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17 Jan 2008
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£70.00
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9780230506947
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

In this first critical ethnography of bilingual education in Japan, Yasuko Kanno examines the relationship between school education and inequality of access to bilingualism. She provides detailed and vivid accounts of the lived experiences of teachers, students and parents at five schools in Japan: an immersion school, a Chinese ethnic school, an international school, and two state/ 'public' schools. Drawing on the concept of imagined communities, Yasuko Kanno argues that schools provide unequal access to bilingualism by envisioning different imagined communities for students of different socioeconomic classes and socializing them into these stratified imagined communities. While additive bilingualism in two socially prestigious languages is aggressively promoted for upper-middle-class students, immigrant and refugee children are subtly coerced into replacing their first language with society's dominant language.


Description

In this first critical ethnography of bilingual education in Japan, Yasuko Kanno examines the relationship between school education and inequality of access to bilingualism. She provides detailed and vivid accounts of the lived experiences of teachers, students and parents at five schools in Japan: an immersion school, a Chinese ethnic school, an international school, and two state/ 'public' schools. Drawing on the concept of imagined communities, Yasuko Kanno argues that schools provide unequal access to bilingualism by envisioning different imagined communities for students of different socioeconomic classes and socializing them into these stratified imagined communities. While additive bilingualism in two socially prestigious languages is aggressively promoted for upper-middle-class students, immigrant and refugee children are subtly coerced into replacing their first language with society's dominant language.


Reviews


'Language and Education in Japan makes a welcome contribution both to
critical studies of language education, and specifically to understanding
bilingualism in Japan. I recommend it to scholars interested in applied
linguistics, language education, and contemporary Japan.'
- Chad Nilep, Department of Linguistics, University of Colorado, USA (via Linguist List)


Contents

Introduction
Framing the Study
Nichiei Immersion School
Zhonghua Chinese Ethnic School
Hal International School
Sugino Elementary School
Midori Elementary School
Imagined Communities and School Policies and Practices
Student Bilingualism and Identities
Conclusions: Unequal Access to Bilingualism
Bibliography
Index


Authors


YASUKO KANNO is Associate Professor of TESOL in the College of Education at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. Her research interests include bilingual education, multilingual and multicultural identities, and sociocultural experiences of language minority students. She is author of Negotiating Bilingual and Bicultural Identities: Japanese Returnees Betwixt Two Worlds. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education and the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.