Gabrys, Carleen E.
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SubjectEnglish language -- Study and teaching -- Japanese speakers.; English language -- Dialects -- Research.; English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers
As English continues to spread throughout the world, there are many problems faced with regards to ownership of the language for second language learners. In Japan, English has had historical significance as an important second language taught in schools beginning at an early age (Oda, 2007). Even though Japanese learners of English have experience learning the language, they often lack a feeling of English ownership and awareness of other varieties of English. This study addresses perceptions Japanese students living abroad have on different varieties of English and how these perceptions affect their own views of English ownership. Using a five point Likert-scale survey, eleven Japanese participants answered questions on perceptions of English, their view of different varieties of English, their relationship of English and Japanese, and their view of their own English use and identity. Surveys were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results from this study suggest that there is a dichotomy in how Japanese learners feel with regard to how they should use English fluently and accurately, but that American English may not be the ideal form of English to maintain and address Japanese identity issues. Results suggest that Japanese students are aware of the importance of English as a communicative tool with other Asian people, but lack a desire to learn about other varieties of Asian Englishes. Implications for further research are discussed.
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