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Language Ideologies on the Language Curriculum and Language Teaching in a Nihonjingakkō (Japanese overseas school) in Belgium: Implications for Developing Multilingual Speakers in Japan

Mogi, Yuta; (2020) Language Ideologies on the Language Curriculum and Language Teaching in a Nihonjingakkō (Japanese overseas school) in Belgium: Implications for Developing Multilingual Speakers in Japan. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis critically examines the language ideologies underpinning the language curriculum and language teaching practices in a nihonjingakkō, a full-time day school for children of Japanese expatriates, in Belgium. By drawing on the theoretical frame of ideology of authenticity and ideology of anonymity (Woolard, 2016), I investigate what language ideologies the school, principal, and language teachers hold and how these influence the school’s language curriculum and language teachers’ pedagogy. The research adopted an ethnographically-oriented case study approach. The data consisted of semi-structured interviews with the principal and language teachers along with questionnaires, classroom observations, and analysis of policy documents from the school. Using qualitative content analysis, the study illustrated the complexity and multiplicity of language ideologies manifested in the school’s policy and practice. The findings indicate that the language ideologies operating in the school influencing the language curriculum and pedagogy are primarily monolingual and homogeneous, and largely influenced by the dominant language ideologies of Japan’s Ministry of Education and Japanese society. Consequently, the school positions itself as if it were a mainstream school in Japan despite its location in the multilingual setting of Belgium. This was manifested through Japanese and English occupying the dominant role in the language curriculum, while French was marginalized, and no other languages were offered. Furthermore, a monolingual approach to pedagogy was adopted that emphasized keeping language separate, disregarding students’ and language teachers’ rich multilingual repertoire. The idea of developing students to be multilingual speakers is missing from the school curriculum and pedagogy, since the school do not conceive their multilingual abilities as a resource. In conclusion, this study proposes a critique of the language education policy of the nihonjingakkō operated in non-Anglophone settings such as Belgium. By setting this research in a nihonjingakkō in Belgium, I argue that these schools have the potential to provide an excellent model for multilingual education for Japanese children and for Japan since the majority of nihonjingakkō students will eventually return to Japan (Sato, 2019). The study also calls for a change in the monolingual language ideologies which shape the equation of ‘foreign language is English’ (Erikawa, 2018; Kubota, 2019; Seargeant, 2009) pervasive in the Japanese schooling context.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Language Ideologies on the Language Curriculum and Language Teaching in a Nihonjingakkō (Japanese overseas school) in Belgium: Implications for Developing Multilingual Speakers in Japan
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Multilingualism, Language Ideologies, Nihonjingakkō
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/10109423
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