No-Level Brick Foreign Language Education: Definition of the Field and Explanation of the Purposes – Japanese Language Classroom as Case Study

Abstract

Today, we frequently observe social discriminations. These are tightly connected to stereotypes and intolerance toward others’ values differing to ours. Many of us do not have/take the chance to become aware of and question even our own values and ideologies behind them. Dialogue through a (foreign) language is considered as a ‘must’ toward social cohesion and mutual understanding (Council of Europe 2001). In much needed citizenship education, foreign language teachers can play a key role (Hosokawa, Otsuji, Mariotti 2016). This presentation aims to demonstrate that ‘active learning’ language classes where learners are asked to think and choose the theme which each of them cares, whatever the themes and language proficiency levels are, can empower learners and teachers to became aware of their own values given they are guided to question the reasons behind their choices and to share their thoughts in meaningful dialogues (Hosokawa, 2019) between them and outside the classroom. This approach can move our classes toward more inclusive ones. The data to support the claim came from interviews, participant observation and submitted texts in three case studies: absolute-beginners (2016), undergraduate (2018), master (2019) Japanese language courses at an Italian university. The analysis focuses on a) interrelations between language proficiency and chosen themes; b) changing awareness toward own and others’ values; and c) relationship with peer-facilitators. The showcase will leads to No Level-Brick (NoLBrick) language education project, which suggests a de-standardized transformative-critical language education, where teachers and learners are seen as subjects of a reciprocally empowering citizenship formation process.



Author Information
Marcella Mariotti, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2020
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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