Paper 4: Japanese students’ perspective on English as a Lingua Franca or Standard English
Shigeko Shimazu, Durham University
English as a lingua franca (henceforth LF) has spread around the world through migration, economic exchange, and access to digital communications. The global use of LF gives rise to questions related to interpretation and authenticity of the English language. The author posits that L2 learners are confronting L2 cultural barriers in English study. Therefore, there is a need of a awareness toward a leaning goal for English.
This paper is part of a study of Japanese learners’ views on the English education in Japan. Although there has been discussion of ELT in Japan, there is no research on the learners’ views. The study explored the Japanese university students’ views on whether they were happy with the current learning goal of Standard English (i.e. SE) or whether LF should be included at school. The group of 14 students were interviewed by depth in semi-formal interviews.
The interview data shows that six students supported learning SE, while one student preferred LF and seven students were neutral. It is suggested that LF might be a good idea in theory, but hard to achieve in practice at school. Further, the student suggested introducing LF as a part of teaching materials while teaching SE.