[PS-2.62] Reproduction and Elicited Production of English Question Sentences by Japanese EFL Learners

Harada, Y. 1 & Morishita, M. 2

1 Waseda University
2 Kobe Gakuin University

Asking the right questions at the right time is an integral part of successful linguistic interactions but there are at least three major reasons Japanese learners of English experience difficulties in asking questions in English. In Japanese, question sentences are formed simply by placing the question marker ?ka? at the end without any morpho-syntactic changes and the question words or phrases remain in situ. In contrast, constructing English question sentences minimally involves the following: (i) subjects-auxiliaries inversion, (ii) ?insertion? of do and adjustment of inflectional endings when there are no auxiliaries in the statement counterparts, (iii) dislocation of wh-phrases to the beginning of the sentences, (iv) suppression of subject-auxiliary inversion in case of wh-subject sentences and embedded questions.

In order to assess processing difficulties, we elicited English question sentences by presenting statement sentences visually to Japanese EFL learners with diverse proficiency levels and asking the participants to convert them into wh-questions in the school year of 2013-2014. With a similar process, we asked our students to reproduce question sentences one week and asked them to convert statement sentences into question sentences a week later, to see the effect of the former to the latter in the next school year.