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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10564/3438

Title: Examining the cultural appropriateness of the communicative approach to language teaching in Japan.
Authors: Mathieson, Paul
Keywords: communicative language teaching
communicative competence
EFL
eikaiwa
Japan
Issue Date: 25-Mar-2018
Publisher: 奈良県立医科大学教養教育部門
Citation: HUMANITAS 第43号 p.25-36 (2018.03)
Abstract: The communicative approach has been one of the most successful and widely-used second language teaching approaches in the latter part of the twentieth century and the early stages of the twenty-first century. Yet despite its tremendous influence, some have questioned its universal applicability, particularly in Asian learning contexts. Ellis (1996) is one such critic, who argues that the communicative approach ought to be adjusted to fit what he claims are collectivist, form-focussed Asian learning contexts. This paper aimed to evaluate Ellis’s (1996) claims, particularly in relation to English language teaching in Japan. In doing so, it was shown that the ‘one-size-fitsall’approach adopted by Ellis (1996) in relation to categorising Asian learning contexts is overly simplistic. In fact, despite the prevalence of what he refers to as a contentoriented approach in many formal language learning contexts in Asia, many nonformal learning contexts – such as eikaiwa (English conversation classes) in Japan–successfully utilise the communicative approach. Moreover, this paper demonstrated that the notion of Western English teachers acting as ‘cultural mediators’ in Asian language learning settings is fraught with difficulty. Not only is it problematic trying to isolate what culture or cultures a person is said to represent, but also many Western English teachers teaching in countries such as Japan may not be in a position to truly claim to have an in-depth understanding of the culture in which they find themselves living and working.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10564/3438
ISSN: 0915566X
Appears in Collections:第43号

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