Article

Critical incidents in the experiences of Japanese returnees

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

In this study, I explore the experiences of five Japanese returnees (kikokushijo). The participants recorded taped monologues or wrote narratives reflecting on their time spent living abroad and of returning to Japan. These retrospective life stories revealed four prominent themes of conflict: group orientation; bullying and victimisation; identity issues; and modes of classroom interaction. A detailed discussion of these themes includes various implications for how changes in the Japanese education system can assist in the integration of returnees at both the high school and university level.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... A total of 40 participants were chosen and interviewed for 60 to 90 minutes, and Watabe was able to identify five common elements amongst the three universities that acted as a backbone to the study. Other researchers who conducted related case studies include Ford (2009) and Casanave (1998). Ford collected qualitative data from five Japanese returnees to determine themes that each participant commented on. ...
... In answering the research question related to motivational goals and unique barriers, it would be interesting to identify 'target students', or those who have limited experience abroad but who have some interest in studying overseas. Through in-depth and semi-structured interviews (Watabe, 2010;Ford, 2009;Casanave, 1998) with these subjects, it could be possible to identify the key themes and elements that account for student interest and disinterest in potentially enrolling in international study opportunities at KGU. ...
Article
Full-text available
Study abroad (SA) and becoming involved in cross-cultural activities yield a number of benefits, including personal growth, intercultural development, and increased motivation to study (Lassegard, 2013). Unfortunately for Japan, the number of higher education (HE) students going abroad for educational purposes has been in steady decline since the mid-2000s (MEXT, 2010). The federal government has responded to this troubling trend by streamlining financial resources into the higher and mid-tier universities (McNeill, 2010). One recipient of this government funding is Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU), which has developed new internationally focused programs such as the Cross-Cultural College (CCC) and the government-led Global 30 initiative. This paper identifies two potential research questions that could be used to monitor and improve these programs at KGU, while still in their infancy. The first explores the relationship between the contemporary goals of the institution and how they align or digress from student attitudes and motivations. The second question intends to identify the barriers to enrolling in SA and how they might differ from those of regional neighbors. The author then proposes three methodological perspectives, which fall under the constructivist approach, that seem appropriate for sufficiently answering the questions. Based on past studies that relate to SA and internationalization, the author recommends a mixed-method approach as optimal for acquiring greater insight into the decline of SA in Japan and how KGU might counter the effect through gaining a better understanding of its students.
... On the other hand, subjectivity is manifested in a phenomenological sense of self which unfolds through time and is becoming increasingly fluid and unstable as members of modern social elites engage in ever more fragmented forms of activity (Bauman 2000). Narrative accounts of the ambivalent experience of Japanese students (kikokushijo) returning from overseas study provide evidence of the conflicts and contradictions which can arise from a protracted engagement with another culture (Ford 2009). The relationship 3 between identity and culture has been discussed extensively within this volume (e.g. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article aims to identify and characterise the critical incidents (CI) that occur most commonly at university level in highly diverse sociocultural contexts. Intercultural relations, in an interpersonal level, will be analysed within the framework of hegemony and resistance between Western culture, which is inherent to university settings, and the non-Western mixed traits present in the student body. The relationship between different CIs will be examined, as will be the various issues associated with them according to teachers’ perceptions. For this qualitative study, 23 teachers from two Bolivian universities were interviewed. The teachers reported 9 types of CIs linked to sociocultural diversity. The results indicate that CIs are usually the outcome of cultural clashes between the institutional and teachers’ culture and the students’ culture, with the three most frequent CIs related to the use of the vehicular language, expression and communication; different thinking processes and the relationship between students. As a result, we propose a typology and a scheme for classification and interpretation of CIs linked to cultural diversity with the objective of advancing university teacher training.
Article
In this article, I describe how an EFL teacher engaged in a process of reflective practice. As she looked back on her teaching career, she explored the critical incidents, principles, and practices that have informed her present teaching identity. I focus on how a taped monologue narrative technique was used, and on the rationale, practice, and outcomes of this technique. The participant gave a post-monologue interview about her reflections on taking part in this process, and some of her responses are included in the article. Given the positive outcome of using this taped monologue technique, I suggest that it could be used as part of a process of professional development and reflective practice between trusted teaching colleagues as an alternative or in addition to peer-observation practices.
Article
This paper explores difficulties students may experience in giving opinions in class, drawing on data gleaned from the administration of questionnaires and interviews to Japanese and British students. The results show that the students from both groups regard highly of giving and exchanging opinions in class; however, there is a marked difference in their confidence in doing so, more Japanese students stating that they have difficulties even in their mother tongue situations than the British. The paper examines the background to these difficulties, drawing from detailed studies of the students' own accounts, comparing and contrasting them.
Book
Full-text available
This book examines the changing linguistic and cultural identities of bilingual students through the narratives of four Japanese returnees (kikokushijo) as they spent their adolescent years in North America and then returned to Japan to attend university. As adolescents, these students were polarized toward one language and culture over the other, but through a period of difficult readjustment in Japan they became increasingly more sophisticated in negotiating their identities and more appreciative of their hybrid selves. Kanno analyzes how educational institutions both in their host and home countries, societal recognition or devaluation of bilingualism, and the students' own maturation contributed to shaping and transforming their identities over time. Using narrative inquiry and communities of practice as a theoretical framework, she argues that it is possible for bilingual individuals to learn to strike a balance between two languages and cultures. Negotiating Bilingual and Bicultural Identities: Japanese Returnees Betwixt Two Worlds: is a longitudinal study of bilingual and bicultural identities--unlike most studies of bilingual learners, this book follows the same bilingual youths from adolescence to young adulthood;. documents student perspectives--redressing the neglect of student voice in much educational research, and offering educators an understanding of what the experience of learning English and becoming bilingual and bicultural looks like from the students' point of view; and. contributes to the study of language, culture, and identity by demonstrating that for bilingual individuals, identity is not a simple choice of one language and culture but an ongoing balancing act of multiple languages and cultures. This book will interest researchers, educators, and graduate students who are concerned with the education and personal growth of bilingual learners, and will be useful as text for courses in ESL/bilingual education, TESOL, applied linguistics, and multicultural education. © 2003 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the relationship between bilingualism and identity by drawing upon the examples of kikokushijo, the children of Japanese expatriates. Kikokushijo's lives provide a fertile ground in which to explore the interplay between bilingualism and identity. In North America their L2 (English) is the majority language, L1 (Japanese) the minority; after their return to Japan this situation is reversed. I collected four kikokushijo's stories of cross-cultural experience over a period of three years as they moved from Canada back to Japan.The results show thatthestudentsattributed different symbolic meanings to their two languages: the majority language in each context was seen as the key to participation in society; the minority language, on the other hand, represented their difference from the majority, an emblem of their uniqueness. The different roles that each language plays in various contexts represent the two conflicting desires of many bilinguals: a desire to be included in society's 'mainstream' and a need to assert their uniqueness. Implications for the education of bilingual students are discussed.
Article
In this article, Sandra McKay and Sau-Ling Wong argue for a revision of code-based and individual learner-based views of second-language learning. Their position is based on a two-year qualitative study of adolescent Chinese-immigrant students conducted in California in the early 1990s, in which the authors and their research associates followed four Mandarin-speaking students through seventh and eighth grades, periodically interviewing them, and assessing their English-language development. In discussing their findings, McKay and Wong establish a contextualist perspective that foregrounds interrelations of discourse and power in the learner's social environment. The authors identify mutually interacting multiple, discourses to which the students were subjected, but of which they were also subjects, and trace the students's negotiations of dynamic, sometimes contradictory, multiple identities. Adopting B. N. Peirce's concept of investment, McKay and Wong relate these discourses and identities to the students' exercise of agency in terms of their positioning in relations of power in both the school and U.S. society.
Book
Preface Part I. Foundations of Research 1. Science, Schooling, and Educational Research Learning About the Educational World The Educational Research Approach Educational Research Philosophies Conclusions 2. The Process and Problems of Educational Research Educational Research Questions Educational Research Basics The Role of Educational Theory Educational Research Goals Educational Research Proposals, Part I Conclusions 3. Ethics in Research Historical Background Ethical Principles Conclusions 4. Conceptualization and Measurement Concepts Measurement Operations Levels of Measurement Evaluating Measures Conclusions 5. Sampling Sample Planning Sampling Methods Sampling Distributions Conclusions Part II. Research Design and Data Collection 6. Causation and Research Design Causal Explanation Criteria for Causal Explanations Types of Research Designs True Experimental Designs Quasi-Experimental Designs Threats to Validity in Experimental Designs Nonexperiments Conclusions 7. Evaluation Research What Is Evaluation Research? What Can an Evaluation Study Focus On? How Can the Program Be Described? Creating a Program Logic Model What Are the Alternatives in Evaluation Design? Ethical Issues in Evaluation Research Conclusions 8. Survey Research Why Is Survey Research So Popular? Errors in Survey Research Questionnaire Design Writing Questions Survey Design Alternatives Combining Methods Survey Research Design in a Diverse Society Ethical Issues in Survey Research Conclusions 9. Qualitative Methods: Observing, Participating, Listening Fundamentals of Qualitative Research Participant Observation Intensive Interviewing Focus Groups Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research Conclusions 10. Single-Subject Design Foundations of Single-Subject Design Measuring Targets of Intervention Types of Single-Subject Designs Analyzing Single-Subject Designs Ethical Issues in Single-Subject Design Conclusions 11. Mixing and Comparing Methods and Studies Mixed Methods Comparing Reserch Designs Performing Meta-Analyses Conclusions 12. Teacher Research and Action Research Teacher Research: Three Case Studies Teacher Research: A Self-Planning Outline for Creating Your Own Project Action Research and How It Differs From Teacher Research Validity and Ethical Issues in Teacher Research and Action Research Conclusions Part III. Analyzing and Reporting Data 13. Quantitative Data Analysis Why We Need Statistics Preparing Data for Analysis Displaying Univariate Distributions Summarizing Univariate Distributions Relationships (Associations) Among Variables Presenting Data Ethically: How Not to Lie With Statistics Conclusions 14. Qualitative Data Analysis Features of Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques of Qualitative Data Analysis Alternatives in Qualitative Data Analysis Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Ethics in Qualitative Data Analysis Conclusions 15. Proposing and Reporting Research Educational Research Proposals, Part II Reporting Research Ethics, Politics, and Research Reports Conclusions Appendix A: Questions to Ask About a Research Article Appendix B: How to Read a Research Article Appendix C: Finding Information, by Elizabeth Schneider and Russell K. Schutt Appendix D: Table of Random Numbers Glossary References Author Index Subject Index About the Authors
Article
The author argues that second language acquisition (SLA) theorists have struggled to conceptualize the relationship between the language learner and the social world because they have not developed a comprehensive theory of social identity which integrates the language learner and the language learning context. She also maintains that SLA theorists have not adequately addressed how relations of power affect interaction between language learners and target language speakers. Using data collected in Canada from January to December 1991 from diaries, questionnaires, individual and group interviews, and home visits, the author illustrates how and under what conditions the immigrant women in her study created, responded to, and sometimes resisted opportunities to speak English. Drawing on her data analysis as well as her reading in social theory, the author argues that current conceptions of the individual in SLA theory need to be reconceptualized, and she draws on the poststructuralist conception of social identity as multiple, a site of struggle, and subject to change to explain the findings from her study. Further, she argues for a conception of investment rather than motivation to capture the complex relationship of language learners to the target language and their sometimes ambivalent desire to speak it. The notion of investment conceives of the language learner, not as a historical and unidimensional, but as having a complex social history and multiple desires. The article includes a discussion of the implications of the study for classroom teaching and current theories of communicative competence.
Article
Research that is not theory d driven, hypothesis testing, or generalization producing may be dismissed as deficient or worse. This narrow conception does an injustice to the variety of contributions that qualitative research can make. In this article I draw upon studies conducted by means of qualitative research methods in order to demonstrate the breadth of desirable outcomes.
Article
Although narrative inquiry has a long intellectual history both in and out of education, it is increasingly used in studies of educational experience. One theory in educational research holds that humans are storytelling organisms who, individually and socially, lead storied lives. Thus, the study of narrative is the study of the ways humans experience the world. This general concept is refined into the view that education and educational research is the construction and reconstruction of personal and social stories; learners, teachers, and researchers are storytellers and characters in their own and other's stories. In this paper we briefly survey forms of narrative inquiry in educational studies and outline certain criteria, methods, and writing forms, which we describe in terms of beginning the story, living the story, and selecting stories to construct and reconstruct narrative plots. Certain risks, dangers, and abuses possible in narrative studies are discussed. We conclude by describing a two-part research agenda for curriculum and teacher studies flowing from stories of experience and narrative inquiry.
