A case study of the social identity of a native teacher of Japanese at a US university

Yoshiki Chikuma, Purdue University


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the nature of the social identity of a native speaker teacher of Japanese and its relationship to the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language at a US university. A teacher who grew up and went through the educational system in Japan was chosen as a participant for a 16-week long case study. Through data sources such as formal and informal interviews, classroom observations and teacher journal, I identified four major themes that revolved around the teacher's social identity and teaching practices: being Japanese, career and status change, teaching philosophy and being a nonnative speaker of English. These factors influenced the deterioration of the classroom atmosphere. I discuss the importance of identifying native teachers' backgrounds and beliefs in education in general and language pedagogy in particular to better prepare such teachers for potential cross-cultural conflicts. Larger social issues related to the findings are also discussed. ^




Major Professor: Margie S. Berns, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Education, Bilingual and Multicultural

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