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ERIC Number: EJ928023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Learning a Foreign Language as Leisure and Consumption: Enjoyment, Desire, and the Business of "Eikaiwa"
Kubota, Ryuko
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v14 n4 p473-488 2011
Social inclusion typically refers to the integration of the disadvantaged into the mainstream society as a national agenda. However, social inclusion in a broader sense addresses aspirations to be included in a global imagined community as well as a local community of like-minded people. Drawing on a qualitative study of men and women learning "eikaiwa" [English conversation] in informal settings in Japan, this paper investigates the aspects of leisure and consumption as characteristics of foreign language learning, rather than investment for gaining cultural capital. This perspective highlights the enjoyment of socializing with the teacher and the peers and forms of "akogare" [desire/longing] including romantic desire and the aspiration to be like other Japanese people with fluency in English. The manifestations of romantic "akogare" for white English-speaking men related to learning English were nuanced, diverse, and identified across gender and race. The dimension of leisure and consumption produces and reflects the business interest of the "eikaiwa" industry which commodifies and exploits whiteness and native speakers. The aspects of leisure and consumption challenge the possibility of critical engagement in foreign language learning. (Contains 2 tables and 3 notes.)
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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