Compulsory “foreign language activities” in Japanese primary schools

Hashimoto, Kayoko (2011) Compulsory “foreign language activities” in Japanese primary schools. Current Issues in Language Planning, 12 2: 167-184. doi:10.1080/14664208.2011.585958

Author Hashimoto, Kayoko
Title Compulsory “foreign language activities” in Japanese primary schools
Journal name Current Issues in Language Planning   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1466-4208
Publication date 2011-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14664208.2011.585958
Volume 12
Issue 2
Start page 167
End page 184
Total pages 18
Place of publication Oxon, U.K.
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract From 2011, the new curriculum for introducing English to Japanese primary schools will be fully implemented in the form of ‘foreign language activities’. This innovation forms part of the government’s plan to cultivate ‘Japanese with English abilities’, a development based on the awareness, particularly in the business sector, that equipping Japanese citizens with English skills is imperative if Japan is to remain competitive in the international market. Although Teaching English as a Foreign Language has been a key element of Japan’s internationalisation and one of the most hotly debated educational issues in Japan since the 1980s, the new curriculum is not a straightforward matter of early education in foreign language acquisition. Using critical discourse analysis as a methodological tool, this study analyses language policy documents, including the Course of Study for primary schools and junior high schools, to argue that it is rather an elaborate scheme to foster a particular attitude towards communication with foreigners by emphasising the differences between foreign languages and cultures and Japanese language and culture in the name of international understanding.
Keyword Japanese primary schools
Foreign language activities
International understanding
The national language
Assistant language teacher
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 16 Sep 2011, 16:02:33 EST by Meredith Downes on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures