Based at Nihon University, Tokyo, specializing in international relations, economics and sociolinguistics. I teach management theory, language learning theory, technology enhanced language learning and communication theory. Also active in filmmaking and in the field of data representation using visual media.

Library – selected publications

PhD thesis

1986. Natusch, B. Cultural and linguistic adaptation among Japanese women migrants in New Zealand : Massey University
  A survey of the cultural and linguistic adaptation of 76 married Japanese women in New Zealand was carried out by means of interviews and language tests. Two basic sub-groups were identified: those who were married to Japanese husbands (INTRA subjects) and those were interculturally married (INTER subjects. A number of marked differences, in particular those related to age and marriage type, were observed to exist between these INTRA and INTER groups.

  The INTER subjects appeared to have made a smoother cultural adaptation to life in New Zealand than those in the INTRA group. The INTRA subjects all identified themselves culturally as Japanese as did the more recently arrived INTER subjects. However, some of the INTER group who had lived in New Zealand for many years appeared to have a cultural identity which was neither fully Japanese nor Western.

  The migrants continued to maintain the Japanese language for communicating among themselves although it did not seem to be passed on to the children of the INTER subjects. A considerable shift from Japanese to English was observed among the INTER subjects but was less evident among subjects in the INTRA group.

  Levels of oral proficiency in English were not particularly high among the subjects, ranging between 0+ and 3+ on the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) assessment scale. Most of the INTRA group were assessed between level 0+ and 1+ on the scale whereas the majority of INTER subjects scored between levels 2 and 3+. This difference in oral proficiency was due mainly to influences associated with intercultural marriage.

  An analysis of the subjects’ oral English revealed that the INTRA subjects had higher frequencies of error in their English than the INTER subjects. Many phonological errors appeared to be due to interference from Japanese. An analysis of grammatical errors involving noun morphology, verb morphology and article usage, however, suggested several possible causes of error including interference, oversimplification, the learners’ false hypotheses, faulty instruction and idiosyncratic variation. The nature and frequency of these errors resulted in pidgin-like characteristics being observed in the subjects’ English. Lexical errors and communication strategies employed by the subjects were also described.

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2002. Natusch, B. & Chitose, K. Signals: A Dictionary of Communicative English Expressions. Tokyo: Nanundo Phoenix, (Japanese, 2nd edition). ISBN: 4888962790

Signals English Japanese

  Signals are expressions which clearly communicate one’s intentions to the other. For example, when driving a car, when turning left or right, you use the turn signal, or indicators. Other drivers react to the indicators, which signal the driver’s intent.

  As with driving a car, in conversation we send many signals to the listener that represent intentions. The phrases and expressions in this dictionary are organised by situation. As such, it is a particularly useful resource for students, travellers, and business people.

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2002. Natusch, B. & Li Yong Ning. Signals: English Conversational Handbook: Communicative Functions. (Chinese). Shanghai: East China Normal University Press. ISBN: 7561715285

Signals English Chinese

The English-Chinese edition of Signals (see above).

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2008. Natusch, B. Who says what, where, when and why: Context in conversation. Tokyo: Nanundo Phoenix. ISBN: 9784888964029

Who says what where when and why

  Who says what, where, when and why: Context in conversation offers a series of real conversations with commentaries. Supporting photographs and original drawings help establish the context. Many of the conversations included in the book are about conversation. It is a book about how people talk to each other, about who is speaking about what to whom. It can be useful as resource material for teaching conversation in context and sociolinguistics to university students.

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2000. Talking on Air for a Living. In Dialogue Analysis VII: Working with Dialogue. Tübingen: Niemeyer. p.81-92.
  The people who lead the dialogues analysed in this study are professional interviewers. Interviews can range from stiffly formal, earnest exchanges (see Rogers, 1974, and Wales, 1989) to ones which have a chatty conversational style (Wardhaugh, 1985). Such chatty, informal dialogues are the focus of this discussion. Dialogues discussed will be “on air”, a term which has in this case no pneumatic referents such as windbag or plosive but is restricted to the meaning that the talks are publicly broadcast.

