Japanese in the United States

Authored by: Kimi Kondo-Brown

Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States

Print publication date:  January  2014
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415520669
eBook ISBN: 9780203122419
Adobe ISBN: 9781136332494


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The purpose of this chapter is to examine historical and current trends and issues concerning Japanese-as-a-heritage-language (JHL) maintenance in the United States and its future prospects. To this end, the first half of the chapter provides a brief demographic sketch of Japanese nationals, recent Japanese immigrants, and the descendants of earlier immigrants in the United States. It also gives an overview of Japanese language use and education. The second half of the chapter focuses on JHL instruction in the United States. First, it discusses history, curriculum, and pedagogical issues concerning nihongo gakkoo (Japanese language school) and hoshuukoo (supplementary school), which have provided key nonformal heritage language (HL) instruction for children from Japanese backgrounds in the United States. It then turns to the discussion of curricular and pedagogical issues pertaining to postsecondary JHL instruction, which has received considerable attention in the field.

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