Research Interests

The two main areas of my research are writing Japanese grammar from a non-Western grammatical view and foreign language teaching and learning processes. Over the past several years, I have focused my work on each of these fields, as well as on points of intersection between the two areas. Writing Japanese grammar using grammatical concepts that are based on Western languages often results in incomplete and unsatisfactory outcomes. This incomplete description of Japanese further complicates teaching Japanese grammar for those who are learning the language. My work in writing Japanese grammar is directly relevant to my own teaching, namely teaching Japanese grammar to students of Japanese. Adult learners of foreign languages, especially Category 4 languages (the most difficult languages for native English speakers to learn; Japanese is in this category), do not process foreign language learning in the same manner as learners of Western languages. The field of teaching Japanese, unfortunately, has a tradition of following teaching models of Western languages, and this too has presented some serious problems. Two of the greatest drawbacks of the way that Japanese has traditionally been taught to adult learners have been the weakness of Japanese grammar descriptions and a lack of understanding of how foreign languages, especially Category 4 languages, are learned. I have been focusing my research on these two points by writing a Japanese grammar book that does not always follow Western grammatical concepts, as well as by proposing teaching methods that differ from the ways that Western languages have been taught.