Japanese extensive reading: aesthetic and efferent engagement of learners with texts


  • Kimberley Rothville a:1:{s:5:"en_US";s:22:"University of Auckland";}


L2 Japanese, Extensive reading, Upper-beginnner, JFL


Conventionally, reading in the L2 Japanese classroom focuses on intensive reading of texts (Tabata-Sandom, 2015; 2017). Texts are treated simply as language data, and reading is equated with correctly translating the literal propositional content from the text (Kumagai, 2007; Warnick, 2001). Conversely, L1 Japanese speakers focus on their personal experiences or relate content to their previous knowledge when reading (Warnick, 2001), which evokes Rosenblatt’s Transactional Theory of Reading. While evidence suggests that extensive reading improves L2 Japanese learners’ attitudes and motivation towards reading in Japanese, the extent to which it encourages the development of more natural reading stances along Rosenblatt’s aesthetic efferent continuum has not been established. Data collected over one to two semesters as upper beginner L2 Japanese learners began to read extensively showed participants demonstrating a variety of reading practices and stances related to the experience of reading for their own purposes. Although participants displayed efferent stances, such stances were not limited to Japanese language study. Participants also adopted aesthetic stances, both exclusively and in conjunction with efferent stances, suggesting that L2 Japanese learners can engage both aesthetically and efferently when reading extensively.