Examination of Peace Values in Japanese EFL Textbooks for Peace Education: From the Perspectives of the Language of Peace Approach and Systemic Functional Linguistics


This presentation introduces a study that examined peace values inherent in Japanese EFL textbooks for lower secondary schools (LSS), aiming at incorporating peace education into English education. Peace education is educational practice that provides learners with skills in understanding the causes of violence, and finding alternative solutions to it, to promote peace. It should be incorporated into L2 education since language education emphasizes the interaction between peoples and cultures, which is suitable for learners to understand and appreciate peace values. Additionally, Japanese English education demands teachers to teach English connecting with peace values to promote world peace.

The material analyzed was a series of three graded English textbooks for Japanese LSSs, designed by a private publisher in accord with the guideline of English educational policy in Japan, and currently takes up the largest share among all government-approved textbooks for LSSs. The analytical frameworks employed were twofold. The language of peace approach (Oxford, 2017) provides the categorization of peace values into six dimensions (e.g., inner peace, intergroup peace), and systemic functional linguistics (Halliday, 1994) enables us to clarify how such values are represented and evaluated. The analysis revealed multiple peace dimensions existed, and each value represented particular ideological meanings with attitudinal wordings (e.g., non-violent protest, poor Indian, in the story of Gandhi). The findings could help L2 teachers and learners understand what peace values are included and how they are evaluated in their language textbooks, which could develop learners’ skills in working towards peaceful world as well as their language skills.

Author Information
Koji Osawa, Kyoto University of Advanced Science, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2023
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon