthisstudy,howeveritdoesnotseem thatthestudentswhowenttoEnglish conversation schoolin thisstudy benefitted from going there,and according tothedata, going to English conversation schoolmay haveactually hindered thesestudents・English

Wordsperminute PercentEnglishspoken Placementtestscores 0.02 (0.23)

Extroversion 0.30 0.42

Studyabroad/homestay 0.34 0.38 Englishconversationschool (0.22) (0.30) Englishindailylife 0.49 0.30 NumberofpurposesforusingEnglishin

thefuture 0.42 0.39 Vacation 0.20 0.29 Profession 0.26 0.42 Meetotherpeople 0.02 0.36 Study/research 0.51 0.21 Makefriends 0.36 0.06

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conversationalability.

Other pointsto noticewithin thesurvey correlationsisthatextroversion,studying abroad,English in thestudents・daily life,and having a largenumber ofpurposesfor Englishinthefutureallhaveweakpositivecorrelationsacrosstheboard.Onceagain,itis hardtocometoconclusionsbasedonthedatainthisresearch,howeveritseemsthatboth teacherswhoarelookingfornew waystomotivatestudents,andstudentswhoaretrying tobecomebetteratEnglish conversation may wanttofocuson theabovefourpointsin ordertofurtherincreasethestudents・Englishconversationalability.

IV.Conclusion

Overall,althoughthisisonlyapreliminarystudy,theresultsfoundinthisresearchare very promising.Thisdata showsthatVSR and Conversation Cardsarevery effectivein developing students・conversationalability.Although thestudentsbegan by struggling to completeone-to two-minuteguided conversations,theresultofinstruction in VSR and ConversationCardsledtothestudentsbeingabletoendthesemesteratalevelwherethey were allable to hold free conversations for ten minutes,with some of the students advancingtheirconversationalspeedtobeon-parwithnativespeakers.Studentsalsospoke in 98.3% English on average.Furthermore,whiletheseresultsarevery good,thereare areasoffurtherimprovementforVSR andConversation Cardswhich havebeen notedin thisstudy.IffutureusesofVSR andConversationCardsputahigheremphasisonfluency andincreasingstudents・awarenessoftheJapanesetheyareusing,itisverypossiblethat using VSR and Conversation Cardsin theclassroom willhavean even largereffecton students・wordsperminuteandpercentageofEnglishspoken.

In conclusion,itishighly recommendedthatVSR andConversation Cardsbeusedin classroomsaround Japan thathavethegoalofincreasing students・spontaneousEnglish conversationspeedtonear-nativeornativelevelsofEnglish.

References

French,N.(2012).Increasing Student Motivation and Perceived Improvement through Two New Communicative Language Teaching Activities in a Second Language Classroom in Japan. Gakuen,864,5674.

Godfrey,J.,Holliman,C.,& McDaniel,J.(1992).SWITCHBOARD:Telephone Speech Corpus for ResearchandDevelopment.ProceedingoftheIEEEConferenceonAcoustics,Speech,andSignal Processing,Volume1,517520.

Hamaker,J.,Zeng,Y.,&Picone,J.(1998).RulesandGuidelinesforTranscriptionandSegmentationofthe SWITCHBOARD LargeVocabularyConversationalSpeechRecognitionCorpus.Retrievedfrom http://www.isip.piconepress.com/projects/switchboard/doc/transcription_guidelines/transcriptio n_guidelines.pdf

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Merriam-WebsterOnline:DictionaryandThesaurus(n.d.).Retrievedfrom http://www.merriam-webster.com/

三省堂 WebDictionary(n.d.).Retrievedfrom http://www.sanseido.net

Yuan.J.,Liberman,M.,& Cieri,C.(2006).TowardsanIntegratedUnderstandingofSpeakingRatein Conversation.ProceedingsofInterspeech2006,541544.

Appendix A ExampleVSR Materials

Chapter4 GradesSlipping

YouwenttothepartywithChris,anditwassomuchfun!Youmetlotsofpeople,spoke inEnglishalot,andmadenew friends.Youaresohappyyouwenttotheparty!

Twomonthspass.Youaregoingtopartiestwoorthreetimesperweeknow!YourEnglish hasgottenverygood.YouarehavingawonderfultimeinAmerica!

But,becauseyouspendallofyourfreetimeatparties,youdon・thavethatmuchtimeto study anddohomework.You thoughtthatyou wouldbeok...Butoneday yourteacher asksyoutostayafterclass.

