The sociocultural landscape of English: the discursive constructions of attitudes toward English among Japanese undergraduates on a study English abroad program

Paper


Saito, Akihiro. 2010. "The sociocultural landscape of English: the discursive constructions of attitudes toward English among Japanese undergraduates on a study English abroad program." 12th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology. Brisbane, Australia 16 - 19 Jun 2010 Brisbane, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

The sociocultural landscape of English: the discursive constructions of attitudes toward English among Japanese undergraduates on a study English abroad program

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorSaito, Akihiro
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 12th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology
Year2010
Place of PublicationBrisbane, Australia
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.sasp.org.au/content/view/54/1/
Conference/Event12th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology
Event Details
12th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology
Event Date
16 to end of 19 Jun 2010
Event Location
Brisbane, Australia
Abstract

English as a global phenomenon has been discussed variably in recent scholarly literature. In parallel, research on ELT continues to abound. However, the scope of ELT research in the Japanese context has been focussed upon the teacher perspective of how pedagogical practices can best enhance learners’ acquisition of the language. Meanwhile, the sociocultural landscape of ELT as subjective realities shared among learners themselves has been underexplored. This paper addresses this gap by tapping into attitudes toward the English language as discursive constructions emerging out of expository-type writing among Japanese undergraduates.

The paper presents a discourse analysis of 32 participants’ text about the sociocultural significances of English, from local to global level. Passages of the text elicited from the participants were coded into three theoretical categories of attitudes: positive, negative, and neutral (non-evaluative). An overarching theme that has been identified in each of these categories – English as resource, English as agitator, and English as ornament – is discussed.

The study holds, among others, pedagogical and methodological implications for ELT and ELT research. By tapping into language learners’ views of English in their written discourse, the study enables itself to observe the consciousness that individuals bring with them through which sociocultural particularities of their learning context may be visualised. While psychometric attitude research confines individual attitudes within the researcher’s theoretical framework as evaluations oriented to attitude objects, this discourse-analytic study demonstrates that evaluations and attitude objects are discursively intertwined, and the contemporary phenomenon of English is variably constructed therein.

KeywordsJapanese undergraduates; English; attitudes
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390108. LOTE, ESL and TESOL curriculum and pedagogy
470401. Applied linguistics and educational linguistics
470405. Discourse and pragmatics
Public Notes

Conference publication consists of only the abstracts of papers presented at the conference. Abstract only is available here. No evidence of copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
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