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ERIC Number: EJ880848
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
Speaking Japanese in Japan: Issues for English Speakers
Stephens, Meredith
Babel, v44 n2 p32-38 Feb 2010
Due to the global momentum of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), Anglophones may perceive that there is less urgency for them to learn other languages than for speakers of other languages to learn English. The monolingual expectations of English speakers are evidenced not only in Anglophone countries but also abroad. This study reports on the opinions of 65 Japanese university students regarding the importance of the Japanese language being learnt by Anglophones, and the role of ELF. Japanese is often perceived as a difficult language by English speakers, and this perception was shared by the Japanese respondents in this study. These respondents tended to consider their own language more difficult for Anglophones than vice versa because of the limited accessibility of Japanese, the fact that English is usually a compulsory subject in Japanese middle school but not vice versa, and the relative difficulty of the Japanese writing system. The status of ELF for these respondents was unquestioned and they did not indicate any consciousness of linguistic inequality. These factors may explain the reduced opportunities for Japanese-speaking Anglophones to speak Japanese in Japan. (Contains 1 figure and 2 graphs.)
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Japan