English and Intercultural Interaction in the Internationalisation of a Japanese University

Liang Morita (1)
(1) Graduate School of Languages and Culture Nagoya University, Japan


Researchers in internationalisation of higher education have been reminding us that the presence of international students alone does not mean that the institution or the students are reaping the benefits of internationalisation. Since the number of international students is readily measurable, many have focused on increasing the number and overlooked other less quantifiable aspects, such as intercultural interaction, which is beneficial to students and prepares them for their future work environment. This study on intercultural interaction in a Japanese university is based on data from three surveys involving 250 respondents in total. The author discusses the English-medium classroom, language issues and institutional support. She found that although English-taught courses may attract more international students, few Japanese students are present, and as a result depriving international students of valuable opportunities for intercultural interaction and restricting their social networks. The discussion also includes the dominant position of the Japanese language within and outside the university and Japanese students’ anxieties about speaking English. The paper concludes that until English gains wider currency as a language of communication, international students need strong Japanese skills to lead a fulfilling life in Japan.

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Liang Morita
(Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Liang Morita, Graduate School of Languages and Culture Nagoya University

Liang teaches English and sociolinguistics at Nagoya University in Japan. She was educated in Singapore and Britain and worked in Thailand before moving to Japan

Morita, L. (2012). English and Intercultural Interaction in the Internationalisation of a Japanese University. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 12(3), 1–07. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v12i3.607

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