Perspectives on World Englishes in Government-Authorized High School Textbooks in Japan

Abstract

The study attempts to unveil the treatments of English as a lingua franca (henceforth ELF) and the linguistic and cultural diversity of World Englishes (henceforth WEs) in Japanese high school teaching settings. The study investigated government-authorized textbooks of English approved in 2013 in ways the current situations of ELF and linguistic varieties of WEs are introduced in them. English has developed a unique linguistic diversity and cultural pluralism in the process of being a world language, and raising the awareness and tolerance toward varieties of WEs helps students to become autonomous EFL speakers independent from the ‘inner circle’ speakership myth. The study found 12% of all government-authorized textbooks have a chapter dealing with the concept of ELF. Yet, I would argue information provided did not sufficiently emphasize the linguistic heterogeneity of WEs. Also, none of these textbooks provides standard and non-standard varieties especially those from ‘outer’ circles in their phonological and morpho-syntactic practices. The analysis concluded the issues of ELF/WEs may not be acknowledged as one of the key notions of global linguistic and cultural phenomena in high school educational settings in Japan, and classrooms are not likely to have chances to know the current linguistic situations of WEs. Finally, the conclusion suggests a need for the further analysis of how the linguistic diversity of WEs is taught in the educational settings in other countries.



Author Information
Tomoko Uryu, Japan College of Foreign Languages, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2013
Stream: Education

This paper is part of the ACE2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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