This book seeks a better understanding of the sociocultural and ideological factors that influence English study in Japan and study-abroad contexts such as university-bound high schools, female-dominant English classes at college, ESL schools in Canada, and private or university-affiliated ESL programs in Singapore and Malaysia. The discussion is based not only on data garnered from Japanese EFL learners and Japanese/overseas educators but also on official English language policies and commercial magazine discourses about English study for Japanese people. The book addresses seemingly incompatible themes that are either entrenched in or beyond Japan’s EFL context such as: Japan’s decades-long poorly-performing English education vs. its equally long-lived status as an economic power; Japanese English learners’ preference for native English speakers/norms in at-home Japanese EFL contexts vs. their friendship with other Asian students in western study-abroad contexts; Japanese female students’ dream of using English to further their careers vs. Japanese working women’s English study for self-enrichment; Japanese society’s obsession with globalization through English study vs. the Japanese economy sustained by monolingual Japanese businessmen; Japanese business magazines’ frequent cover issues on global business English study vs. Japanese working women’s magazines’ less frequent and markedly feminized discourses about English study.
List of illustrations
1. Japan’s English education and students’ notions about English study
2. Internationalizing Japan with the help of its Asian neighbors
3. A new alternative of studying English in English-speaking ASEAN nations
4. Japanese female students’ positive attitudes toward language study
5. Japanese (fe)male leaners’ (un)motivation in overseas ESL contexts
6. The mismatch between Japan’s strong economy and poor English education
7. Japanese business magazines’ special issues on English study methods: A window on the division between Japan’s business world and formal schooling
8. Japanese women’s magazines’ articles about English study: A window on Japanese women’s status in the business world
The Routledge Research in Language Education series provides a platform for established and emerging scholars to present their latest research and discuss key issues in Language Education. This series welcomes books on all areas of language teaching and learning, including but not limited to language education policy and politics, multilingualism, literacy, L1, L2 or foreign language acquisition, curriculum, classroom practice, pedagogy, teaching materials, and language teacher education and development. Books in the series are not limited to the discussion of the teaching and learning of English only.