The Views on Linguistic Imperialism in Multicultural Classroom


This study reports on a project in a Japanese university’s multicultural classes where international and Japanese students studied together. Students investigated various linguistic dominance cases throughout the world, based on ‘Linguistic Imperialism’ as originally defined by Phillipson (1992). Linguistic Imperialism involves the imposition of a dominant language, in particular, English. The negative view included in this concept can be traced through history to the expansion of English as the result of colonialism and hegemonism which has led to inequalities between English and other languages. The imposition of other languages has also been repeated in many areas of the world, often under circumstances of colonialism and border conflicts. This seemed to be a thought-provoking topic in multicultural classes since the linguistic backgrounds of the students vary and its aims include the dimension of learning from differences and otherness. Each student investigated an area of the world which experienced the imposition of another language. Fifteen students’ written products, such as essays and reflection diaries after discussion, became the primary data of this study to qualitatively analyse how students’ views developed throughout this project. Although many students did not exclude negative views on hegemony, most of them also pointed out the complexity of the issues and beneficial results of the dominant language, as well as protecting the rights of Indigenous languages and their speakers. The solution suggested was that the context using more than one language, i.e. multilingual or plurilingual settings should be much more common in societies.

Author Information
Etsuko Yamada, Hokkaido University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2023
Stream: Language

This paper is part of the IICAH2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Yamada E. (2023) The Views on Linguistic Imperialism in Multicultural Classroom ISSN: 2432-4604 – The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Hawaii 2023 Official Conference Proceedings
To link to this article:

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon