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Representations of multiculturalism in Japanese elementary EFL textbooks: A critical analysis
Recent reforms to Foreign Language Activities policies in Japan have highlighted the importance of facilitating multilingualism and multiculturalism in global contexts. However, as this analysis finds, some of the most recent textbooks (2018-2020) for Foreign Language Activities classes in Japan are English Foreign Language (EFL) textbooks that fail to provide teachers and students with meaningful discussions on society, language, or culture. This critical discourse analysis (CDA) finds that four elementary school textbooks currently being used by boards of education throughout Japan fail to meet the Ministry of Education’s goals for developing multilingualism and multiculturalism in Japanese elementary schools. Working in an anti-racist lens, this paper identifies problematic areas within the textbooks Let’s Try 1, Let’s Try, We Can 1, and We Can 2 (MEXT, 2018) and discusses the necessity of an attitudinal shift from linguistic hegemony to the implementation of anti-bias frameworks in language and culture education in Japan.
Suggested citationEfron, K.A. (2020). Representations of multiculturalism in Japanese elementary EFL textbooks: A critical analysis. Intercultural Communication Education, 3(1), 22–43. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v3n1.224