2001. Establishing a Multilingual Dictionary Website. in The Changing Face of CALL: Emerging Technologies, Emerging Pedagogies. Tokyo: JALTCALL. p. 75-80.
  This presentation was concerned with the following general issues: the logistics of turning a book into a website, management of a web construction project, incorporating several languages into a website, and evaluation of the enterprise. Specifically, this was a report on a case study of converting a Japanese-English dictionary of conversational phrases into an Internet site.

2002. Emerging Conventions in Website Design and Implications for Educational Multimedia. In A New Paradigm for Innovative Multimedia Language Education in the 21st Century. Seoul: KAMALL p. 187-192.
  As more websites compete for Internet users’ attention, it is becoming increasingly important for designers to attend to the issues of website clarity and ease of use. A taxonomy of criteria is introduced for assessing the navigability of websites. Among the features of website design discussed are: homepage metaphors, effective writing, navigation links, search functions, graphics and animation, windows, naming URLs, advertising and messages.

  Drawing on studies by Nielsen and Tahir (2001), Veen (2002), and others, statistics are presented to draw a profile of Internet users’ expectations and preferences. Examples of well-designed websites are given to show approaches which work.

  Finally, implications of these results will be discussed in relation to multimedia educational materials design whether they are created on budget CALL authorware such as Hot Potatoes or more expensive applications like WebCT.


2002. Who Moved My Chalk? A Toolbox for Language Teachers. In Computers in Education. IEEE Computer Society Press. p. 25-26.
  Technology, media and the Internet are major agents of change in the language teaching profession. This presentation introduces skills and tools language teachers need to do their job more effectively and how they can embark on a strategy of self-development seeking assistance from institutional and organizational programs, peers and other sources. The following topics are addressed:

(a) Changes in learning patterns and educational activities brought about by the development of

information technology

(b) Skills teachers personally need to develop in response to these changes particularly in the use of computers, media, and digital devices

(c) A toolbox of hardware, software and manuals tailored

to the needs of language teachers

(d) Specific information technology-related initiatives taken by governments, institutions and organizations in Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea

(e) Strategies for personal development among language teachers

2004. Language Learning Strategies in Non-Formal and Informal Technology-Enhanced Contexts. Nihon University Research Journal, 44. p.13-26.
  Traditional approaches to describing and categorizing language learning strategies such as those of Rubin (1975), Naiman et al (1975), Bialystok (1981), Oxford (1990), Lessard-Clouston (1997), and Hismanoglu(2000) have focused mainly on teacher-directed and classroom centered learning which can be described in general terms as formal learning: that which takes place in accredited institutions often for the award of some recognized qualification.

2005. Online Learning and Intergenerational Student Interaction. PacCALL Journal, Vol.1 No.1. p. 115-125.
  A multimedia English language and culture course at a Japanese university has evolved over several years from a film-based course in which students watch a film each week for language and culture learning,access homework assignments on the class film homepage, write their impressions of the film on blogs, give presentations and make videos. Also, students are added to a mailing list when they begin the course. This ML continues to be used by students even after graduating to exchange information about jobs, travel, films, meetings, further education, vocational training courses, chat, etc. This use of educational technology adds value to the basic classroom model of learning in several dimensions. First, classroom learning is extended by the online component thus accommodating different learning styles. Second, the emphasis is not just on content learning but encourages informative and affective online communication in English between students. Third, class members are able to extend their personal networks beyond their peers to students who have graduated. Fourth, the teacher gains an insight into issues affecting students.

2006. A Functional Analysis of Abbreviations Used in Computer Mediated Communication. Nihon University Research Journal, 53. p. 1-26
  Abbreviations, particularly acronyms, such as HRU (How are you?), BTW (By the way) and G2G (Got to go), can often be seen in computer mediated communication (CMC) such as short message service (SMS) texting, internet chat or emails. Among a total of 602 such expressions, drawn from a number of Internet listings, 92% were determined to function as communicative signals and only 7.8% as descriptors, or expressions which described an object or a situation. From an analysis based on the numbers of abbreviated expressions occurring in listings, the most commonly occurring expressions signaled the following language functions: expressing feelings, maneuvering others to act or respond, as precursors to presenting information, and reacting to other people’s messages. Slightly lower incidences of expressions signaling openings and closings, and steering or maneuvering the direction of the communicative exchange were observed. That such numbers of these abbreviated expressions are so commonly used and listed suggests that these abbreviated expressions arise in response to a strong need in information technology-related communication for a convenient shorthand of signals. It is also argued that these CMC abbreviations possibly contain a high proportion of signals of aggression and defence, suggesting that, in comparison with face-to-face conversations, CMC may differ in patterns of communication between participants and in the identities that those participants adopt when communicating through CMC. It is argued that an essential step in teaching the genre of CMC to learners of English is to acquaint the learners with the structure of such communication and to recognize the underlying functions driving CMC.

