Globalization and History of English Education in Japan

| September 29, 2006
Globalization and History of English Education in Japan

Keywords: English language education in Japan, globalization of English language teaching, Japanese ‘macro’ events and English education

Naoki Fujimoto-Adamson
Tokyo University of Science, Suwa, Japan

Bio Data
Ms. Naoki Fujimoto-Adamson is currently completing her Ed.D. thesis from LeicesterUniversity, U.K., on team-teaching in Japanese Junior High Schools. She teaches presentation skills at university, TOEIC at a local company and English to elementary school children. Her research interests are in the field of team-teaching on the JET scheme, young learners and the history of ELT in Japan.

This study investigates the history of English language education in Japan over the past 150 years. For this purpose, tabulated representations have been devised which illustrate the educational events in each historical era alongside key national and international events and trends. This is a means of illustrating how local education is a microcosm of the society and the world around it, and the manner in which globalization has an impact upon it. In tracing the inter-relatedness between education, society, politics and economics at the local and global levels, various issues are raised which explain why changes have been made in English language education. Among these issues are the periods of immense popularity of English in Japan, seen by some as “linguistic imperialism” (Phillipson, 1992), yet in the early part of Japan’s modernization as “a product of the struggle against imperialism” (Brutt-Giffler, 2002, as cited in Park, 2004, p.87). The tables clarify these two polarized stances and give insights into the fluctuating periods of popularity and decline over time in English language education in Japan.

See pages 249-258

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 8 Issue 3