Between the Awareness of Multicultural Coexistence Among Japanese Language Education Students and the Education Curriculum on the Relationship

Yaman Y., Özşen T.

The 17th International Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS), Ghent, Belgium, 17 - 20 August 2023, pp.2

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Ghent
  • Country: Belgium
  • Page Numbers: pp.2
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Multicultural coexistence refers to a societal way of life where individuals with differing characteristics such as nationality and ethnicity understand, recognize, and construct equal relationships through mutual understanding and acceptance. In the context of Japanese language learning, interaction and communication with Japanese people differs in terms of nationality, language and etc. also refers cross-cultural interaction. This exchange often turns into coexistence with Japanese people in professional life after graduation. To establish a solid ground for sustainable and effective communication and a coexistence environment between Japanese users and Japanese people, understanding the barriers Japanese language learners may experience in interacting with Japanese people in the workplace plays an important role. In this sense, revisiting the relationship between the academic background (Japanese language curriculum) of Japanese users' current communication-oriented difficulties in the workplace and the Japanese users' experiences with native speakers let us identify the multicultural coexistence in terms of the Japanese language.

The data used in this paper was obtained through an interview survey via Skype from December 10, 2022 to January 10, 2023. The interviewees were 15 junior and senior students enrolled in the Japanese Language Teaching Undergraduate Department at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. Content analysis was used as the data analysis method, examining the through five issues: (1) hierarchical relations (2) decision making (3) time management (4) tatemae and honne (5) individual and group relations.

Among the five issues mentioned above, students expressed particular concern about "Honne and Tatemae", which was more related to cultural differences than to the Japanese language teaching curriculum. Participants also report that they tend to ease in navigating hierarchical relationships, decision-making, time management, tatemae and honne, individual and group relations with the strong help of prior learning experiences (curriculum). Moreover, participants who studied in Japanology courses such as "Japanese Communication Skills", "Japanese Society", and "Japanese Language Skills" show less concern tendency about communicative difficulties in the workplace with Japanese people rather than those who have not.