The complex and rapidly changing sociolinguistic position of the English language in Japan: a summary of English language contact and use

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This paper investigates the role of English in Japan, outlining its current status and use. The paper begins with a critical review of the World Englishes model as it relates to the categorization of Japan within the expanding circle of English use and continues with a brief history of English language contact with the country. It then examines the changing role of English in the Japanese education system and media. This is followed by a discussion of the influence of English on the Japanese language as well as the role which the English language plays within the discourses of nihonjinron and kokusaika. The paper concludes with a call for empirical research to be conducted investigating the spread, acquisition and attitudes towards English in Japan
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-286
JournalJapan Forum
Issue number2
Early online date29 May 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2008

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