Is English Really Neccessary For Everyone: Japanese Voices Raised in Opposition

Conference Proceedings of JALT National Conference, p. 557-563. The Japan Association for Language Teaching.

Author(s): Brian Cullen & Robert Aspinal

English Abstract: Because of the very nature of their job, language teachers are pleased when they see students successfully mastering a foreign language and become frustrated when they see other students falling short of their true potential in foreign language acquisition. English teachers in Japan, who usually focus on the day-to-day efforts of their students to improve their English language skills, understandably regard successful acquisition of these skills as an unqualified `good thing’. Many of them would also probably argue that it would be unfair to confine this `good thing’ to only a small minority. However, there is a significant body of opinion in Japan that would disagree with this sentiment. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the work of two major Japanese scholars who are arguing that the Japanese people should cease their headlong rush into English language immersion.

Japanese Abstract: 外国語を習得した学生の姿を見るのは、語学教師にとって嬉しいものである。常に学生の英語力を向上に取り組んでいる英語教師は、学生の高い言語習得の際には無条件に「良い事柄」として考慮されるべきである。大多数の人は、これら「良い事柄」を少数のみに限定するのは不公平であると主張するだろう。しかしながら、日本にはこのセンチメンタルに反対する、大きな団体がある。本論文では、日本人は向こう見ずに英語に没頭するのは止めるべきだと主張する2人の日本人学者の説を紹介し、それについてコメントをつけた。

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