Reflections on translanguaging practices in English education in Japan

  • Kiyu Itoi
  • Matthew Michaud
Keywords: translanguaging, bilingual, first language, Japan, EFL


This study is a reflection on critical incidents (Tripp, 1993) addressing the use and promotion of a learner’s first language (L1) and cultural knowledge as linguistic and cognitive resources for learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Japan. Translanguaging, which was first introduced by Cen Williams (1994) to refer to the practice of interchanging languages in the classroom for productive use, was investigated to provide a deeper understanding of what seems to be relatively common practice across Japan. This paper outlines to fit with the broader study area of a larger collaborative inquiry involving university-based researchers providing English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in Japan. This paper outlines the background of English education in Japan and considers its current state to study possible additions and changes in the broader curricula.


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