Chapter4ComprehensionQuestions Whatdidyoudoattheparty?

How muchtimehaspassedsincetheparty? How isAmerica?

Whatdon・tyouhavetimefor?

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Lead-in:Youwantedtotalktome? Teacher・ssentences:

I・m worriedaboutyou. Didsomethinghappen?

You・vebeendoingverypoorlyrecently. Youfailedthelasttest.

Youshouldreallystartstudyingmore.

Areyouhavingtroubleunderstandingthematerial?

Ifyoudon・tstartdoingbetter,you・regoingtofailthisclass. DoIneedtotalktoyouradvisor?

Youneedtocometoclassmore. Doyouneedextralessonsafterclass? I・llseewhatIcandoforyou.

Idon・twanttohearanymoreexcuses... Isthisgoingtogetbetter?

Isthatapromise?

Goodluckwithyourstudies.

Conversation1 You:Youwantedtotalktome? Teacher: You: Teacher: You: Teacher: You:

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Appendix B ConversationCardsWorksheet Topic: How? Where? What? Who? Is/Are? When? Do...? Why? Have?

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Appendix C SurveyQuestions 1.あなたの性格は外向的ですか?それとも内向的ですか? 外向的 どちらかというと外向的 どちらでもない どちらかというと内向的 内向的 2.英語の勉強は好きですか? はい どちらかというと好き ふつう どちらかというと好きでない いいえ 3.英語の勉強はあなたにとって大切だと思いますか? はい どちらかというと大切 ふつう どちらかというと大切でない いいえ 4.英語で話せることはあなたにとって大事だと思いますか? はい どちらかというと大事 ふつう どちらかというと大事でない いいえ 5.この授業で,あなたは英語を勉強する気がでますか? はい どちらかというとでる ふつう どちらかというとでない いいえ 6.あなたは外国にホームステイしたことがありますか? はい いいえ (「はい」と答えた人) どこに行きましたか? どのくらいの期間でしたか? 7.あなたは留学したことがありますか? はい いいえ (「はい」と答えた人) どこに行きましたか? どのくらいの期間でしたか? 8.あなたは英会話学校に通ったことがありますか(あるいは,現在通っていますか)? はい いいえ (「はい」と答えた人) どれくらいの期間通いましたか(あるいは通っていますか)? 年 週 回 9.あなたは英語を話す機会が日常的にありますか? はい 時々 いいえ (「はい」あるいは「時々」と答えた人) 一ヶ月に何回ぐらい話す機会がありますか? 回 10.あなたは将来,どんな目的で英語を使うと思いますか? (複数選択可) a.旅 b.仕事 c.世界の人々と会うため d.勉強研究のため e.友達を作るため f.まだ分からない g.その他(具体的に)

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Appendix D

EnglishTranslationofSurveyQuestions

(ナサニエルフレンチ 英語コミュニケーション学科)

1.Areyouanextrovertoranintrovert?

Extrovert Slightlyextrovert Neither Slightlyintrovert Introvert 2.DoyoulikestudyingEnlgish?

Yes A littlebit Neitheryesorno Notreally No 3.DoyouthinkstudyingEnglishisimportant?

Yes A littlebit Neitheryesorno Notreally No 4.DoyouthinkbeingabletospeakinginEnglishisimportant?

Yes A littlebit Neitheryesorno Notreally No 5.Wereyoumotivatedtostudyinthisclass?

Yes A littlebit Neitheryesorno Notreally No 6.Haveyoueverdoneahomestayinanothercountry?

Yes No (Ifyes)

Wheredidyougo?How longdidyougo?

7.Haveyoueverstudiedabroadinanothercountry? Yes No

(Ifyes)

Wheredidyougo?How longdidyougo?

8.HaveyouevergonetoanEnglishconversationschool(orareyouenrolledinonenow?) Yes No

(Ifyes)

How longdidyougo?(How longhaveyoubeengoing?) Years timesperweek

9.DoyouhavechancestospeakEnglishinyourdailylife? Yes Sometimes No

(Ifyesorsometimes)

How m anychancesdoyouhavetospeakinEnglishpermonth? timespermonth

10.How doyouthinkyouwilluseEnglishinthefuture? (selectallthatapply)

a.Vacations b.Work c.Meetingpeoplefrom allovertheworld d.Studyorresearch e.Makingfriends f.Idon・tknow

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