The Modern Kikokusei.Returnee Experience & Returnee    English Usage In Japan.(Re-)Imagining ‘Return Migration’: Language,...
Introduction                      Japan                Returnee/Kikokusei               The Returnee Problem              ...
Japan• Relationships orientated     Interdependence / Amae• Vertical Society / Tate Shakai• Both are...     ...nurtured & ...
Japan• “Personhood” & Individual Agency Understanding that conforming to the group leads to harmony and happiness for grou...
• The word entered the Japanese lexicon                          in the 1970sReturnee / Kikokusei                    Kikok...
Returnee / Kikokusei帰国生• Acquire the communicative  norms of the host country/  countries    Eye contact    Direct/Indirec...
The Returnee Problem /帰国生 問題• Social    “Can’t read the air”    Relationships & Language• Education Expectations    Englis...
The Returnee Problem /帰国生 問題• Perception of Returnees & Changes        "When Japanese leave Japan, their                  ...
The Returnee Problem /帰国生 問題 • Educational programmes 1980s • Readjustment - Japanese society • Remedial - Japanese Langua...
The Study• Stakeholder expectations:                              帰                              国                        ...
The StudyAims   What role(s) does English play for Returnees?        What does it mean to the individual?        How is it...
Website & Online                                                              questionnaire                               ...
Usage• Usage Groups                                    15%                          RL2     5%                          JL...
Identity• For me English is...                         • For Kikokusei English is...                                      ...
Internationalism & Transformation• For me English is...        ... a thing that connects me with other cultures.        .....
Utility & Advantage• Exams & Education    English is just a tool to pass entrance   exams for universities for kikokusei.....
Identity Maintenance• Returnees have their identity constantly challenged.• Dichotomised notions of identity are misplaced...
Third Culture Kids / Global Nomads• Labels admit & exclude• Internationalism - Cosmopolitanism• Transnational - Transcultu...
Current Study• International Exposure• Value of English vs. Third  Language• Non-native teachers as L2 role  models• Owner...
Thank you for listening.                              carol-b@kanda.kuis.ac.jp                                         Ref...
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(Re)imagining return migration modern kikokusei

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Presented at Royal Geographic Society, with IBG, Annual International Conference. 31st August to 2nd September 2011
(Re-)Imagining ‘Return Migration’: Language, Concepts and Contexts.

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  • (Re)imagining return migration modern kikokusei

