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L1 marginalisation in Japan: monolingual instrumentalism and the discursive shift against yakudoku in the Japanese government's Course of Study

Noda, M; O’Regan, JP; (2020) L1 marginalisation in Japan: monolingual instrumentalism and the discursive shift against yakudoku in the Japanese government's Course of Study. Current Issues in Language Planning , 21 (2) pp. 135-152. 10.1080/14664208.2019.1647998. Green open access

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Abstract

This article focuses upon the Japanese government’s decision in 2009 to direct an ‘English-only’ strategy for English language education in senior high schools from 2013. In the Course of Study 2009, and more recently again in the Course of Study 2018, the Japanese government implicitly blames the local grammar-translation method of teaching, known as yakudoku, for the failure of teachers to foster their students’ English proficiency, and suggests that it should be replaced ‘in principle’ by English-only classes. This article examines how the policy originated and was then formulated in the Course of Study 2009, and how local teachers received it. In order to investigate stakeholders’ perspectives regarding the use of yakudoku and its replacement by an instrumentalist strategy, a three-month discourse-oriented ethnographic field study was conducted in Japan. The data were then scrutinised using a critical discourse analysis methodological framework (Fairclough, 1992, 2003). This article makes the argument that the term yakudoku has been manipulated by the Japanese government for the purposes of marginalising the use of Japanese in the classroom and of instituting its preference for a western-centric model of learning for the teaching of English in schools.

Type: Article
Title: L1 marginalisation in Japan: monolingual instrumentalism and the discursive shift against yakudoku in the Japanese government's Course of Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/14664208.2019.1647998
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2019.1647998
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Critical discourse analysis, Monolingualism, Yakudoku, TESOL, Language policy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079291
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