Current projects:

 

1.) Development of the English Nominal Domain in Adult Second Language, supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. Principal Researcher: Neal Snape (Gunma Prefectural Women’s University). Other project members include Mari Umeda (Gunma Prefectural Women’s University) and Hironobu Hosoi (Gunma Prefectural Women’s University), (2017-2019).

[This research project investigates second language (L2) acquisition of the nominal domain in English, focusing on the definite article, the, and the count-mass distinction, by adult Japanese-speaking learners of English. A cross-sectional investigation, testing learners at different proficiency levels (beginners, elementary, intermediate, advanced and near-native speakers) will be carried out to examine the following three issues: (i) to what extent the nominal domain of learners’ first language (L1), i.e., Japanese, influences the definite article use and count-mass distinction in L1 Japanese/L2 English interlanguage (IL) grammars, (ii) whether or not there are particular developmental IL stages in the acquisition of the English definite article and count-mass distinction, (iii) what the ultimate attainment (end-state) of the English definite article use and count-mass distinction for Japanese-speaking learners looks like in terms of competence and performance. This study is a detailed investigation into the stages of IL development, aiming to show the nominal domain of the L1 Japanese/L2 English IL grammars at the initial-, medial- and end-states.]

2.) Theoretical and Empirical Research on Cross-linguistic Effects in Heritage and Second Language Acquisition, supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. Principal Researcher: Makiko Hirakawa (Chuo University). Other project members include John Matthews (Chuo University), Michiko Fukuda, Kazue Takeda (Bunkyo University), Yahiro Hirakawa (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Neal Snape and Mari Umeda (Gunma Prefectural Women's University), (2015 – 2017).

[This research project aimed to investigate the acquisition of Japanese, English, and Tagalog by heritage speakers and L2 learners using both offline and online methods. Studies targeting the interpretations of and online processing of Japanese reflexives by Japanese native speakers, Chinese-speaking learners of Japanese and heritage speakers of Japanese (L1 English) have been conducted. In an offline task, Chinese-speaking learners showed that their interpretations of Japanese reflexives were not target-like, likely due to L1 influence. The results from the online experiments from Japanese native speakers and heritage speakers continue to be analyzed.]

3.) Heritage Language Reversal: Phonological Processing in L2 English by Child Returnees, special research travel grant awarded by Gunma Prefectural Women’s University, Japan. Principal Researcher: Neal Snape, (2016).

[This study is part of a larger project Theoretical and Empirical Research on Cross-linguistic Effects in Heritage and Second Language Acquisition. The travel grant was used for travel expenses to the Heritage Language Acquisition Workshop 2016, Tromsø, Norway.]

4.) Understanding the Complexities of English Article Use and Choice, special research travel grant awarded by Gunma Prefectural Women’s University, Japan. Principal Researcher: Neal Snape and Mari Umeda (Co-investigator), (2014).

[This research project investigated the effectiveness of explicit instruction on English article use. The travel grant was used for travel expenses to the GASLA 2015 conference, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A.]

5.) Child Returnees and L2 attrition workshop, special research grant awarded by Gunma Prefectural Women’s University, Japan. Principal Researcher: Miho Komura, Neal Snape (Co-investigator) and Hironobu Hosoi (Co-investigator), (2012).

[Two invited speakers, Dr. Asako Yoshitomi and Dr. Machiko Tomiyama gave talks about Japanese child returnees who undergo some L2 attrition of English once they return to their home country.]

 

Past projects:

 

1.) Acquisition of scalar implicatures involving L2 adults with Hironobu Hosoi (Gunma Prefectural Women's University).

 

2.) Adult L2 learner's ultimate attainment of articles with Tanja Kupisch (University of Hamburg).

 

3.) The Acquisition of English Article Use and Tense by Japanese Learners after the Sensitive Period, supported in part by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) from the the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan. Advisors are Lydia White, David Birdsong and Andrea Moro. Principal Researcher Noriaki Yusa (Miyagi Gakuin Women's University). Other project members include Masatoshi Koizumi (Tohoku University), Kim Jongho (Tohoku University) and Kuniya Nasukawa (Tohoku Gakuin University).

[This research project investigated the use of articles by adult Japanese L2 learners of English. A workshop was organized on the pedagogy of articles. A number of scholars were invited to give talks.]

 

4.) Attrition in L1 and L2 Speakers, supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan. Principal Researcher Makiko Hirakawa (Bunkyo University). Other project members include Yahiro Hirakawa (Tokyo Engineering University), Hironobu Hosoi (Gunma Prefectural Women's University), Naoko Narita (Bunkyo University), Michiko Fukuda (Bunkyo University), Yuri Fujisaki (Tokyo International University), Noriko Okamoto (Tokyo International University) and John Matthews (Chuo University).

[This research project aimed to clarify (1) how the children of foreign nationals living in Japan acquire the Japanese language and lose their first languages, (2) how L1 Japanese children who return from English-speaking countries retain or lose the L2 language (English), and (3) how L1 (Japanese or English) affects L2 (English or Japanese) acquisition of grammar, morphology and phonology. The above studies have collected cross-sectional and longitudinal data to shed new light on the issues of previous research on L2 language acquisition and L1 retention and attrition and to improve the previous analyses of those issues.]