Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Research in Education
Effects of Participating in Multicultural Communication for English Learners on their First Language Use
This research makes an investigation on effects of participating in multicultural communication in English for second language learners. Although communication in English as a lingua franca is taking place everywhere in the world, there are some countries like Japan where most of the learners share a common language and have a few opportunities to interact face-to-face with people with different cultural backgrounds. The investigation is made in a Japanese university, where a group of Japanese students are invited to English language classes for overseas students from China, South Korea, and Vietnam. The attempt to encourage Japanese students to practice speaking English with international students can be regarded successful, judging from some participants’ comments that say they tend to feel easy with the non-native speakers of English and focus on what they talk about, rather than how well they speak English. Such feedback may give a good reason to English teachers for carrying on the collaborative activities, but this study further provides rationale based on a sign of positive attitude or a sense of solidarity that is linguistically expressed by code-switching in their conversation with the overseas students in Japanese when completing the English activities. The aim of this study is to demonstrate how extensively the experience of intercultural communication gives influence on the participants’ attitude in terms of some changes in their first language use.
keywords: a sense of solidarity, code-switching, English classes, expanding circle countries, Japanese learners of English