ELF for Global Mindsets? Theory and Practice of ELT in Formal Education in Japan

  • Ayako SuzukiEmail author


In these two decades, ELT in Japan has been shifting from teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to teaching English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) in theory. Since the language is believed to be indispensable for international competition and coexistence with heterogenous others, ELT is now expected to develop students’ global mindsets as well as proficiency in English for international communication. However, this paradigm shift does not stem from clear awareness of differences between EFL and ELF but from two general educational trends, resulting in incompatible practice in the classroom—that is, native English speakers-centred teaching. Such teaching necessarily affects students’ ideas of English. This chapter investigates the gap between theory and practice in ELT mainly by looking into documents of ELT policies and argues the importance of a multilingual approach in ELT for the development of students’ English for international communication and of global mindsets.


  1. Baker, W. (2015). Culture and identity through English as a lingua franca: Rethinking concepts and goals in intercultural communication. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker, W. (2018). English as a lingua franca and intercultural communication. In J. Jenkins, W. Baker, & M. Dewey (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of English as a lingua franca (pp. 25–36). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Byram, M. (2008). From foreign language education to education for intercultural citizenship: Essays and reflections. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cogo, A., & Dewey, D. (2012). Analysing English as a lingua franca: A corpus-driven investigation. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  5. Cogo, A., & House, J. (2018). The pragmatics of ELF. In J. Jenkins, W. Baker, & M. Dewey (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of English as a lingua franca (pp. 210–223). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Commission on the Development of Foreign Language Proficiency. (2011, June 30). Five proposal and specific measures for developing proficiency in English for international communication (provisional translation). Retrieved from
  7. Cook, V. (2007). The goals of ELT. In J. Cummins & C. Davison (Eds.), International handbook of English language teaching (pp. 237–248). Boston, MA: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. De Costa, P. I. (2016). Constructing the global citizen: An ELF perspective. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 26(2), 238–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Glasgow, G. (2018). “Post-native speakerism” and perceptions of language use in team-teaching in Japanese senior high school classrooms. In S. A. Houghton & K. Hashimoto (Eds.), Towards post-native-speakerism: Dynamics and shift (pp. 197–216). Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Graddol, D. (2006). English next. London: British Council.Google Scholar
  11. Jenkins, J. (2015a). Global Englishes: A resource book for students (3rd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Jenkins, J. (2015b). Repositioning English and multilingualism in English as a lingua franca. Englishes in Practice, 2(3), 49–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jenkins, J. (2017). English as a lingua franca in the expanding circle. In M. Filppula, J. Klemola, & D. Sharma (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of World Englishes (pp. 549–566). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Lu, P. Y., & Corbett, J. (2014). An intercultural approach to second language education and citizenship. In J. Jackson (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and intercultural communication (pp. 325–339). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. MacIntyre, P. D., Clément, R., Dörnyei, Z., & Noels, K. (1998). Conceptualizing willingness to communicate in a L2: A situational model of L2 confidence and affiliation. Modern Language Journal, 82, 545–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Matsuo, T. (2015). 二十一世紀型スキルとは何か [What are 21st century skills?]. Tokyo: Akashi-shoten.Google Scholar
  17. Matsushita, K. (2010). 「新しい能力」は教育を変えるか [Can ‘new competencies’ change education?]. Tokyo: Minerva-shobo.Google Scholar
  18. MEXT. (2009). 大学の国際化のためのネットワーク形成推進事業 [Project for establishing university network]. Retrieved from
  19. MEXT. (2014a). Top Global University Project. Retrieved from
  20. MEXT. (2014b, January). グローバル化に対応した英語教育改革実施計画 [English education reform plan corresponding to globalization]. Retrieved from
  21. MEXT. (2014c, October). 今後の英語教育の改善・充実方策について [On measures to improve English education]. Retrieved from
  22. MEXT. (2017a). 中学校学習指導要領 [The course of study for junior high schools]. Retrieved from
  23. MEXT. (2017b). 中学校学習指導要領解説: 外国語 [The commentary on the course of study for junior high schools: Foreign language]. Retrieved from
  24. Mimatsu, T. (2011). ELF versus EFL: Teaching English for ‘international understanding’ in Japan. In A. Archibald, A. Cogo, & J. Jenkins (Eds.), Latest trends in ELF research (pp. 251–267). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  25. Murata, K. (Ed.). (2015). Exploring ELF in Japanese academic and business contexts: Conceptualization, research and pedagogic implication. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Naka, K. (2018). Professional development for pre-service English language teachers in the age of globalisation. In K. Hashimoto & V. T. Nguyen (Eds.), Professional development of English language teachers in Asia: Lessons from Japan and Vietnam (pp. 76–91). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Nasu, M. (2017). 「資質・能力」と学びのメカニズム [‘Qualities & abilities’ and mechanism of learning]. Tokyo: Toyokan.Google Scholar
  28. Phipps, A., & Guilherme, M. (2004). Modern languages: Learning and teaching in an intercultural field. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Pitzl, M. (2018). Creativity in English as a lingua franca: Idiom and metaphor. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Risager, K. (2007). Language and culture pedagogy: From a national to a transnational paradigm. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Risager, K. (2016). Lingua francas in a world of migrations. In P. Holmes & F. Dervin (Eds.), The cultural and intercultural dimensions of English as a lingua franca (pp. 33–49). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Seargeant, P. (2016). World Englishes and English as a lingua franca: A changing context for ELT. In H. Graham (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of English language teaching (pp. 13–25). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Seidlhofer, B. (2011). Understanding English as a lingua franca. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Sung, C. C. M. (2014). English as a lingua franca and global identities: Perspectives from four second language learners of English in Hong Kong. Linguistics and Education, 26, 31–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Suzuki, A. (2019). What does “teaching English as a lingua franca” mean? Insights from university ELF instructors. In H. Reinders, S. Ryan, & S. Nakamura (Eds.), Innovation in language learning and teaching: The case of Japan. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  36. Suzuki, A., Kudo, Y., Hidai, S., & Matsumoto, H. (2016). 英語教職課程の学生が修得すべきコンピテンシーの研究とCan-doリスト作成の試み [A study of competencies student teachers need to acquire in an English teacher-training program: An interim report]. 論叢 [Ronso], 56, 105–141.Google Scholar
  37. The Council on Promotion of Human Resource for Globalization Development. (2011, June 22). An interim report of the council on promotion of human resource for globalization development. Retrieved from
  38. Toh, G. (2012). Having English as a resource for multicultural understanding: Exploring possibilities in Japanese ELT. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 33(3), 301–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Yashima, T. (2002). Willingness to communicate in a second language: The Japanese EFL context. Modern Language Journal, 86, 55–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Yashima, T., & Zenuk-Nishide, L. (2008). The impact of learning contexts on proficiency, attitudes, and L2 communication: Creating an imagined international community. System, 36, 566–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yashima, T., Zenuk-Nishide, L., & Shimizu, K. (2004). The influence of attitudes and affect on willingness to communicate and second language communication. Language Learning, 54(1), 119–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yoshida, A. (2017). ‘Global human resource development’ and Japanese university education: ‘Localism’ in actor discussions. Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook, 11, 83–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Widdowson, H. G. (2015). Competence and capability: Rethinking the subject English. In M. Murata (Ed.), Exploring ELF in Japanese academic and business contexts: Conceptualization, research and pedagogic implication (pp. 213–223). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English Language EducationTamagawa UniversityTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations