Enhancing Diversity in the Mono-lingual, Mono-cultural Foreign Language Classroom: A Case Study in Japan
Diversity is largely imported into the Japanese foreign language classroom not only at the high school level (McConnell, 2000) but also at the university level. When the only foreigner in the class is the teacher, and the students all share the same native-language and cultural background, how can their experience of diversity be enhanced through foreign language education? This paper will present a teaching approach and case study data to illustrate ways in which this objective can be achieved, and student reactions to it. In particular, value differences between students were systematically uncovered using value taxonomies (Schwartz, 1995 and Hofstede, 1980), and the identification of value difference often generated student change. Various kinds of change will be examined and questions will be raised as to how foreign language teachers should guide student reactions to difference. More generally, links will be drawn with the development of intercultural communicative competence and citizenship education.
Keywords: Diversity, Values, Foreign Language Education Intercultural Communicative Competence, Citizenship Education
Dr. Stephanie Houghton
Associate Professor, Center for Fundamental Education, The University of Kitakyushu