par Junko Majima, Emeritus Professor of Japanese Language Education in the Graduate School of Humanities of Osaka University, Japan
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Junko Majima is an Emeritus Professor of Japanese Language Education in the Graduate School of Humanities of Osaka University, Japan. She received her BEd from Kyoto University of Education, Japan, in 1982, her MEd in 1990 and her EdD in 1994 from the University of Georgia, Athens, USA, in foreign language education. Junko’s research and teaching interests include teaching Japanese as a second language (JSL) to international students, JSL teacher education, second language acquisition, bi/ plurilingual education, especially of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) children raised in Japan, and language policy.
She spent a year and a half at the University of Cologne, Germany, as a visiting researcher from January 2022 to July 2023, as a recipient of the research grant from the Heinrich Hertz Foundation. In August 2023, she was appointed executive director at the Japan Foundation (an independent administrative body under the jurisdiction of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is primarily responsible for promoting Japanese language education and understanding of Japanese culture overseas) at the Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai.
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Issues and Policies for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Children in Japan
Japan is often considered to be a mono-ethnic and monolingual country where there are few foreigners, except for tourists. However, the situation has been changing, with a growing number of foreign residents reaching a record high of 3.2 million (more than 2.4 % of the total population) in 2023.
My talk will focus on the CLD children in the public education system in Japan. These children have been facing numerous difficulties, even though many of them were born in Japan. These challenges include incomplete access to education, insufficient bilingual education in both Japanese and their mother tongue, identity development, and cognitive development.
I will also refer to some of the research findings of my collaborative longitudinal study of emergent bilingual (Chinese/Japanese) pupils at a public school in Osaka.
In spite of the many failures due to ignorance and inexperience within the host society, efforts are being made in the field of education to solve the problems and systemic reforms are underway from micro to macro levels, with some successful examples as well.