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Eri (Ellie) Yamamoto MA Defense: 'Japanese Teachers’ Perspectives on Code-Switching Behaviors'

Committee: Aya Matsuda (chair), Matt Prior (member).  ::  ABSTRACT: In the United States, educating bilingual students has been challenging due to teachers' and policymakers' lack of understanding of bi/multilingual students' needs as well as having so many bi/multilingual students in classrooms at a fast pace. Japan is also facing a similar issue today. In recent years, the number of bi/multilingual students in Japan has been rapidly increased. The Japanese government decided to require third-grade and up to take English courses; the number of bilingual students in Japan is expected to grow even more, but are teachers equipped to teach bi/multilingual students? Additionally, Japanese people have been loaning words from foreign languages; however, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of loaned words has risen dramatically. Thus, the mainstream media and people's speech consist of many loaned words; however, do people favor the phenomenon?

In order to investigate, twenty-three teachers in Japan participated in this study via the Zoom interview or Google Form survey to express their opinions. Teachers were collected from a variety of schools in Japan, and their subjects varied as well. The results showed that although many participants did not like media or politicians to use many foreign words and phrases, teachers expressed that they do not mind their students' code-switching behaviors. Another finding was that many teachers stated their biggest challenge with their bi/multilingual students were communication issues due to language barriers and students' mental health. Some participants stated that they intentionally change how they speak with their bi/multilingual students and provide accommodations and additional support to help their students succeed in their classes and outside the school. Finally, some participants expressed that the best way to support bi/multilingual students is to evaluate each student's needs and provide assistance instead of having a blanket program to include all bi/multilingual students because they come from different backgrounds.

This is a virtual event:

Sheila Luna
Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, 9 a.m.