UBC Graduate Research

Manga motivation Ohori, Yuri


Pablo states in his article B.C. lags in Asian education (published May 1, 2008) in Georgia Straight that fewer students are enrolling in Asian language programs. To address this concern of declining enrolment, this paper examines the notion of interest and its significance within a language learning motivational framework. By understanding the interest students have in such Japanese popular media such as manga (graphic novels), educators are then able to construct motivating and effective approaches that not only encourage the study of Japanese but may also foster the study of foreign languages in general. The multifaceted constructs of interest as an abstract motivational effect as well as a concrete activity have implications for the language classroom in terms of how instructors might use manga to encourage motivation. Therefore, the challenge is how to make manga texts curriculum-appropriate. To justify the 'legitimacy' of using manga, it is important to view it as something that can complement the textbook, which tends to simplify language as a set of discrete and abstract units bound by rules. The pedagogical need to keep language memorable and testable runs the danger of solidifying, decomposing and fragmenting what in real life is often fluid, variable and continuous. It is suggested here that the 'ebb and flow' of conversation between formal and informal registers, that is lacking in textbooks, can be compensated for with the complementary use of manga texts.

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