Second Language Acquisition and Current Trends in Japan: The Cultural Risks
Bainbridge, Susan B.
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This paper discusses second language acquisition with reference to periphery countries and the effects of English on culture and language. It includes a brief history of the spread of English as an international language and reasons why many countries are creating English language programs. Globalisation and communication advances since the 1990s are discussed with particular reference to their effects on Japanese society, culture and language. Many countries have decided to protect their national identities while simultaneously implementing English language programs that suit the needs of their people. Successful policies have taken into account the relationship between language and culture and the dangers of creating programs that do not consider the consequences of acculturation. It is important for Japanese policy makers to study the experiences and actions of other non-English countries, the current research available and pertinent language programs worldwide in order to formulate a viable English program that produces bilingual graduates literate in both English and Japanese. An effective English language program will incorporate theory, practice and the experiences of other countries, applied to the needs and nature of Japan and its people.