Diversity, Inclusivity, and the Importance of L2 Speaker Legitimacy





This commentary builds on the work presented in Mori et al. (this volume) and considers diversity and inclusivity in the context of L2 speaker legitimacy in Japanese-language education. A discussion of linguistic ideologies, native speaker bias, language ownership, and speaker legitimacy is followed by a brief introduction of key research findings which demonstrate the persistence of native speaker bias for L2 speakers of Japanese. I argue that as Japanese-language educators, we must make a commitment to overcoming native speaker bias with regard to each other and especially with regard to our students. I conclude with some suggestions of steps we can take to become models for our students and demonstrate the legitimation of speakers regardless of linguistic background, so that we may begin to eliminate native speaker bias in our profession and in our classrooms. 

Author Biography

Jae DiBello Takeuchi, Clemson University

Jae DiBello Takeuchi is Assistant Professor of Japanese in the Department of Languages and Director of the Language and International Business Program at Clemson University. Dr. Takeuchi’s specialty is Japanese sociolinguistics and second language acquisition. Her research focuses on Japanese-as-a-second-language speakers who are long-term residents of Japan. She is particularly interested in how they navigate speech styles, such as dialects and keigo. Dr. Takeuchi teaches Japanese language, Japanese culture, and linguistics.



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