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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10445/7682

Title: Institutional Power and Nationality-Based Language Policy
Authors: Rivers, Damian
Abstract: Power, as a broad ranging term is often exercised by dominant groups through either coercion or through consent. Within educational contexts and with specific reference to policy mandates it can be said that coercion takes many forms (i.e. direct and indirect pressure to comply, and/or the incitement of fear for one’s own employment position). Consent, on the other hand presents a much more deviant notion to identify as it is enshrined by illusions of willing participation and freedom. However, educational consent is rarely the result of conscious choice; rather, it comes about through the unconscious acceptance of normed institutional practices (Fairclough, 1989). This presentation will report from a Japanese university environment in which nationality based employment dictates the parameters of teacher/learner classroom language use by challenging established institutional norms regarding language policy. The presentation will argue that through restricting the native English teacher to an ‘English-only’ learner contact policy, their scope for meaningful tuition is severely limited. As a result, the depth of the activities which they can engage learners in remains superficially shallow and often trivial. However, the local teacher of the target language (Japanese), who functions outside of any such restrictive language policy is able to focus on the transference of hard knowledge and real educational subject matter. This cycle not only creates an unequal linguistic divide between the teacher and the learner, but it also highlights a racial divide between the ‘native-speaking’ teacher and the ‘local’ teacher based on assumptions concerning prescribed language roles and the relative academic power and prestige which each role affords.
Research Achievement Classification: 国際会議/International Conference
Type: Conference Paper
Peer Review: あり/yes
Solo/Joint Author(s): 単著/solo
Date: 20-Jul-2010
Appears in Collections:Damian Rivers

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