Native-Speakerism in Japan Intergroup Dynamics in Foreign Language Education Edited by: Stephanie Ann Houghton, Damian J. Rivers

Paperback - 296 pages
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19 Feb 2013
Multilingual Matters
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


The relative status of native and non-native speaker language teachers within educational institutions has long been an issue worldwide but until recently, the voices of teachers articulating their own concerns have been rare. Existing work has tended to focus upon the position of non-native teachers and their struggle against unfavourable comparisons with their native-speaker counterparts. However, more recently, native-speaker language teachers have also been placed in the academic spotlight as interest grows in language-based forms of prejudice such as ‘native-speakerism’ – a dominant ideology prevalent within the Japanese context of English language education. This innovative volume explores wide-ranging issues related to native-speakerism as it manifests itself in the Japanese and Italian educational contexts to show how native-speaker teachers can also be the targets of multifarious forms of prejudice and discrimination in the workplace.


Is the English Native Speaker a political or a linguistic concept? Native Speakerism in Japan persuades us that it is political. Houghton and Rivers have assembled a powerful group of ELT professionals with first-hand experience of Japan and Italy who argue convincingly that native speakerism always has racist and gendered overtones.

- Alan Davies, University of Edinburgh, UK

This excellent book constitutes a significant contribution to the critical study of language education. The concept of native-speakerism, based in an ideology of deficiency as well as an extremely questionable bifurcation of 'native speakers' and 'non-native speakers', is shown to be a far more complex process in which native speakers of English are both empowered and disempowered simultaneously.

- Timothy Reagan, Nazarbayev University, Republic of Kazakhstan

Author Biography:

Stephanie A. Houghton is an Associate Professor in Intercultural Communication at Saga University, Japan. She holds a PhD in Education from Durham University, UK. She is author of Intercultural Dialogue in Practice, co-author of Developing Criticality through Foreign Language Education (with Etsuko Yamada), and co-editor of Becoming Intercultural: Inside and Outside the Classroom (with Yau Tsai).

Damian J. Rivers holds an MSc in Social Psychology, an MA in Applied Linguistics, and a PhD in Applied Linguistics/Sociolinguistics from the University of Leicester, UK. He is currently an Associate Professor at Osaka University and undertakes research into intergroup dynamics in foreign language education.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

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