World Englishes in the Japanese context: An exploration of Japanese unviersity students' perspectives.

Louise Ohashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Japan there is a clear preference for 'native speaker' varieties of English, but in a time where English is used by more non-native speakers (NNSs) than native-speakers (NSs), students who have no exposure to non-native varieties may find themselves unprepared for the world that awaits them. This project focused on World Englishes for several lessons as part of a third year university writing course. The students were required to write an essay on the topic and a survey was administered to further gauge their views. As there was a very limited sample (n=20) the results cannot be generalized, but the findings give some insight into student views that are worth sharing. The study found that while the majority of students felt that learning different varieties of English was important, they favoured NS teachers over NNS teachers and some expressed fear that learning more than one variety would lead to confusion. It seems that while these students were open to the idea of World Englishes, they were reluctant to take steps towards learning about different varieties. As such, it is their teachers who will have to take the initiative in developing their English skills for the world stage that awaits them. It is hoped that this minor research project will encourage others to explore World Englishes with their students, which may in turn lead to more data on this important topic being collected and shared.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalKokusaikeiei Bunkakenkyu
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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