1.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一 ; Yokoyama, Koichi
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.13-24,  2017-03-23.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This paper is a complete guide to the 72 books written by Haruko Shogenji (1914-2015), one of Japan’s leading authors of children’s books. According to the trilogy of her autobiographical novels, she spent most of her childhood in the Tohoku region, and then, due to her father’s job transfer, her family moved to Kyoto, where she was bullied by her classmates, which was to turn into several novels, then they went to Korea under Japan’s colonial rule, where she felt uncomfortable, thinking it wrong to live happily in the foreign land. Experiencing the misery of World War II, Shogenji wrote, in her early career, about a girl who felt miserable with her family members staying at their relative’s home, always hungry during the war, and about a boy who lost his parents in an air raid, suffering a lot to live on his own. Some idealism after the war seems to have permeated all her works. Haruko Shogenji was good at describing the sensitive workings of children’s mind; their happiness as well as their sorrow. She wrote not only realistic fiction but also fantasy, for example, about ancient Egyptians she was very interested in. 続きを見る
2.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一 ; Yokoyama, Koichi
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.25-32,  2017-03-23.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This is an introduction to two unique kinds of graded readers: Helbling Young Readers Fiction (2014), and e-future Grade d Comic Readers’ Jack and Bella series consisting of Magic Adventures (2012) and School Adventures (2014). The former, published in London, UK, are beautifully illustrated picture books such as The Beach (written by Rick Sampedro and illustrated by Agilulfo Russo), The Sun is Broken (written by Andrés Pi Andreu and illustrated by Catty Flores), and Henry Harris Hates Haitches (written by Maria Cleary and illustrated by Lorenzo Sabbatini), all of which are good examples of wonderful collaboration between an author and an illustrator. Although the main purpose of graded readers is to make learners accustomed to reading in English, some of these books are so artistic that they are really worth much more recognition by avid book lovers all over the world. It is such a relief to know that there is at least a “Language Learner Literature Award,” which was rightly given to Maria Cleary and Lorenzo Sabbatini’s Skater Boy, the very simple but quite powerful picture book about a mysterious boy hero. The latter, published in Seoul, Korea, is a readable series of comic books, which must be far more enjoyable among children who, whether they like it or not, have to study the international language, for Jason Wilburn and Casey Kim’s story-making is so splendid (in fact they are genius in combining the evil force of the crystal with environmental problems in “Dark’s Hearts” of Magic Adventures, and in retelling children’s classics like Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, and Robin Hood in “Storybook Mysteries” of School Adventures, using their own protagonists: Jack and Bella) and Jaehwan Jung’s anime-like character design is so charming that the results turn out to be another instance of successful collaboration. Therefore it is strongly recommended that both Magic and School Adventures be read as fantastic works of manga on their own, not just as tools for learning English. 続きを見る
3.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一 ; Yokoyama, Koichi
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.21-31,  2016-03-15.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This is a close examination of the English translation (2005) of Miyuki Miyabe’s Crossfire (1998) so as to show how the Japanese mystery is translated into English. It will be helpful for future translators to know some rules and methods revealed in this paper. By following the painful efforts of the two translators, Deborah Stuhr Iwabuchi and Anna Husson Isozaki, I have generalized such know-how. While evaluating the two women’s work, I point out their careless mistakes. Whether on purpose or not, some omissions seem to be rather serious defects. Of course, other seeming weak points are not necessarily their faults. There are definite limits of translation, especially from Japanese into English: The nuances of some Japanese words like ofukuro and obasan are impossible to express in English. The young waiter’s distinctive way of talking also cannot be translated; his funny tones completely disappear in the English version, but that is an exact example of the impossibility of translation. The paper consists of seven sections: Introduction: a summary of Crossfire, 1) the opening dream (contrary to the original, the English version cannot hide that the dreamer is a woman), 2) various ways of using italics (effective for emphasis, especially in inner monologues), 3) English counterparts of police terms (because of Captain Ito, the original “Captain” is changed into “Skipper”), 4) Chinese characters (in most cases, the meanings of kanji are just ignored, yet the ironical, literal meaning of Kei-ichi, the name of a criminal, is explained properly; Seika-Gakuen, a proper noun, is even translated as Essence Academy), 5) the limits of English translation and some countermeasures (literal translation is often meaningless to foreign readers, so English substitutes will be useful like cake for sekihan), and Conclusion: examples of bad omission and good translation (although several impressive scenes and words are carelessly removed, most of the thematic lines are duly translated). The best thing about the English version is that it includes the key word “crossfire,” because it is not found in the original text, and most Japanese readers do not know what it really means even though it is the title of the novel they have enjoyed. 続きを見る
