On Goals of Language Education and Teacher Diversity: Beliefs and Experiences of Japanese-Language Educators in North America





This article reports the results of the online survey on Japanese-language educators’ beliefs and experiences concerning their profession that we conducted in the fall of 2018. A total of 355 teachers in North America responded to the survey. The responses were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitative data suggest that the survey respondents almost unanimously agreed on the importance of global and translingual/transcultural competence as a crucial goal for JFL education. However, the items concerning the legitimacy of language varieties (e.g., standard vs. regional dialects), the importance of accuracy (e.g., grammar, pronunciation), and the views on Japanese culture (e.g., emphasis on uniqueness) received rather conflicting responses from the participants. Moreover, qualitative comments brought up the issues of native-speakerism, nihonjinron, and heteronormativity ideologies as prevailing in JFL education. In short, the results illuminate both converging and diverging perspectives of the survey participants and contradictions or dilemmas between aspirational ideals and mundane practices.

Author Biographies

Junko Mori, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Junko Mori is Professor of Japanese language and linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. By using conversation analysis as a central framework, she has investigated the relationship between linguistic structures and organizations of social interaction, classroom discourse, and intercultural communication. Her recent studies address issues concerning diversity and inclusion manifested in various professional communities and workplaces.

Atsushi Hasegawa, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Atsushi Hasegawa is an Assistant Professor of Japanese Language and Linguistics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Japanese language, sociolinguistics, and applied linguistics. His research interests include language pedagogy, classroom interaction, and language socialization in various multilingual contexts. 

Jisuk Park

Jisuk Park was a lecturer in Japanese language at Columbia University (2002-2019). Her research interests include language pedagogy, project-based learning, and curriculum design. Her recent studies focus on exploring ways to apply Social Networking Approach to foreign language education.

Kimiko Suzuki, Haverford College

Kimiko Suzuki is a Lecturer in Japanese at Haverford College. Her research interests include language pedagogy and curriculum development.



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