The effect of closeness on Japanese L2 English learners’ use of emoji



closeness, emoji, Japanese L2 English learners, online discussion


This study investigates the use of emoji by Japanese learners of English in discussion forums. Specifically, the discussion forums refer to online conversations on the LINE smartphone application. The investigations answer the research question: “What is the effect of closeness on learners’ rate of emoji use in online discussion?”. The aims of the study are pursued by gauging learners’ perceived closeness with each other via a questionnaire with five levels of closeness from one to five; the rating of one is the closest and the rating of five is the most distant. Following this, five weeks of online discussions from the LINE discussion forums are investigated, analyzing a total of 123 messages, which contain a total of 10,081 words and 578 emoji. The participants are 25 second-year students who are enrolled at a middle-ranking Japanese university. They are from two classes, consisting of 21 females and four males in total. The investigations find a higher rate of emoji being employed in relationships identified as more distant. The study concludes that L2 English learners may also employ more emoji in distant relationships, where interactants may be attempting to reduce the social distance between each other.



How to Cite

Tu, S. P. (2022). The effect of closeness on Japanese L2 English learners’ use of emoji. Studies in Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis, 3(2), 50–60.