Attitudes to English Study among Japanese, Chinese and Korean Women : Motivations, Expectations and Identity book cover
1st Edition

Attitudes to English Study among Japanese, Chinese and Korean Women
Motivations, Expectations and Identity

Edited By

Yoko Kobayashi

ISBN 9780367610753
Published May 30, 2022 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

This edited book comprises chapters integrated around a central theme on college-educated Japanese, Korean, and Chinese women’s orientation to English study. The collection is composed of two parts: (1) East Asian women’s motivation to study in the West and (2) East Asian women’s dream to use English as a career. The first part discusses their international migration as facilitated by factors characteristic of East Asian nations (e.g. middle-class women’s access to advanced education and yet unequal access to professional career) and other factors inherent in each nation (e.g. different social evaluations of women equipped with competitive overseas degrees and English proficiency). The second part sheds light on the dreams and realities of East Asian female adults who, having been avid English learners, aim for "dream jobs" (e.g. interpreters) or have few other career choices but to be re-trained as English specialists or even as Japanese language teachers working abroad. This collection is suitable for any scholar interested in the lives and voices of young educated women who strive to empower themselves with language skills in the seemingly promising neoliberal world that is, however, riddled with ideological contradictions.

Table of Contents

Introduction (Yoko Kobayashi)  Part I: East Asian Female Students’ Motivation to Study in the West  1. Study abroad, Media and Digital Diaspora of Korean Women (Youna Kim)  2. Japanese Women's (Re)negotiation of 'Self/s' in Australian Universities (Takae Ichimoto)  3. Gender Returning or Staying: Japanese Women's Motivations to Study Abroad (Eleni Oikonomidoy and Gwendolyn Williams)  Part II: East Asian Women's Lives after Their English Study at College  4. Female Language Learners and Workders: Japan versus its East Asian Neighbors (Yoko Kobayashi)  5. Language as Pure Potential in Taiwan: Case Studies of Six Professional Trajectories (Mark Seilhamer)  6. Dreams and Realities: Translating in South Korea (Jon H. Bahk-Halberg)  7. "How I Wish English Would Actually Save Us Women!": Anguish, Ambivalence and Agency among Bilingual Career Women in Japan (Aya Kitamura)  8. Problems in the Discourse of Developing "Japanese Who Can Play Active Roles around the World": Focusing on the Life Histories of English Learners who Turned into Japanese Teachers (Nami Hirahata)

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Yoko Kobayashi (PhD, University of Toronto) is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Iwate University. Her book, The Evolution of English Language Learners in Japan: Crossing Japan, the West, and South East Asia (2018), has recently been published by Routledge.


'What Kobayashi has done here captures the variety of experiences of Japanese, Korean and Chinese women who are or were learning English. The collection explores their motivations and the shifts in their sense of themselves as new English speakers. It’s important reading for English language teachers everywhere as well for scholars and researchers in the field.' - Allyson Jule, Co-Director of the Gender Studies Institute, Trinity Western University, Canada