4.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一 ; Yokoyama, Koichi
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.33-40,  2016-03-15.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This paper is a guide to 25 Easy Story House books and 15 Popcorn ELT Readers, both of which are a kind of picture books for young learners of English in about the same levels, though they are from different publishers. The former collects a wide range of famous stories for children from legendary folk tales, mostly Grimm’s Fairy Tales such as Thumbelina, Rumpelstiltskin, and Rapunzel, to modern creations like Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant, and Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit. The latter gathers animated films, especially Hollywood’s hit series like Shrek, Ice Age, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda. In comparison, it is likely that Popcorn ELT Readers produced by the larger publishing firm Scholastic will attract more readers because of their much familiar, movie characters, which feature the front covers. It is surely fun to look at still pictures from the movies; yet, it is rather boring to read the outline of an animation movie just because it is stripped of its motions, voices, music, and special effects, all of which make the movie interesting. Easy Story House books are more enjoyable to read even if young readers are less interested in unfamiliar, old folk tales. Above all Grimm’s Fairy Tales (I recommend The Wonderful Musician and Henny Penny) are immortal and definitely worth reading. WorldCom ELT decorates the series with unique illustrations by talented Korean artists. 続きを見る
5.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一 ; Yokoyama, Koichi
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.41-52,  2016-03-15.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This paper is a comparative study on four graded reader versions of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818, revised 1831) in order to show how the original (all the readers except Macmillan are based on the 1831 book in which Frankenstein’s mother finds and adopts Elizabeth) is changed into simplified books depending on each writer’s interpretations. Eight important elements, which seem to make up the plot, are closely examined: 1) the beginning of the book, 2) Frankenstein’s relationship with Elizabeth, 3) Frankenstein’s interest and study, 4) the death of William, 5) the monster’s language acquisition, 6) the monster’s hope and despair, 7) the death of Elizabeth, and 8) Frankenstein’s revenge. On the whole Compass Classic Readers is the truest to Mary Shelley’s 1831 original story, keeping Captain Walton’s letters to his sister as the framework of this novel, as well as the Turkish lady Safie (Oxford changes to Sophie, and the other two ignore) whose lessons of the French language make it possible for the monster to learn how to speak and read. Although the Compass writer, Ken Methold, forgets to mention the death of Frankenstein’s loving mother, he manages the conflicting views of Frankenstein and the monster. Penguin Active Reading also retains the atmosphere of the original, keeping Walton’s letters, which are much shortened though. Penguin is the only book which includes Frankenstein’s last words. The adapter Deborah Tempest, however, apparently fails to grasp the importance of the fire motif: The monster does not learn the word “fire” at the de Lacey’s and says that he will die in the ice, not flames. In Oxford Bookworms, Patrick Nobes removes the letter frame but makes use of Walton as a witness: He happens to catch a glimpse of the monster from his ship, which makes the first page most exciting among the five books including the original. Yet, Nobes misses writing about Walton’s expedition to the North Pole, so Frankenstein’s story does not become a lesson to him. Contrary to Mary Shelley’s text, the Oxford writer describes how Frankenstein uses the electricity of lightning to create the monster, which is obviously influenced by Hollywood movies like James Whale’s 1931 Frankenstein. This addition may satisfy the readers’ curiosity since Mrs. Shelly herself did not clear the way to give life. The most unique adaptation of Frankenstein (seemingly the first 1818 edition, as Frankenstein’s father takes in Elizabeth) is Macmillan Readers. Margaret Tarner is bold enough to omit Captain Walton and to let Frankenstein tell his own story directly to the readers of her adapted book. Accordingly the change leads to a completely different ending: Instead of Walton, Frankenstein himself meets and talks with the monster at the end; in striking contrast to Mrs. Shelly’s original ending, it is Frankenstein who apologizes; after the monster leaves to kill himself, Frankenstein also decides to die in the cold. It cannot be denied that the Macmillan version has become a powerful story on its own, but it is doubtful that this graded reader deserves the name of Mary Shelley on its front cover. 続きを見る
6.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一 ; Yokoyama, Koichi
