Developing language awareness: A study of Japanese students’ perceptions toward English language education


Mieko Yamada

Purdue University Fort Wayne, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, 2101 East Coliseum Boulevard, Fort Wayne, IN, 46805-1499, email:


In globalized societies where English uses and users are diverse, promoting intercultural communication skills becomes important in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) education curricula. Drawing on discussions of language awareness, this article explores how Japanese EFL teacher trainees perceive their own English learning and use and how they plan to structure their future English teaching within a multicultural and multilingual Japan. To elicit actual voices and experiences of EFL teacher candidates, in-depth interviews were conducted with Japanese students who were enrolled in the English language teaching courses at one of Japan’s national universities. The article discusses the findings from interviews, and suggests that as a part of EFL teacher training, both teachers and learners should be encouraged to foster language attitudes in order to establish more egalitarian intercultural relationships among English users.

Keywords: Language awareness, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), intercultural communication, Japan.


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