Exploring native-speakerism in today’s translingual japanese world

31 May 2024
Room D1

Exploring native-speakerism in today’s translingual japanese world

The presentation aims to explore the concept of native-speakerism in Japan, shedding light on its crucial connections with the pragmatic features of the language. Language learning goals revolve around the dichotomy between native and non-native speakers, with native-like fluency as the ultimate objective. This paper stresses the centrality of the Translanguaging theoretical framework (García & Li, 2014) in today’s multicultural and Translanguaging society with the strict adherence to native-like fluency gradually blurring its lines (Ishihara, 2021). At the foundation of Translanguaging is the awareness of continuous bilingualism, where various known languages coexist; their boundaries are flexible, influencing each other. Translanguaging incentivises the use of languages that students are more aware of in the learning process not only facilitates the understanding of the subject matter but also contributes to strengthening the weaker language in their repertoire. Adopting it as a teaching technique in class can benefit the learning environment (Nagy, 2018) by abandoning the centrality of the target language in activities and giving new importance to foreigners teaching the language, especially when facing topics such as pragmatics uses. Acknowledging the challenges arising from the subjectivity and inherent complexities of second-language pragmatics is essential. Some learners may choose not to conform to native speaker norms and express their unique linguistic identity (Ishihara with Cohen, 2022). Moreover, merely adhering to native norms is often insufficient to feel part of Japanese society. Even when properly enacting the pragmatics of the language, the comments from a Japanese perspective contribute to creating a sense of Otherness in foreigners (Moody, 2017). The paper highlights the importance of the Translanguaging framework in today’s multicultural society and how it can benefit language learning and teaching, concluding that embracing Translanguaging helps to create a more inclusive language environment for both non-native students and teachers.



García, O., & Li, W. (2014). Translanguaging. Palgrave Macmillan UK. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137385765

Ishihara, N. (2021). From a native-nonnative speaker dichotomy to a translingual framework. In R. L. Shively & J. C. Felix-Brasdefer (Eds.), New directions in second language pragmatics (pp. 300–313). De Gruyter.

Ishihara, N., with Cohen, A. D. (2022). Teaching and Learning Pragmatics: Where Language and Culture Meet (2nd ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003168188

Moody, S. J. (2017). Fitting in or Standing out? A Conflict of Belonging and Identity in Intercultural Polite Talk at Work. Applied Linguistics, 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amw047

Nagy, T. (2018). On Translanguaging and Its Role in Foreign Language Teaching. Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica, 10(2), 41–53. https://doi.org/10.2478/ausp-2018-0012