Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Panel Three: Cultural and Language Perspectives

The third panel will focus on Cultural and Language Perspectives.

The panel chair for this section is to be confirmed. Please refer back to this page for updates. 

Please note there will be three presenters in this panel. The first and thirds presenter will be confirmed and printed in the programme for the day. 

1) TBC

2) Nahoko Mulvey (Department of Education)


Title: Aiming to Unveil Japanese as a Heritage Language Education in England

My study investigates Japanese language education for children of Japanese people living permanently in England.  These children have gained some competence in Japanese at home, though they are educated in mainstream school in English.  In the literature this competence is generally referred to as Japanese as a Heritage Language (JHL). Since the 1990s, Heritage Language (HL) has been gaining significant attention in US research, policy and practice.  Especially since the September 11 attacks, there has been an increasing interest in expanding the nation’s linguistic resources by preserving and training HL competence.   Specific research on JHL education started at the end of the 1990s in North America.  Though some researchers have revealed characteristics of JHL learners, the content of and approach to JHL education has not been established yet. In England, more than 700,000 children speak at least 300 languages, and across the UK at least 6l different languages are taught in about 5,000 supplementary schools (CILT, 2005; Minty et al., 2008). They are voluntary schools provided by ethnic minority communities, demonstrating a multilingual England, often hidden from the mainstream (Creese et al., 2008).  Though some researchers are investigating HL education in other languages, JHL education has been scarcely investigated in England. In addition to 7 supplementary schools funded by the Japanese government, I have found 10 grass-root Japanese weekend schools in England in my preliminary research. As the initial stage of my JHL education research I would like to shed light on the current circumstances of these 10 schools.


Nahoko has been involved in language education for many years at schools and universities in Japan, Australia and in the UK.  Her research interest in Japanese as a heritage language arose while working for a Japanese ethnic school in Brisbane, attended on Saturdays by the children of Japanese living permanently in Australia. She investigates Japanese as a heritage language education in England under the supervision of Prof. Suzy Harris and Prof. Tope Omoniyi.


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