Article published in:Multiple Perspectives on L1 and L2 Academic Literacy in Asia Pacific and Diaspora Contexts
Edited by Xiaoming Li and Christine Pearson Casanave
[Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 15:1] 2005
► pp. 15–29
Borrowing words and ideas
Insights from Japanese L1 writers
This study investigates Japanese university students’ perceptions related to the notion of plagiarism in their L1 academic context in Japan. The analysis is based on questionnaire and interview responses from Japanese undergraduate (N = 605) and graduate students (N = 110). The responses are compared across disciplines (science versus liberal arts majors) and across academic levels (undergraduate versus graduate students), along with a cross-cultural comparison with similar responses from a smaller number of native English speaking undergraduates in the U. S. (N = 76). The findings of the study indicate that Japanese students do not have much knowledge of citation of sources, particularly as compared to U. S. students, and they perceive the borrowing of words or ideas without citing the source to be not entirely negative. Although both academic level and major field apparently affect students’ knowledge of citation conventions and attitudes toward borrowing words or ideas, the results suggest that academic discipline may be more influential than academic level. In particular, liberal arts (humanities and social science) majors showed more awareness than science (computer science, engineering and physical science) majors of a need for crediting sources. The insights provided by the participants suggest a number of ways in which teachers might facilitate students’ acquisition of academic literacy and citation conventions in their L2.
Published online: 30 June 2005
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