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Japanese Education and Onomatopoeia Seen in Elementary School Language Textbooks

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  • 小学校国語教科書に見るオノマトペと日本語教育


Sensory words such as onomatopoeia are difficult for students of Japanese because their cultures are different. How onomatopoeia are dealt with in elementary school compulsory education has been reviewed with the aim of considering how it can be applied to students of Japanese as a second language. Five Japanese textbooks that are currently in use at elementary schools for native speakers of Japanese were examined to see which onomatopoeic words appear and to what extent. A total of 6,443 onomatopoeic words were listed in these textbooks. Of the vast range of 6,443 words from the originally wide variety of words as counted from grade 1 to grade 6 from all the Japanese language textbooks, 92 were high-frequency onomatopoeic words which are proposed as the “basic onomatopoeia for beginners” as well as what kind of onomatopoeia and to what extent. These 92 high-frequency onomatopoeic words appeared 3,416 times, or 53.02% of the total 6,443 onomatopoeic words. If these 92 onomatopoeic words were studied, then over 50% of onomatopoeic words would be comprehensible to learners of Japanese. In addition, which verbs appear in conjunction with these onomatopoeic words together with their frequency are indicated.


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