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.15-26,  2015-03-16.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: The present paper is the final sequel to ‘ “English Communication I”: A Guide to New Textbooks Authorized by the Ministr y of Education in Japan’ (March, 2013) and ‘ “English Communication II”: A Guide to New 2014-2017 English Textbooks Authorized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan’ (March, 2014). The trilogy shows the new contents and tendencies of current English textbooks used at Japanese high schools. Although the name of the subject has been changed from English Reading to Communication English III, the newly published textbooks for the third-year students are just the same in that the highest aim is to acquire the basic reading skills so that they can pass entrance examinations to Japanese universities. Of course, a new kind of activities such as “Make a presentation about the innovator you respect or you are interested in in pairs or groups.” and “Tell your classmates about a “lucky” experience you had.” are added to the new textbooks, which, however, seems a sheer compromise between Japanese teachers of English and Japan’s Ministry of Education; the former generally believe it more appropriate and essential to teach how to read English, while the latter want to drastically change the traditional, or in their words, “old-fashioned” classroom English and to produce as many fluent English speakers as possible, fearing that the nation will drop out of the severe, international economic competition due to the poor command of the international language, compared with the spiteful, neighboring rivals like South Korea and China, whose people, somehow, appear to have the ability to speak better English. 続きを見る
7.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一 ; Yokoyama, Koichi
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.27-33,  2015-03-16.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This paper is a simple guide to Info Trail, the unique series of 78 English textbooks of geography, history and science. Info Trail is a sort of graded readers for elementary school children in Britain, consisting of four stages: beginner, emergent, competent, and fluent stages. The authors often introduce completely different ideas and tell stories in the form of debate, asking at the end “What do you think?” Various questions include whether you are for or against, say, the construction of a huge supermarket, the monarchy, and dangerous space exploration, all of which are generally considered in Japan as adult matters. It is likely that through these books children will be able to think by themselves and have their own opinions. In this sense, Info Trail helps young readers grow into responsible members of their democratic societies. Which seems to be the very ideal aim of this series that is worth imitating among Japanese educators of English. The Info Trail books can be also enjoyed by foreign learners of English whether you are a student or an adult. Originally intended for school kids, the series is much easier for adult readers to understand and appreciate. In fact Info Trail is not boring at all even to adults. Though partly childish to be sure, the contents are wonderfully written in order to stimulate the readers’ interest and imagination. For example, “From an Acorn to an Oak Tree” is a little masterpiece, which may touch your heart. History is described clearly and sympathetically as if it had happened to your friends only yesterday. Science deals with the thrilling adventures of distinguished men like Edward Jenner and Charles Darwin, satisfying mature readers’ intellectual curiosity. 続きを見る
8.

論文(AKAGI収録)

論文(AKAGI収録)
横山, 孝一 ; Yokoyama, Koichi
出版情報: 群馬高専レビュー.  pp.35-46,  2015-03-16.  群馬工業高等専門学校
概要: This paper is a comparative study on four different graded readers of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (1909) with the main purpose of clarifying how adaptations are made from the original. Closely compared with Burnett’s writing, the four versions (Compass Classic Readers, Penguin Active Reading, Oxford Bookworms, and Macmillan Readers) will show their own characteristics. As the easiest of all, Compass version is naturally the shortest digest, omitting even some of the most impressive scenes such as Colin defying Ben and standing up from his wheelchair, and Mr. Craven’s supernatural dream of his deceased wife calling him home as if to make possible his touching reconciliation with his son Colin, who, with the help of “Magic” as well as with his great efforts, has gained the ability to walk. Although Oxford’s stage 3 version is longer and truer to the original than Compass, it also has a few bad points. Because of the publisher’s strict rules of restricting vocabulary, the Oxford book includes absurd-looking changes like “plant,” instead of ivy, covering the door to the secret garden, and Colin’s first words to Mary in their midnight encounter, “Are you a dream?” replacing the frightful expression “Are you a ghost?” On the whole, Macmillan’s pre-intermediate level of The Secret Garden appears to be the best adapted book just because it is truest to Burnett’s classic. What is interesting is, this study has discovered an unexpected merit of graded readers: A retold version may have the possibility of moving the people who read it more than the very original. Penguin version is a good example. In this elementary level 2 book, Anne Colins has managed to modernize the 1909 novel, focusing on the wealthy mother’s total indifference to Mary. Such neglect happens to be one of today’s social problems quite common in developed countries, and undoubtedly tends to draw modern readers’ attention. Furthermore, Ms. Colins intentionally weakens the outdated class element like the 10- year-old aristocrat Colin ordering arrogantly the elderly servant Ben Weatherstaff, which is loyally retained in Macmillan’s counterpart. Penguin version avoids the name of “Master Colin,” using untitled “Colin Craven.” In conclusion, it can be said that the most preferred graded readers are not necessarily the ones which are always loyal to the masterpiece. 続きを見る