Saboten Web Design
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Recent popularity of the internet and multilingual capability on the latest operating systems is increasing the possibility of implementing on-line materials to a Japanese language classroom.
"Cyber Map Exercise" is a site designed for use in classroom instruction. It fits into the theme of location and builds up language skills in stages. "Cyber Map Exercise" begins with a vocabulary section, progresses to a map section, and finishes with an information gap exercise. It can be used as a whole or a part, but does assume a classroom context with a teacher's supervision.
One reason for implementation is that the nature of the functions is highly visual-oriented. It also progresses from telling location to giving and asking for directions. For elementary Japanese, this site is incorporated into Chapter 4, "Asking the Whereabouts," and for intermediate Japanese, it is incorporated into Chapter 12, "Asking the Way," in the Situational Functional Japanese series. Questions of this study are: (1) How do students feel about using computers for learning direction and location? (2) Is it easier for an instructor to use the computer program than using the black board, and/or a photocopy of a map? (3) What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the computer program? The study is conducted through an interview, discussion with students, and observation during the lesson.
In this presentation, the result of the study along with future improvements and suggestions will be discussed from both developmental and implemental points of view.
This handout is available at
I Why this site was created
CLEAR Summer Institute Advanced Internet http://clear.msu.edu
II "Cyber Textbook"
Textbook independent function oriented Standards compatible
Free access to anybody
Any audience with beginning skills
Usable as a whole or part
Assumes teacher presence
III Visual aspect of Map Exercise
Professor Kikuchi at Georgia Techs Hypercard Taxi exercise
Download direct link:
This HyperCard stack will provide you with a simulated ride in a taxi. You can practice giving directions in typed romaji in real time. The taxi driver responds as you give directions.
IV Structure of Cyber Map Exercise
V. Technology used
VI. Improvements suggested
Quicktime video with audio
The students followed the web sites as it was designed, and examined the sites with the instructor.
day 1: vocabulary, vocabulary game, sign boards, and location terms,
day 2: location terms and information gap exercises with partners,
day 3: location terms and information gap exercises (quiz).
Comparing with traditional technique to teach location and direction on a black board, and/or using some props, I found the map page needed some improvement, particularly for its graphics. I also wanted some simple maps, a little bit complicated maps, and map of an actual city to show to the students.
(1) The computer program does a good job of showing the information. The street section is very simple but it's still easy to understand. Overall, therere no problems for me in learning from it. It just seems like it could be improved with some graphics to make it more attractive.
(2) I enjoyed using the internet to practice using [sic] my directions of locating objects and (?) the directions of places. It helped me a lot.
(3) The page is very helpful in practicing location sentences (---ni ---ga arimasu) and vocabulary - a great visual aid.
(4) The web page is very helpful. Simple and precise in its function. Very effective for the beginner Japanese student. Possibly the only improvements would be aesthetic ones, such as colors or trees or some such. Just to make it nicer to look at.
(5) I really appreciate the maps online, because it is another way for you to learn the vocabulary. I also like that there is a portion of a map of UNCG. I do wish that there were more graphics on the web page. So that the
buildings can look like a grocery store or a library.
(6) The concept of this site is a good one. It helps to be able to see the things you are talking about when dealing with location. I don't really know anything about setting up this kind of language web site, but I have some idea on how it could be even better. Better graphics like the actual picture of a city street would be neat instead of blocks with a person on the screen that you could move around to represent where you are to help you visualize and describe location.
(7) The web page has interesting feature but it needs to have better graphics + maps.
(8) I found the Map Exercise to be confusing because the sentence examples did not match the Maps on the same page.
(9) The Location Exercise is very nice.
(10) The Vocabulary Practice with audio seems to always crash my Netscape browser.
(11) The UNCG map is very nice. I had no trouble figuring out the building and the locations seem accurate. The map exercise only had one problem - on map exercise #1 for both A and B building 2 is a question (i.e. there is no answer for building 2). Other than that, I think these exercises could be helpful in learning how to ask directions.
(12) There are some problems with www.iwaves.net/~kschnei, such as #2 in Gap Ex #1 being the same for A and B. In the map exercise 1, the examples don't match the given map. Very confusing. Fill-ins don't print but maybe a problem with MAC Netscape.
(13) The web page is easy to comprehend with the visuals used.
(14) This site is simple and easy to use. It (gives a) nice practice for students of Japanese who have learned Hiragana and Katakana. The audio files are a nice touch and will help many who can not correctly pronounce new words. The photo signs exercise provides students the chance to use newly acquired skills in a life [sic] practical application familiarizing students with the many different fonts of the Japanese language. Map Exercises are laid out in a basic simple structure that is easy to remember.
(15) The first thing I noticed is that this page isn't constructed for people without Japanese detect in their browsing program. The subject matter covered is good, but maybe not enough, and not covered in depth enough. The scammed pictures of signs that are actually seen in Japanese was a good idea. The "Information Gap" exercises are a bit strange, maybe.
(16) The web is very helpful but her graphics are not very good. The web page could be better.
(17) I like the Map exercise because it allows us to communicate conversationally with our classmates while we learn direction. Gap 1A + B 2 is a problem.
(18) This is a good exercise, but it would be even better if we weren't both missing #2 (on Info. Gap).
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