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ERIC Number: EJ1154482
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Has Socioeconomic Development Reduced the English Divide? A Statistical Analysis of Access to English Skills in Japan
Terasawa, Takunori
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v38 n8 p671-685 2017
As English skills are being increasingly perceived as valuable human capital, an awareness of inequitable access to the acquisition of this "profitable" language has developed. Although this allegedly unequal access, which can be referred to as the "English divide", is a matter of concern to applied linguists, little research has been conducted on the historical transformation (or maintenance) of the English divide within a specific society. Therefore, this paper examines a historical change in the English divide in Japan as a highly industrialised country through statistical analysis of a large, population-based sample. Results revealed that, with Japan attaining various socioeconomic developments such as reduced income gaps and improvements in educational conditions, some forms of the English divide originating from material gaps have gradually decreased. In contrast, other forms of the English divide that are led by cultural disparities have not decreased at all. Based on these findings, I discuss the inevitable difficulties of tackling the English divide and suggest some possible solutions for creating substantive, rather than formal, equality in English language education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A