Is English a nuisance or an asset? Japanese youths' discursive constructions of language attitudes

Article


Saito, Akihiro. 2014. "Is English a nuisance or an asset? Japanese youths' discursive constructions of language attitudes." System. 44 (1), pp. 13-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2014.02.001
Article Title

Is English a nuisance or an asset? Japanese youths' discursive constructions of language attitudes

ERA Journal ID20446
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorSaito, Akihiro
Journal TitleSystem
Journal Citation44 (1), pp. 13-23
Number of Pages11
Year2014
Place of PublicationOxford, United Kingdom
ISSN0346-251X
1879-3282
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2014.02.001
Abstract

This paper draws on a thematic discourse analysis of the written accounts about 'English' produced by 32 Japanese college students. A constructionist psychological framework is used to explore the intermediary function of language in the construction of language attitudes. The study investigates how the respondents construct their multiple different attitudes as they interact with the social meanings and representations of the global language and the cultural context which reconstitutes these representations. It is evidenced that the respondents' language attitudes are occasioned in the social and political parameters of the cultural context of which they are a part. The respondents' positions in this cultural context, their past, present, and future images of self, and their alignment with socially induced ways of thinking about English together exert influences on language attitudes construction. The paper shows the immense complexity of the contestation processes between language learners' attitudes and the rapidly changing social climate in and around Japan.

Keywordslanguage learning; language attitude; Japanese; ELT; constructionism; discursive psychology
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520599. Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified
470210. Globalisation and culture
470405. Discourse and pragmatics
470411. Sociolinguistics
Public Notes

© 2014 Elsevier Inc. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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