Extrapolating from an Inquiry into Curricular Issues Concerning the Adoption of English as Medium of Instruction in a Japanese University Situation


  • Glenn Toh Author Tamagawa University Center for English as a Lingua Franca




Academic content, medium of instruction, ideology, policy.


Japanese universities have lately begun to teach academic content in Englishinstead of Japanese. In this article, I examine curricular and ideological issuesrelated to having English as a medium of instruction (EMI) at a Japanese universitybefore examining their links to larger cultural-political forces in Japan, includingneoconservative agendas. My discussion is framed within the settingof a Japanese higher education facing the challenges of: (1) low enrolments andinstitutional solvency; (2) curricular reform in keeping with the need for institutionalrenewal. Specifically, based on a critical narrative inquiry into a workplaceencounter involving two university courses, one in introductory psychologyand another in English for Academic Purposes (EAP), I will explore the ideologically-embedded nature of discourses affecting professional understandings oflanguage, meaning making and curriculum. I will also observe that the ‘changes’resulting from the adoption of EMI are only superficial and that the role andstatus of English, in reality, remains circumscribed.



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Author Biography

Glenn Toh, Tamagawa University Center for English as a Lingua Franca

Glenn Toh has taught English as a Second Language, English for Specific Purposes and English for Academic Purposes as well as lectured on teacher training courses in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Japan and Singapore. He is interested in issues relating to language, ideology and power.


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How to Cite

Toh, G. (2016). Extrapolating from an Inquiry into Curricular Issues Concerning the Adoption of English as Medium of Instruction in a Japanese University Situation. Latin American Journal of Content &Amp; Language Integrated Learning, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.5294/5474