Document Type

Presentation

Presentation Date

Summer 8-18-2012

Conference Name

Society for the Study of Social Problems

Conference Location

Denver, CO

Abstract

This study investigates the extent to which Japanese university students learned about diverse countries and individuals through the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) curriculum. More specifically, it examines to what extent Japanese university students learn about race and ethnic diversity in their secondary EFL classes and how they understand domestic cultural diversity within Japan. Based on the survey and interview data, this paper will present how these students perceive the domestic cultural diversity of Japan and the role of EFL education. The ultimate goal of this argument is not only to raise awareness of racial and ethnic diversity within Japan but also to reduce prejudice and discrimination against particular groups and/or individuals. To promote successful cross-cultural communication, I emphasize that diversity issues (e.g., conflict, tension, and inequality) need to be taught explicitly within the EFL curriculum. Given stimulating ideas provided by the university students, this paper hopes to suggest new directions for incorporating multicultural perspectives in the EFL classes in non-Anglo American contexts, e.g., Japan.

Keywords

EFL, cultural diversity, Japan, globalization, international education

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Sociology | First and Second Language Acquisition | International and Comparative Education | Sociology