Article
A number of educators in recent years have argued that the dominance of English has created structural and cultural inequalities between developed and developing countries. Although they tend to dismiss ideological issues regarding teaching English in affluent countries in the Expanding Circle such as Japan, there is a growing concern and critique in Japan on ideologies of English. Critics argue that the dominance of English influences the Japanese language and people’s views of language, culture, race, ethnicity and identity which are affected by the world view of native English speakers, and that teaching English creates cultural and linguistic stereotypes not only of English but also of Japanese people. Recent discourses of nihonjinron and kokusaika provide a broader context for understanding such ideologies. These discourses represent both resistance and accommodation to the hegemony of the West with a promotion of nationalistic values and learning a Western mode of communication; i.e., English. Among several proposals offered by critics, raising critical awareness of English domination parallels the philosophy of critical pedagogy. This paper suggests that both critical consciousness and practical skills in English along with inclusion of varieties of English in the curriculum are necessary for Japanese learners to appropriate English for social transformation.
Rapt discourses: Anthropology, Japanism, and Japan
  • B Moeran
Moeran, B. (1990). Rapt discourses: Anthropology, Japanism, and Japan. In E. Ben-Ari, B. Moeran, & J. Valentine (Eds.), Unwrapping Japan: Society and culture in anthropological perspective (pp. 1Á17). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.
The goodness of qualitative research Social identity, investment, and language learning Documents of life: An introduction to the problems and literature of a humanistic method
  • A B N Peshkin
Peshkin, A. (1993). The goodness of qualitative research. Educational Researcher, 22(2), 23Á29. Pierce, B.N. (1995). Social identity, investment, and language learning. TESOL Quarterly, 29, 9Á29. Plummer, K. (1983). Documents of life: An introduction to the problems and literature of a humanistic method. London: Allen and Unwin.
Research and the teacher
  • G Hitchcock
  • D Hughes
Hitchcock, G., & Hughes, D. (1989). Research and the teacher. London: Routledge.
Orientalism: Western conceptions of the orient Adaptation and education in Japan An introduction to Japanese society EFL's othering of Japan: Orientalism in English language teaching
  • E W Said
Said, E.W. (1985). Orientalism: Western conceptions of the orient. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin. Shimahara, N. (1979). Adaptation and education in Japan. New York: Praeger. Sugimoto, Y. (2003). An introduction to Japanese society. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Susser, B. (1998). EFL's othering of Japan: Orientalism in English language teaching. JALT Journal, 20(1), 49Á82.
A handbook for teaching English at Japanese colleges and universities
  • Wadden
Wadden (Ed.), A handbook for teaching English at Japanese colleges and universities (pp. 101Á110).
The persistence of Ie in the light of Japan's modernisation
  • H Fukue
Fukue, H. (1991). The persistence of Ie in the light of Japan's modernisation. In B. Finkelstein, A.E. Imamura, & J.J. Tobin (Eds.), Transcending stereotypes: Discovering Japanese culture and education (pp. 66Á73). Maine: Intercultural Press.
An introduction to research methodology and paradigms
  • P Ernest
Ernest, P. (1994). An introduction to research methodology and paradigms. RSU, School of Education: University of Exeter.
Japanese schools can't cope with cosmopolitan kids
  • Y Kobayashi
Kobayashi, Y. (1991). Japanese schools can't cope with cosmopolitan kids. In B. Finkelstein, A.E. Imamura, & J.J. Tobin (Eds.), Transcending stereotypes: Discovering Japanese culture and education (pp. 205Á207). Maine: Intercultural Press. 74 K. Ford Downloaded by [University of Waterloo] at 06:30 30 October 2014
Strangers in their own country: The misfit returnees
  • D Willis
Willis, D. (1984). Strangers in their own country: The misfit returnees. Far Eastern Economic Review, 123(1), 67Á68. Language and Intercultural Communication
Student returnees, student misfits
  • A Domoto
Domoto, A. (1987). Student returnees, student misfits. Japan Quarterly, 34, 34Á38.