Journey of Japanese language Learners in Queensland: Global Citizenship and the Role of Language Studies in Australia

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.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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