Study of IT terms used in non-vocational high school Information Technology class textbooks: toward corpus-based lexical studies and sentence comprehension




Computer terms, IT terms, and loanwords in Japanese are most commonly written in katakana. Katakana characters are written with fewer strokes than kanji characters, and therefore provide fewer clues that help in recognizing the characters. Also, many katakana characters are similar in shape, so learners of Japanese tend to find katakana terms harder to learn. Yet as information technology continues to advance, the number of new IT terms proliferates. Beginning in 2003, compulsory courses in Information Technology were added to the regular non-vocational high school curriculum, and this inspired me to examine the IT terminology and katakana words used in the textbooks for these classes. I surveyed the vocabulary in 23 textbooks(3,127 pages in all)used in the non-vocational high school Information Technology classes. More specifically, I extracted the IT terms listed in the indexes of the textbooks, and compiled an IT terminology list. Next, I culled just the katakana terms from the list, and analyzed the characteristics of the katakana words. I found that 1/4 of all the IT terms in the indexes of the textbooks were katakana terms. In comparing the three Information Technology classes (IT-A, IT-B , and IT-C ), I also found a substantial difference in the number of"tokens per textbook" among the three classes. At the same time, I observed that the Information Technology A class tended to have fewer"types per textbook" than the Information Technology B class. This suggests that the Information Technology A class had fewer kinds of IT terms in the indexes of the texts used in those classes compared to the textbooks use in the Information Technology B classes, and the types of terms missing in the IT-A classes were represented in the indexes of textbooks used in the other classes. And conversely, there were more kinds of IT terms in the indexes of the IT-B class texts than in the IT-A class texts. In analyzing the IT terms found in the indexes of at least 10 out of 23 textbooks, I discovered that katakana terms accounted for about half of all the IT terms. It is thus apparent that a great many of the high frequency IT terms found in the indexes of many of the textbooks are katakana terms.


  • 愛知教育大学教育実践総合センタ-紀要

    愛知教育大学教育実践総合センタ-紀要 (13), 59-66, 2010-02



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