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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10928/311

Title: 日本人にとって英語とは何か : 英語教育と言語政策
Other Titles: What English Language Means to the Japanese : English Language Education and Language Policies
Authors: 森住, 史
Morizumi, Fumi
Issue Date: Nov-2012
Publisher: 成蹊大学アジア太平洋研究センター
Abstract: Everyone has something to say about English, or English language education, in Japan, but why is it such a big issue any way? The paper tries to answer the question by looking at recent discussions on English language education and examining possible problems with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Recent introduction of English language education into the primary education, as well as enterprises announcing their English-as-their-official-language policy, has invited many laypersons, as well as educators, to claim why English does (or does not) matter. Discussions around those new policies seem to revolve around ambivalent discourses: English-as-an-asset discourse and English-as-a-threat discourse. Such ambivalence is nothing new. In fact, it has always been found in the history of English language education since the Meiji era and in Japan's language policy. Therefore, revisiting the history will help understand where Japan currently stands. The speed of recent globalization in business spheres only helped fuel the discussions on what kind of English language education should be provided in schools. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Education has not come up with a successful guideline. The major problem, as many researchers point out, is the lack of general principles of what students are expected to attain. In other words, there is no concrete explanation on what kinds of English language proficiencies the students are expected to acquire, and for what purposes. Without any concrete language policy to speak of, there is little wonder why people are left with feelings of disappointment and frustration. Trolling relevant literature also led the researcher to other possible aspects such as the history of English language examinations in Japan, the issue of ethnolinguistic identities, and the status of English as an international lingua franca, also suggesting that collecting and listening to the learners’ ‘voice’ is necessary to take the research to the next step.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10928/311
Appears in Collections:No.37

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