Title

Diversity matters: Japan's domestic diversity and the role of English language teaching

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-5-2013

Publication Source

Critical Inquiry in Language Studies

Volume

10

Issue

3

Inclusive pages

215-241

Publisher

Routledge, Taylor & Francis

ISBN/ISSN

ISSN: 1542-7587 print/1542-7595 online

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

This article investigates how Japanese university students perceive Japan’s domestic diversity and understand the role of English within that context. Surveys and interviews with Japanese students reveal how they reflect on their own experiences with diversity in their past English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes and also help to explore the role of English teaching/learning in multicultural Japan. Insufficient attention to domestic diversity may mislead EFL learners when they encounter their English interlocutors with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds because this misunderstanding can create prejudices about English speakers and may reproduce a racial/ethnic and linguistic hierarchy. Drawing on the survey and interview results, this article suggests possible strategies for promoting successful intercultural communication through English and teaching English as a global language.

Keywords

domestic diversity, EFL, multiculturalism, intercultural communication, Japan

Disciplines

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Asian Studies | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Educational Sociology | First and Second Language Acquisition | International and Comparative Education | International and Intercultural Communication | Other Sociology | Sociology

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