Finding a Balance between Diversity and Target Language: A Case of a Japanese Language Program in a Private University


  • Shinsuke Tsuchiya Brigham Young University



One of the challenges that language professionals face in our increasingly diverse communities is establishing a balance between diversity and language standards. While Standard Japanese can be considered a common language to interact with the majority of Japanese speakers who may not be accustomed to nonnative speech (ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, 2012), the strict requirement to follow the monolingual standard may disregard the legitimacy of multilingual speakers, including nonstandard dialect speakers. This article discusses pros and cons of setting standards in language programs and relevant findings concerning the native speaker fallacy (Author, 2019). Then the author will share his shifting perspectives on errors, interlanguage, dialectal differences, and certain “nonstandard” practices (e.g. translanguaging) in his experience of training, hiring, and supervising teaching assistants at Brigham Young University.

Author Biography

Shinsuke Tsuchiya, Brigham Young University

Shinsuke Tsuchiya is assistant professor of Japanese in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University. His research interests include perceptions of native speakers, language socialization of language teachers and students, language teacher training, and second language acquisition.


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