Seminars,lectures and symposia

Dr. Ryuko Kubota (University of British Columbia)

Date2016.12.10 Saturday 15:00-16:30

”Paradoxes of language learning: Xenophobic nationalism and neoliberal multiculturalism”


English language teaching has increasingly been emphasized in neoliberal societies that seek to enhance their competitive edge in the world. In Japan, this trend is reflected in such language education policies as teaching English at elementary schools, promoting teachers’ maximum use of English in the classroom, and enhancing English-medium programs in higher education. Conversely, there has been a growing trend of xenophobic nationalism as seen in hate speech on the street and in the cyberspace. While English language learning for global communication appears to contradict xenophobia, neoliberal ideology encompasses conflicting trends of nationalism and multiculturalism. This presentation will explore a paradoxical nexus between xenophobic nationalism and neoliberal multiculturalism, as manifested in the ambivalent subjectivities of adult English learners on the one hand and the entrepreneurial habitus of transnational corporate employees working in Asian countries on the other. Appropriation of neoliberal communicative competence for social justice and equity may be one solution to the paradox.


L-821 (Library 8F),  Yotsuya Campus,Sophia University