Volume 3, Issue 1  April 2020, pp. 22-43          Download PDF

A Special Issue on Student Research
Representations of multiculturalism in Japanese elementary EFL textbooks: A critical analysis

Kate Alice Efron https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6464-14271

1 Indiana University Bloomington, USA kategarnettefron@gmail.com

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v3n1.224


Abstract

Recent reforms to Foreign Language Activities policies in Japan have highlighted the importance of facilitating multilingualism and multiculturalism in global contexts. However, as this analysis finds, some of the most recent textbooks (2018-2020) for Foreign Language Activities classes in Japan are English Foreign Language (EFL) textbooks that fail to provide teachers and students with meaningful discussions on society, language, or culture. This critical discourse analysis (CDA) finds that four elementary school textbooks currently being used by boards of education throughout Japan fail to meet the Ministry of Education's goals for developing multilingualism and multiculturalism in Japanese elementary schools. Working in an anti-racist lens, this paper identifies problematic areas within the textbooks Let's Try 1, Let's Try, We Can 1, and We Can 2 (MEXT, 2018) and discusses the necessity of an attitudinal shift from linguistic hegemony to the implementation of anti-bias frameworks in language and culture education in Japan.



Copyright

© Kate Alice Efron

CC BY-NC 4.0
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Suggested citation

Efron, K.A. (2020). Representations of multiculturalism in Japanese elementary EFL textbooks: A critical analysis. Intercultural Communication Education, 3(1), 22-43. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v3n1.224


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