Virtual Talk by Dr. Junko Mori

Thursday, November 4, 2021
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (ET)
OCL Virtual Talk
Event Type
Griffin, Lisa
Provost Office

"Japanese Language for whom and for what?

Political economy of languages and transnational workers"

Dr. Junko Mori,  Professor of Japanese Language & Linguistics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

 Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 6:30 pm

Join Zoom Talk:

Meeting ID: 978 3901 7769
Passcode: 648706

Abstract:  According to the 2018 survey on Japanese-language education abroad conducted by the Japan Foundation, the number of Japanese-language learners around the world has increased more than 30 times over the last four decades. The majority of the participating institutions selected “interest in anime, manga, J-POP, fashion, etc.” as the most common reason for their learners to enroll in Japanese-language courses today. The results indicate how the promotion of ‘Cool Japan’ has successfully attracted a large number of learners to Japanese. Beyond this seemingly ubiquitous trend, however, learning and using Japanese language evokes vastly different meanings depending on socio-historical, geopolitical, and economic conditions where the individuals are situated. 

This presentation will review some of the recent policies and initiatives established by the Japanese government regarding the promotion of Japanese as a second language education, as well as the recruitment of skilled migrant workers to mitigate its labor shortage. Subsequently, some cases of intercultural, multilingual workplace interactions among transnational workers will be examined to consider what kinds of practical consequences these policies and initiatives may have upon their everyday communicative practices. With the exploration of these ongoing issues for Japanese language users in various contexts as a backdrop, the presentation will conclude with the reflection on how our own teaching and learning of Japanese in U.S. institutions of higher education are embedded in the current language dynamics.

Short bio:
Professor Junko Mori is a full professor of Japanese language and linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a core faculty member of the interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition (SLA)Professor Mori’s research interests center on the application of the sociological methodology of “conversation analysis” to the study of talk-in-interaction involving first and second language speakers of Japanese. She has investigated the relationship between linguistic structures and organizations of social interaction, classroom discourse, intercultural communication, and workplace interaction. Her most recent project explores the impact of globalization of higher education upon world language education.

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