The Effect of Japanese Animation Series on Informal Third Language Acquisition among Arabic Native Speakers

  •  Sara S. Alsubaie    
  •  Abbad M. Alabbad    


Recent studies on language acquisition and motivation have targeted Japanese language learners in a formal educational context, with less attention paid to learners who study Japanese informally. The current study aims to investigate the impact of Japanese animations in the context of informal third language acquisition. It targets the native speakers of Arabic who are interested in learning Japanese as a third language (L3), and investigates the motivations of Arab teenagers and young adults to learn Japanese. Further, the paper also focuses on examining aspects of Japanese language proficiency among teenagers and young adults, including vocabulary enhancement and grammar competence. The methodology used in the current study is twofold: an online survey questionnaire adopted from Armour and Iida (2016), followed by an engaging experiment in which participants were divided into two groups (reality anime group vs. action anime group) in order to examine the effectiveness of anime selection in boosting proficiency level. The findings of the online survey indicate that Arabic native speakers are highly motivated to learn Japanese, while the experiment results confirm that the type of anime and consistency of exposure do support the acquisition process. Further, the study concluded that consumption of anime series contributes to the learning process and facilitates learners' proficiency in general and vocabulary learning in particular. However, it remains unknown whether or not Arabic native speakers' motivations lead to their enrollment into formal Japanese foreign language education. Avenues for future research and implications are also presented toward the end of the paper.

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