English in Japan in the Era of Globalization

pp 38-59

‘Not Everyone Can Be a Star’: Students’ and Teachers’ Beliefs about English Teaching in Japan

  • Aya Matsuda


The discourse of English as an international language (EIL) has a strong presence in formal policies and discussion related to English teaching in Japan. For example, the press release entitled ‘Developing a strategic plan to cultivate “Japanese with English abilities”’ put forward by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2002 began with the following opening paragraph:

With the progress of globalization in the economy and in society, it is essential that our children acquire communication skills in English, which has become a common international language, in order for living in the 21st century. This has become an extremely important issue both in terms of the future of our children and the further development of Japan as a nation. (MEXT, 2002)