Promoting ‘Third Space’ Identities: A Case Study of the Teaching of Business Japanese

Emi Otsuji, Chihiro Kinoshita Thomson


Abstract

This paper argues that the teaching and learning of a foreign language involves students in the construction of their own identities between cultural and linguistic practices. The study looks at the interconnected practices of the content of the textbook, the classroom teaching and teacher’s ideological stance in relation to students’ gender identity construction. It examines how all the practices jointly contribute to a foreign language learning experience. In particular, the construction of (gender) identities of the learners explicated through a case study of a Japanese business classroom practice.

This paper is a case study, which looks at the treatment of gender, i.e., the ways in which a textbook and a teacher address matters of gender, how two female students received input on gender representations in relation to their ideological stance and identity. Furthermore, it examines how the students responded to gender representation in the textbook, and how teacher practices impacted on this. The result of the study reveals that the students construct their own ‘third space’ in a process of adaptation and appropriation of other cultural and linguistic practices. The limitations posed on students can be addressed by awareness of ‘third space’. This paper concludes with the implication of language teaching and learning and the importance of encouraging students to make a conscious choice in order to position themselves in the ‘third space’. To this end, the explicit incorporation of ‘third space’ in teaching and learning practices on content of the textbook and classroom activities as well as the teachers involvement in creating ‘third space’ environment were proposed. Thus, it is suggested that not only students but also teachers need to reflect and enact as an agent by positioning themselves in the emancipative ‘third space’.

Keywords

Identities; Gender; Third Space; Business Japanese; Teacher, Textbook.

Full Text

PDF

References

Allatson, P. 2001, 'Beyond the Hybrid: Notes against Heterophilic Authoritarianism, ' genre, no. 22, 191-207.

Armour, W. 1998, 'Putting More than Words in their Mouths: Using Model Dialogues to Construct Social Reality in the Japanese Language Classroom, ' Japanese Studies Association of Australia, vol. 18, no. 2, 181-197.

Bhabha, H. K. 1990, 'The Third Space: Interview with Homi Bhabha, ' in Identity: Community, Culture, Difference, (ed.) J. Rutherford, Lawrence & Wishart, London, 207-21.

Bhabha, H. K. 1994, The Location of Culture, Routledge, London; New York.

Bhabha, H. K. 1996, 'Culture's In-between, ' in Questions of Cultural Identity, (eds) S. Hall and P. Du Gay, Sage, London, 53-60.

Dooley, K. 2008, 'Multiliteracies and Pedagogies of New Learning of Students of English as an Additional Language, ' in Multiliteracies and Diversity in Education: New Pedagogies for Expanding Landscapes, (ed.) A. Healy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 102-25.

Easthope, A. 1998, 'Bhabha, Hybridigy and Identity, ' Textual Practice, vol. 12, no. 2, 341-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09502369808582312

Endo, O. 2002a, 'Dansei no Kotoba no Bunmatsu, ' in Dansei no Kotoba, Hitsuji Shobo, Tokyo, 33-46.

Endo, O. 2002b, 'Shokuba no Dansei no Keigo, ' in Dansei no Kotoba Shokuba hen, Hitsuji shobo, Tokyo, 63-74.

Giroux, H. 1990, Curriculum Discourse as Postmodernist Critical Practice, Deakin University, Melbourne.

Giroux, H., Lankashear, C., McLaren, P. and Peters, M. (eds) 1996, Counternarratives: Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies in Postmodern Spaces, Routledge, New York and London.

Giroux, H. and McLaren, P. (eds) 1994, Between Borders: Pedagogy and the Politics of Cultural Studies, Routledge, New York and London.

Healy, A. 2008, 'Expanding Student Capacities: Learning by Design Pedagogy, ' in Multiliteracies and Diversity in Education: New Pedagogies for Expanding Landscapes, (ed.) A. Healy, Oxford University, Oxford, 2-29.

Ide, S. 1982, 'Gengo to Seisa, ' Gengo, vol. 11, no. 10, 40-48.

Ide, S. and Yoshida, M. 1999, 'Sociolinguistics: Honorifics and Gender Differences, ' in The Handbook of Japanese Linguistics, (ed.) N. Tsujimura, Blackwell, Oxford, 444-78.

Kawaguchi, Y. 1987, 'Majiriau Danjo no Kotoba, ' Gengo Seikatsu, vol. 8, 34-39.

Kawakami, I. 1999, 'Nihonjijo Kyoiku ni Okeru Bunka no Mondai, ' 21 Seiki no Nihonjijo, vol. 1, 16-26.

Kawasaki, K. 1997, 'Kyokasho no Naka no Danjosa, ' Gekkan Gengo, vol. 3, 64-67.

