Like many other languages, Japanese has many special features, such as particle omission, sentence‐ final particles, responsive tokens, and so forth, that are unique to its spoken language (typically face‐to‐ face conversation). In spoken Japanese, these features are indispensable for initiating and maintaining a conversation through a collaborative interaction with other speakers, and also for deploying their utterances in a natural form. Therefore, these features should be included in the learning process of Japanese education given that one of the most fundamental goals of language education is to acquire conversation skills of the language in a natural form. Nevertheless, the importance of these feature has been neglected and virtually no research has previously been undertaken on these features in the literature of Japanese education.
The current study is to fill the research gab and explores key points in teaching these features from the fundamental viewpoint of education, namely “what” and “how” to teach these features. It focuses on the elementary Japanese course under the assumption that these features should be taught from the early stage of the Japanese education. In brief, regarding “what” to teach, the study adopts ‘Corpus of Everyday Japanese Conversation’ created by National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics, and identifies nine features, Sentence‐final particles, Responsive tokens, Fillers, Hedging markers, Incomplete sentence, Echo‐question, Inversion, Particle omission, and Contraction, as the spoken features that are to be included in Japanese education at the elementary level. As for “how” to teach, the study offers the three points, ‘Teaching order (of these features)’, ‘The significance of the systematic explanation and practice’, and ‘The necessity of the assessment development’, that are important to consider when teaching these features in class.