Communication in workplaces in Asia: Questioning neoliberal ideology of English

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Event Speaker: 
Professor Ryoko Kubota
Fee for JALT members: 
Fee for non-JALT members: 
1,000 yen
Contact or Queries: 

In globalized society, English language teaching has been promoted as a vehicle to enhance individual and national competitiveness, reflecting neoliberal language ideology. To scrutinize the actual role of English in international workplaces especially in non-English-dominant countries, qualitative interviews were conducted on Japanese transnational corporate workers’ communicative experiences in Asia. The results revealed multilingual practices, value placed on the ability communicate rather than perfect linguistic competence, and the importance of communicative dispositions. Implications for language teaching will be discussed.

Ryuko Kubota is Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education in the Faculty of Education at University of British Columbia, Canada. She has previously taught in the United States and Japan. Her research focuses on critical approaches to applied linguistics. She is a co-editor of Race, culture, and identities in second language education: Exploring critically engaged practice (Routledge 2009) and Demystifying career paths after graduate school: A guide for second language professionals in higher education (Information Age Publishing 2012). Two volumes of her work in Japanese translation were published by Kuroshio Shuppan in 2015.