Friday, November 9, 2012

Lecture by Ryuko Kubota on November 30

Foreign Language Education for Border-Crossing Communication: A Case of Japanese Expatriates in China

Ryuko Kubota, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia

Globalization has increased interaction among people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In global communication, English has been regarded as the international language par excellence indispensable in the neoliberal knowledge economy. This perception has promoted teaching and learning English for career advancement in many non-English-dominant countries like Japan. This trend, however, poses various paradoxes and contradictions. This talk will conceptually and empirically discuss how the neoliberal notion of acquiring English skills as part of human capital contradicts the multilingual reality in the global society and what communicative competencies might actually be required for transnational workers. Qualitative research conducted on Japanese transnational workers’ language use in the workplace revealed perceived importance of the ability to communicate not only in English but also in other languages as well as communicative dispositions, rather than English skills per se. Implications for language education and a neoliberal paradox will be discussed.

Friday, November 30, 2012
18:00 to 20:00
Collaboration Room 3
Fourth Floor, Building 18, Komaba Campus
The University of Tokyo
Cohosted by the Centre for Global Communication Strategies

Poster (PDF)

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