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Asian Students of English at an International University in Japan: a study of attitudes to the use and study of English

Haswell, Christopher (2014) Asian Students of English at an International University in Japan: a study of attitudes to the use and study of English. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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International university education is now a significant and growing part of tertiary education worldwide. In the Asia Pacific region, internationalization is viewed as a lifeline for universities to secure their long-term survival in an increasingly competitive education market. The use of English as a global and academic lingua franca is connected to both international student interaction and institutional outreach. This thesis reports the findings of a large-scale research project investigating attitudes towards the English language of university students from Japan, Korea and China studying at an international university in Japan. The context for this study is Japan’s most internationalized university, an institution in which greater interest has been engendered by recent governmental and sector efforts to increase the internationalization of all Japanese universities. Previous research has focused on a single population’s attitudes about the study of the English language, utility value of the language, or preferred English variety. My study compares students’ views about these issues with the attitudes of their counterparts studying at non-international, domestic universities in their home countries (China, Korea). More than 800 students from six universities in three countries participated in this research into linguistic attitudes, a study supported qualitatively by focus group-style interviews. This research found that the internationalization of tertiary education in Japan has affected students’ attitudes towards English language use. At the same time, despite exposure to different varieties of English on a campus where almost half of the students come from overseas, the students from the international university continued to view American English and British English as their preferred performance targets. Chinese and Korean students studying abroad at the international university acknowledged Asian English varieties, but also reported these varieties as causing problems. Internationalized study environments do not appear to change the status of well-established standard varieties as preferred performance models.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.631447
Depositing User: Mr Christopher Haswell
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 15:06
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 11:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7430

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