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ERIC Number: EJ1064126
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1881-4832
Roles of Language in Multicultural Education in the Context of Internationalisation
Sugimura, Miki
Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook, v9 p3-15 Mar 2015
Educating minority people has been a subject of multicultural education and is still practised in a framework of the nation-state. Multicultural education guarantees opportunities for minority people's education and tries to preserve their culture, but it is often a controversial point between the majority and minority. In a multicultural society, nation-building and national integration should be imminent tasks, as such, national education plays a significant role in creating a "national culture." In this process, the differences between majority and minority cultures have been discussed, and in many cases, the minority has been required to assimilate into the majority. In particular, language is a key point in the discussion because the government often forms its national integration policy by designating a national language as the medium of instruction in the national education system. Therefore, the minority is forced to learn the national language, but they often also strive to use their mother tongue in education in order to preserve their history, traditional culture and ethnic identity. Meanwhile, in this context of internationalisation, minority groups have moved beyond nations and developed various needs for language education. Language can be chosen as a strategy depending on the people's political, economic and social position. In other words, language as culture can be a strategy for people to acquire better opportunities for study or work, and sometimes more importance is placed on learning the national language, or English, in addition to their mother tongue. These changing roles of language should be considered as a new function in multicultural education to guarantee a minority group's educational needs. This paper discusses the changing roles of language as a factor of multicultural education by focusing on the education of minority Chinese as immigrants in Malaysia and Japan. By using the research framework of essentialism and social constructionism on culture, it clarifies that people's demands for language education depend on their social situation, and is influenced by their transition during the emigration process. Subsequently, this paper proposes that the conventional research and practices of multicultural education have attached importance to people's roots, but it is also important to consider their various paths when designing multicultural education.
Japanese Educational Research Association. UK's Building 3F, 2-29-3 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 Japan. Tel: +81-3-3818-2505; Fax: +81-3-3816-6898; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; Japan; Malaysia