Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

5-9-2018

Degree Program

Japanese

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded

2018

Month Degree Awarded

May

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between grit and learners’ performance in Japanese language learning. Grit is one’s personality trait which is defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goal” (Duckworth et al., 2007). The purpose of this quantitative study is to determine whether there were relationships between learners’ grit scores and their performance in two different types of Japanese language classrooms:teacher-centered beginning and intermediate Japanese language courses and student-centered Japanese extensive reading courses. Regarding the study of extensive reading courses, students’ subjective evaluation were used to observe their performance instead of an objective achievement test. There were 78 students who agreed to participate in total. Of all participants, 34 students were taking introductory level Japanese, 27 students were taking the intermediate level, and 17 students were taking a Japanese extensive reading course. The results revealed that participants’ grit scores did not appear to be related to their performance in the introductory language course. Interestingly, in the intermediate course, perseverance subscores of grit measured by the 10-item grit scale were negatively correlated with the students’ performance, with no connection apparent between their grades and grit scores. The results might be attributed to some external factors: such as the process of language learning and students’ academic majors. On the other hand, in the student-centered Japanese extensive reading course, some tendencies of positive correlation were seen between participants’ grit scores and the changes of their subjective evaluation between the beginning and the end of the semester. These findings suggest the possibility that individuals’ grit scores are related to their performance in different ways between teacher-centered and student-centered Japanese language learning.

First Advisor

Yuki Yoshimura

Second Advisor

Bruce Baird

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