Kraidy, M. M. 1999, 'The Global, the Local, and the Hybrid: A Native Ethnography of Glocalization, ' Critical Studies in Mass Communication, vol. 16, 456-76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15295039909367111

Kramsch, C. 1993, Context and Culture in Language Teaching, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Kramsch, C. 1995, 'The Cultural Component of Language Teaching, ' Language, Culture and Curriculum, vol. 8, no. 12, 83-92.

Kubota, R. 2003, 'Critical Teaching of Japanese Culture, ' Japanese Language and Literature, vol. 37, no. 1, 67-87. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3594876

Lo Bianco, J., Liddicoat, A. J. and Crozet, C. (eds) 1999, Striving for the Third Place, Language Australia, Melbourne.

Makino, S. and Tsutsui, M. 1989, A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, The Japan Times, Tokyo.

Maruyama, K. 2008, 'Nihongo Kyoiku ni oite 'Kyokasho ga Oshieru' ga Imisuru mono, ' Nihongo Kyoiku Ronshu, 24.

Masuoka, T. and Takubo, Y. 1992, Kiso Nihongo Bunpo, Kuroshio, Tokyo.

Matsumoto, Y. and Okamoto, S. 2003, 'The Construction of the Japanese Language and Culture in Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language, ' Japanese Language and Literature, vol. 37, 27-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3594874

McLaren, P. 1994, 'Multiculturalism and the Postmodern Critique: Toward a Pedagogy of Resistance and Transformation, ' in Between Borders: Pedagogy and the Politics of Cultural Studies, (eds) H. Giroux and P. McLaren, Routledge, New York and London, 118-46

Nakada, G. G. 1998, 'Foreign Women Push Business Boundaries, ' Japan Quarterly, July-September, 15-22.

Norton, B. 2000, Identity and Language Learning: Gender, Ethnicity and Educational Change, Pearson Education, Harlow.

Norton, B. and Toohey, K. (eds) 2004, Critical Pedagogies and Language Learning, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524834

Ohara, Y., Saft, S. and Crookes, G. 2001, 'Toward a Feminist Critical Pedagogy in a Beginning Japanese-as-a-Foreign-Language Class, ' Japanese Language and Literature, vol. 35, 105-33. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/489693

Pennycook, A. 2001, Critical Applied Linguistics: A Critical Introduction, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey.

Perera, S. 1994, 'Unspeakable Bodies: Representing the Aboriginal in Australian Critical Discourse, ' Meridian, vol. 13, 15-26.

Pratt, M.-L. 1992, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, Routledge, London & New York.

Pratt, M.-L. 1994, 'Transculturation and Autoethnography: Peru 1915/1980, ' in Colonial Discourse /Postcolonial Theory, (eds) F. Baker, P. Hulme, and M. Iverson, Manchester University Press, New York, 24-46.

Siegal, M. and Okamoto, S. 2003, 'Toward Reconceptualizing the Teaching and Learning of Gendered Speech Styles in Japanese as a Foreign Language, ' Japanese Language and Literature, vol. 37, 49-66. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3594875

Sunderland, J., Cowley, M., Rahim, F. A., Loentzakou, C. and Shattuck, J. 2001, 'From Bias in the Text" to "Teacher Talk around the Text": An Exploration of Teacher Discourse and Gendered Foreign Language Textbook Texts, ' Linguistics and Education, 11, 251-86." http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0898-5898(00)00034-6

Sunderland, J., Cowley, M., Rahim, F. A., Loentzakou, C. and Shattuck, J. 2001, 'From Representation Towards Discursive Practices: Gender in the Foreign Language Textbook Revisited, ' in Gender Identity and Discourse Analysis, vol. 2, (eds) L. Litosseliti and J. Sunderland, John Benjamins Publisher, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 223-256.

Takahashi, M. 2002, 'Dansei no Hataraki Kata to Kotoba no Tayosei, ' in Dansei no Kotoba Shokuba hen Hitsuji shobo, Tokyo, 207-235.

Thomson, C. and Iida, S. 2007, 'Josei Hatsuwa 'Mada Meshi Kuttenai' o Meguru Gender to Nihongo Kyoiku no Kosatsu, ' Nihongo Kyoiku, vol. 135, 120-29.

Thomson, C. and Otsuji, E. 2003, 'Evaluation of Business Japanese Textbooks: Issues of Gender, ' Japanese Studies, vol. 23, 185-203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1037139032000129711

Yoneda, R., Fujii, K., Shigeno, M. and Ikeda, H. 1998, Getting Down to Business: Japanese for Business People (Lower Intermediate level), 3A Corporation, Tokyo.

Yoshioka, Y. 1994, 'Wakai Josei no Gengo Kodo, ' Nihongo Gaku, vol. 13, 33-44.