The Global Legacy
Edited By Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley
Chapter Twenty-One: Teaching English for Academic Purposes in a Japanese Setting: Problematizing and Dialogizing Essentialist Constructions of Language Pedagogy, Culture, and Identity
Teaching English for Academic Purposes in a Japanese Setting: Problematizing and Dialogizing Essentialist Constructions of Language Pedagogy, Culture, and Identity
This chapter is about opening up space for critical pedagogical practices in a Japanese EAP (English for Academic Purposes) setting. In recent years, universities in Japan have been actively seeking to have a steadily increasing number of their academic content courses delivered in English instead of Japanese. This is in response to the pressing need for Japanese universities to globalize amid calls for reform and reinvention, given a moribund curriculum (Goodman & Phillips, 2003), not least because many universities are also facing the pressure of falling enrollments due to a low birth rate and gradually imploding population (Burgess, 2010). Along with this new development has come an increased demand for courses in EAP.
In this chapter, I will argue that prevalent beliefs and practices relating to English language teaching (ELT) in Japan, while seen in many quarters as being instrumental, pragmatic (Kubota, 2011b), and ideologically “neutral,” are intrinsically and epistemologically repressive. The late (and practically sudden) introduction of academic courses in English (Burgess, 2010) will further accentuate this problem, while exhibiting the ingredients of an external superimposition on both ← 335 | 336 → English teachers and students, with serious implications for teacher and student subjectivities. This is apart from opening up entirely different sites of contention. I will argue that inherent in various curricular and pedagogical practices...
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