    1. 1. The Modern Kikokusei.Returnee Experience & Returnee English Usage In Japan.(Re-)Imagining ‘Return Migration’: Language, Concepts & Contexts. RGS - IBG Annual International Conference 2011. Carol Begg Kanda University of International Studies carol-b@kanda.kuis.ac.jp
    2. 2. Introduction Japan Returnee/Kikokusei The Returnee Problem Study 19
    3. 3. Japan• Relationships orientated Interdependence / Amae• Vertical Society / Tate Shakai• Both are... ...nurtured & practiced throughout formal education “...a complex web of mutual obligations ...indicated through verbal & and responsibilities...” non-verbal communication. (Rohlen, LeTendre, 1996: 119), 18
    4. 4. Japan• “Personhood” & Individual Agency Understanding that conforming to the group leads to harmony and happiness for group Group Harmony members• Kejime, the ability to read & adjust to the onus of any social situation This is considered a sign of maturity• Difference Wa Inside vs. Outside / Uchi vs. Soto 17
    5. 5. • The word entered the Japanese lexicon in the 1970sReturnee / Kikokusei Kikokushijo帰国生 帰 国 子 女 return country girl boy/child • Criteria differ across governmental departments & educational facilities • Only commonality is the lack of agency in the sojourn 16
    6. 6. Returnee / Kikokusei帰国生• Acquire the communicative norms of the host country/ countries Eye contact Direct/Indirect styles• Perceived fluency & native-like pronunciation• International perspective, critical of ‘home’ country 15
    7. 7. The Returnee Problem /帰国生 問題• Social “Can’t read the air” Relationships & Language• Education Expectations English Ability Japanese Ability Different learning styles• Nationality / Labels Kanno - differentiated reintegration & assimilation 14
    8. 8. The Returnee Problem /帰国生 問題• Perception of Returnees & Changes "When Japanese leave Japan, their membership is suspended. Every year they are away, re-entry as Ambassadors members of the group ... becomes more difficult. It is particularly difficult if after reentry they Victims betray their exposure to foreign ways, which reminds others of the severing of bonds. Re-entry raises questions of identity that can Privileged Elite be silenced only by strict conformity and virtual denial of the foreign experience." Ching Lin Pang. 2000: 171 Assets / Problems? 13
    9. 9. The Returnee Problem /帰国生 問題 • Educational programmes 1980s • Readjustment - Japanese society • Remedial - Japanese Language ‘peeling off the foreignness ひらがな (gaikoku hagashi) カタカナ 漢字 Romanji 12
    10. 10. The Study• Stakeholder expectations: 帰 国 生 11
    11. 11. The StudyAims What role(s) does English play for Returnees? What does it mean to the individual? How is it perceived collectively? Is English ability more symbolic or practical? 10
    12. 12. Website & Online questionnaire English & 日本語 1 Former Students Returnee Schools Multiple choice / Likert scale Social Networks Sentence completion 2 18+ Participants self-labelled Researcher as removed Anonymous as possible Voluntary Open-ended questions for qualitative responsesThe Study Method 9
    13. 13. Usage• Usage Groups 15% RL2 5% JL2 NL2 80%• Native Users Native User as Optimal 5% Native-like proficiency 22% for Improvement is important Agree Agree Disagree Disagree 78% 95% 8
    14. 14. Identity• For me English is... • For Kikokusei English is... ... a necessity. One key factor that sets ... part of who I am us apart from other students. ... one of the parts of my identity. When I speak English, I feel like I am different from me speaking Japanese ... it is part of who I am. English helps me express the other part of me that I cannot express in Japanese. 7
    15. 15. Internationalism & Transformation• For me English is... ... a thing that connects me with other cultures. ... a language that completely changed my life by letting me see the whole wide world. ... a language tool and something which keeps me international than being national. Whenever I speak English, it is a great chance to express my ideas which could not be expressed in my mother-tongue 6
    16. 16. Utility & Advantage• Exams & Education English is just a tool to pass entrance exams for universities for kikokusei.... they can take exams much easier than normal high school students have to take.• Jobs & International Business For me, English is a capital to surpass my competitors in different occasions of society. Ability to speak English is highly valued in Japanese society, but not all English learners can obtain that. 5
    17. 17. Identity Maintenance• Returnees have their identity constantly challenged.• Dichotomised notions of identity are misplaced & detrimental.• Their identity is unique as Kikokusei (Sasagawa, Toyoda & Sakano).• Accuracy of language vs. Intra-language, code-switching, code-mixing 4
    18. 18. Third Culture Kids / Global Nomads• Labels admit & exclude• Internationalism - Cosmopolitanism• Transnational - Transcultural• Something unique to the individual 3
    19. 19. Current Study• International Exposure• Value of English vs. Third Language• Non-native teachers as L2 role models• Ownership of English 2
    20. 20. Thank you for listening. carol-b@kanda.kuis.ac.jp References:Ching Lin Pang., 2000. Negotiating Identity in Contemporary Japan: The Case of Kikokushijo. London:Kegan Paul International.Kanno, Y., 2000. Bilingualism and Identity: Stories of Japanese Returnees. International Journal of BilingualEducation and Bilingualism. Volume 3:1, pp. 1 - 18.Kanno, Y., 2002. The Development of Bicultural Identities: Japanese Returnees Experiences. The LanguageTeacher. Vol. 6Kanno, Y., 2003. Negotiating Bilingual and Bicultural Identities: Japanese Returnees Betwixt Two Worlds.University of Washington: WashingtonRohlen, T P., LeTendre, G K., Eds. 1996. Learning and Teaching in Japan. United States of America:Cambridge University Press.Sasagawa, S., Toyoda, H., Sakano, Y., 2006. The Acquisition of Cultural Values in Japanese ReturneeStudents. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. Vol. 30. pp. 333-343. 1

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