2018/07/08 Natsue Nakayama

How to enhance intercultural competence in Japanese primary school English classes
by Natsue Nakayama

In a rapidly globalizing world, one of the important roles of foreign language education is to enhance students’ ability to “to communicate effectively in cross-cultural situations and to relate appropriately in a variety of cultural contexts” (Intercultural competence [IC]: Bennett and Bennett, 2004). This holds true for the primary school English classes in Japan, which are currently under reform. For example, this can be seen in the recently released Japanese course of study for primary school English (Ministry of Education, 2017), wherein IC can be observed in its aims. However, there are some issues to be addressed when conducting IC-oriented English lessons. One is the limited descriptions in such documents of how to implement the concept. Another is the need to pay attention to students’ cognitive developmental stages. In this presentation, Gunma JALT attendees were introduced to a study that aims to develop an IC lesson that takes into consideration the above-mentioned issues. It does so by first  understanding how IC is managed in current teaching situations in Japanese elementary schools through textbook analysis. Then, based on the findings, Nakayama and attendees made suggestions to enhance intercultural competence in the Japanese context.

Natsue Nakayama is an Associate Professor at Bunkyo University in Japan. She holds an MSc in Educational Studies from the University of Oxford. She currently teaches EFL and English Methodology. Her research interests include language teacher education, intercultural approaches to language learning, and user research of dictionary.

Maebashi Kyoai Gakuen College

Maebashi Kyoai Gakuen College
Building 3, 3rd Floor, Room 3101
1154-4 Koyaharamachi
Maebashi, Gunma 379-2121

July 8th, 2018
2 to 4:30PM

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