2008 Documentary filmmaking adapted for the language classroom. ROCMELIA.
  This article focuses on using documentary filmmaking techniques as an approach to developing language skills. The methodology acknowledges not only the importance of traditional language skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing and knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, but also highlights facility in engaging social and media skills such as online socializing, narrating, interviewing, familiarity with use of graphics and the grammar of film. Links between print media, websites, blogs, social networking sites, photographs, and videos will also be mentioned. The approach has been used by teachers who have an interest in scripting, filmmaking and editing for educational purposes. Students, particularly Japanese students engaged in job-hunting, have also reported that the experience has helped them to gain confidence and monitor their language learning, acquire new skills and gain confidence and express themselves better in public contexts.

2009. Minority communities and museums online. ROCMELIA.
  During a three-month study leave, the researcher visited 13 countries and a hundred museums, many of which were museums of ethnic minorities. This presentation reports on how ethnic minorities, and other groups, preserve their cultures, particularly in museums. The discussion will proceed from a consideration of the nature of “culture” ranging from small indigenous communities existing in a local area to larger ethnic minorities existing in a diaspora. Other communities, not restricted to ethnicity but sharing a common interest are also described in terms of how they collect and present artifacts and present them to the public, especially using contemporary media.

2011 Automated Essay Scoring, Automated Writing Evaluation and Human Essay Grading. In CALL: What’s Your Motivation: JALTCALL SIG, 2011, p105-111
  Two CALL approaches to evaluating student essay writing are Automated Essay Scoring (AES) and Automated Writing Evaluation (AWE). AES is a scoring tool whereas AWE is more of a tutor. An experiment was carried out to compare (1) AES performance by MY Access and human graders, and (2) AWE performance by MS Word, MY Access and human graders.

  In essay scoring, a high degree of correlation was found between MY Access and human graders. At higher proficiency levels human graders may be able to do a slightly better job of judging essays but take longer to do this.

  Error analyses of the essays showed that the Microsoft Word spelling/grammar checker catches only a small number of writing errors. MY Access catches about double the number of errors of Microsoft Word. Human graders catch about 1.5 times the number of errors caught by MY Access but take much longer.

2012. Adoption of Graphic Novel Features in Info-Genres, InterDisciplinary Press: Oxford.
  The principle of Graphic Novels, namely narrating a story clearly through pictures and text, is not only applicable to storytelling. Other communication genres such as journalism, pedagogical materials, and instructional media need to be clear and a combination of text and pictures as used in Graphic Novels can enhance their clarity of explanation.

  This discussion focuses on the applicability and appropriateness of graphic novel techniques of narration and graphics to general non-fiction genres such as journalistic reporting, biographies, accounts of events, TV, films, pedagogical materials, and instruction manuals.

  The central argument is underpinned by the narrative paradigm of communication theorist Walter Fisher, that people are basically storytellers, and that we are conditioned to understand the world through stories, as opposed to the rational paradigm view of the world that people are essentially rational and that we reach solutions by rational analysis. The Graphic Novel, as a clarity-principled, narrative-centred genre, has unique relevance for lending its techniques to other genres and other media.

2015. Technology in Museums. Tokyo: Nihon University Research Bulletin.
  This study reports on a 2014 survey of post-modern approaches to exhibitions using technology in thirty New York and Washington DC museums. The technologies employed are highlighted to argue that activities requiring visitor participation enliven the museum visit and enhance the educational experience.


Cinema – short films

School – learning materials for students