Foreign Language Education in the Wake of Globalization: The ‘Learning-To-Communicate’ Approach


In 2010, the Industry-Academia Partnership for Human Resource Development Committee (METI & MEXT), suggested that one of three skills to witness economic transformation is the ability to communicate in English language. Undoubtedly, the project takes into account globalization in terms of migration of people and movement of capital. However, recognition through language learning process of the socio-political entanglements is in this context, I believe, of great importance. For that reason, herein I define ‘learning-to-communicate’ approach, as method where by virtue of active cognition both student and teacher engage in critical communication. While in the ‘learning-to-pass’ approach passive cognition and ‘banking education’ (Freire, 1970) prevails, ‘learning-to-communicate’ approach, although not bereft of ‘cognitive dissonance’ (Festinger, 1962), embraces freedom of expression, joy of discovery and curiosity fuelled by common social ends, “for when treated simply as a way of getting individual information, or as a means of showing off what one has learned, it loses its social motive and end” (Dewey, 1897). The notion that a student of poor foreign language skills is incapable of full engagement neither in a proposed discourse nor in critical communication, is possibly wrongly presumed; for when treated with equal consideration and stimulated through curiosity guided by vital questions, learner is bestowed with a motivation for further language learning. Using this approach, I will attempt to outline ways in which English learning within the small groups of Japanese undergraduate students could be ameliorated. However, further investigation, evaluation and theorization of this approach are essential for more conclusive evidence.

Author Information
Milena Agnieszka Guziak, Kagoshima University, Japan
Shoji Yokura, Kagoshima University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2015
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the ACLL2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon