Hidden Stories about Race in Japan: Confronting Native-Speakerism and Nihonjinron in University English Education

JALT Group: 
Event Speaker: 
Laura L. Kusaka
Fee for JALT members: 
Free
Fee for non-JALT members: 
1,000 yen
Contact or Queries: 
Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

In this talk, I present selected examples from stories co-constructed with me in interviews conducted over a period of three years with five other Japanese American university teachers who find themselves positioned by dominant discourses in which native speaker (NS) is a code word for White (Kubota & Fujimoto, 2013). In addition, how tenets of nihonjinron (Befu, 2001) impact them as TESOL professionals is explored. Participants are encouraged to examine how such issues influence their own lives as language educators in Japan.

Biodata: Laura L. Kusaka, Ed.D. has been living in Japan since 1974 and began her TESOL career in 1988. She is a professor at Aichi University Junior College and her research interests include teacher and learner identity, native-speakerism in English language teaching, and issues arising from researcher/participant interaction.