Assistant Professor Ria P. Rafael will be presenting a paper at the annual conference of the Association for Asian Studies, as part of the panel on Japanese language pedagogy, acquisition and experiences in the Philippine context chaired by BA Ling alum and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies senior lecturer, Florinda Palma Gil.

Below is the title and abstract of Rafael’s paper presentation, which will be presented online during the second day of the virtual conference on February 18, 2023:


The Languages We Hear: Describing a Japanese Language Classroom in the Philippines

The Philippines is home to 184 living languages, in which 175 are indigenous. Beside the country’s national language, Filipino, regional lingua francas play a vital role in communication among speakers from different ethnolinguistic groups. Filipino is also an official language together with English. English language education has been an integral part of education in the Philippines, both as a content subject and as a medium of instruction within the Philippine educational system. In addition to this, the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education has institutionalized the offering of foreign language classes as a special program or as part of the curricula of higher education programs.

A Filipino student enters a foreign language classroom already multilingual. The same can be said for the Filipino teacher teaching a foreign language. Following the study of Duff and Polio (1990), this study sets out to shed light on the languages employed in a foreign language classroom, specifically that of a Japanese language class conducted in a Philippine university. Class observations, questionnaires, and interviews are used for this preliminary research to identify (a) the languages employed by teachers and their corresponding ratios; (b) the factors associated with the use of each language; and (c) the perceptions and attitudes of both teachers and students regarding their language use inside the classroom.

To find out more information about the conference, visit the conference website of AAS2023.

Published by UP Department of Linguistics