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Finding a Balance Between Diversity and Language Standards

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In a University-Level Japanese Language Program

About the Lecture

One of the challenges that language professionals face in our increasingly diverse communities is establishing a balance between diversity and language standards. While Standard Japanese can be considered a common language to interact with the majority of Japanese speakers who may not be accustomed to nonnative speech (ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, 2012), the strict requirement to follow the monolingual standard may disregard the legitimacy of multilingual speakers, including nonstandard dialect speakers. The presenter will discuss pros and cons of setting standards in language programs and relevant findings concerning the native speaker fallacy (Tsuchiya, 2019). Then the presenter will share his shifting perspectives on errors, interlanguage, dialectal differences, and certain “nonstandard” practices (e.g. translanguaging) in his experience of training, hiring, and supervising teaching assistants at Brigham Young University. 

Funding provided by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation and Mitsubishi endowments at the University of Pittsburgh; co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the Asian Studies Center

Friday, March 6 at 4:00 p.m.

Cathedral of Learning, 208B
Fifth Ave at Bigelow, Pittsburgh, 15213

Finding a Balance Between Diversity and Language Standards

In a University-Level Japanese Language Program

About the Lecture

One of the challenges that language professionals face in our increasingly diverse communities is establishing a balance between diversity and language standards. While Standard Japanese can be considered a common language to interact with the majority of Japanese speakers who may not be accustomed to nonnative speech (ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, 2012), the strict requirement to follow the monolingual standard may disregard the legitimacy of multilingual speakers, including nonstandard dialect speakers. The presenter will discuss pros and cons of setting standards in language programs and relevant findings concerning the native speaker fallacy (Tsuchiya, 2019). Then the presenter will share his shifting perspectives on errors, interlanguage, dialectal differences, and certain “nonstandard” practices (e.g. translanguaging) in his experience of training, hiring, and supervising teaching assistants at Brigham Young University. 

Funding provided by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation and Mitsubishi endowments at the University of Pittsburgh; co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the Asian Studies Center

Friday, March 6 at 4:00 p.m.

Cathedral of Learning, 208B
Fifth Ave at Bigelow, Pittsburgh, 15213

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