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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10445/7693

Title: Teaching English in Japan: Cognitive Appraisals of Race and Native-Speakerhood
Authors: Rivers, Damian
Ross, Andrew
Abstract: The notion of race has come to be an issue of some pertinence within the realm of language education in recent years (see Curtis and Romney, 2006; Kubota and Lin, 2009), particularly in relation to its function as a trigger for the formation and perpetuation of stereotypes. When considering the highly contentious term ‘native speaker’, Lummis (1977) contends that the term symbolizes ‘whiteness’ in the minds of the masses within the specific sociocultural context of Japan. Similarly, Kubota and McKay (2009:62) highlight how “teaching English in Japan is a raced practice with preference for white native speakers”, while Kubota and Fujimoto (2013: 204) draw attention to the manner in which “native speakerness is a proxy of whiteness” involving “complex manifestations of racial exclusion and othering”. As teacher-researchers with extensive experience negotiating such dynamics on a daily basis, the challenge of exposing and overcoming stereotypical associations between race and native-speakerhood is one that underpins this presentation. This presentation showcases data collected from 60 Japanese nationals studying at a prestigious university in the Kansai area. Through application of various experimental treatments, students were presented with six individual picture profile cards with each image being bestowed with a variety of English language teacher attributes including age, gender, experience, language proficiency, country of origin etc. The race of each teacher was not made explicit but was instead conveyed through a colour photograph of the teacher alongside the profile information. All students, divided between a number of classes, were asked to document the specific reasons why they would or would not want each teacher to teach them English. The quantitative and qualitative results clearly demonstrate the impact of race upon teacher appraisals and how stereotypical associations on the basis of race prevailed within the student descriptions of each teacher.
Research Achievement Classification: 国際会議/International Conference
Type: Conference Paper
Peer Review: あり/yes
Solo/Joint Author(s): 共著/joint
Date: 23-Mar-2014
Publisher: American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
Appears in Collections:Damian Rivers

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