Dr Kayoko Hashimoto1
1The University Of Queensland, Australia
Queensland Department of Education’s (DoE) Strategic Plan calls to increase the number of students studying languages, develop a global mindset among its students and harness local partnerships that advance language and cultural learning (DoE, 2016). Japanese remains the most widely learnt language in Queensland schools and is central to the achievement of these goals. Since 2018, state high schools in Brisbane have been welcoming university students as interns, as part of requirements of an advanced Japanese course of the university. The interns, whose backgrounds are diverse, are potentially important role models or “near-peer models” (Blue, 2018) to younger learners of Japanese. The university students identify the internship as a key professional and personal development experience in their transition from learner to practitioner and graduate. This paper is part of a longitudinal project (2018-2022) that examines regional and metropolitan state secondary and tertiary level students’ perceptions and experiences of language learning. It investigates who successful Japanese language learners in QLD are, and what they tell us about global competency in Australian education context. This paper focuses on the university students’ diverse profiles. Examining the data of individual interviews and journals, it explores how Japanese language learning has shaped their identity and cultivated global citizenship.
Kayoko Hashimoto is Senior Lecturer at The University of Queensland, Australia. Her main research areas are language policy and Japanese language teaching in Asia. Her latest publications include an edited book, Japanese Language and Soft Power in Asia (2018, Palgrave Macmillan). She is a thematic editor (language and education) of Asian Studies Review.