English As A Global Language: Empirical Study on Japanese University Students In Kansai.
Based on ‘the World Englishes model’ created by Braj B. Kachru, Japan is a member of expanding circle, regarding the language is for the use of international communication. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the four English skills, referring to listening, speaking, reading and writing among Japanese undergraduate students and the concept of English language while reflecting students’ opinions on English education curriculum. The study consisted of participants’ observation, group interview and questionnaire using convenient sampling method. The study found that students are not able to exercise all skills and are lack of confidence, owing to teaching style of English teachers as well as evaluation style and skills being emphasized in National examination and English education curriculum implemented nowadays is not able to eradicate the western image that is attached to English language user properly. It is necessary to further research on which materials are the most effective ones to motivate students in learning the language to raise their English abilities, which eventually supports Japanese students to operate cross-cultural communications in English with people all over the world, while keeping their cultural identity using the language in research and informal occasion. The paper is able to provide pros and cons of English language education, offering opinions on English education from the aspect of local students and the concept of the English language from a non-native speaking country’s perspective by using diverse research methods and instruments.