Japanese college students' attitudes towards Japan English and American English

Shoko Sasayama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated contemporary Japanese college students' attitudes towards Japan English (JE) and American English (AE) through a verbal guise test (VGT) as well as a questionnaire. Forty-four Japanese college students listened to four Japanese and four North Americans reading a text in English, rated them in terms of solidarity-related (e.g. kind versus mean) and power-related (e.g. rich versus poor) words and then answered a questionnaire. The results of the guise test revealed that the Japanese respondents evaluated AE more highly than JE for power items, but preferred JE to AE when it came to solidarity items overall. These results suggest that Japanese college students' language attitudes are not monolithic and may change depending on which aspects of their perceptions are investigated. In addition, the results of the questionnaire revealed that, although the respondents personally preferred AE, they also wanted JE to be accepted internationally. These findings, I argue, suggest a growing possibility of the contemporary, younger generation of Japanese college students considering JE as one legitimate variety of English rather than an 'incorrect' English.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-278
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • language attitudes
  • language varieties
  • power
  • solidarity
  • World Englishes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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