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Academic Paper

Title: Is English a nuisance or an asset? Japanese youths' discursive constructions of language attitudes
Paper URL:
Author: Akihiro Saito
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Hachinohe Institute of Technology
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
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.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: System, 44,13-23. doi: 10.1016/j.system.2014.02.001 ISSN: 0346-251X
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