Japanese EFL Learners' Perceptions of Their Own Bilingualism
Despite recent works that have expanded the notion of emergent bilingualism to include FL learners in their own right (e.g., Turnbull, 2018), and calls for plurilingualism and multilingualism to be accepted as a goal in FL education, the concept has yet to be widely acknowledged, particularly by the very learners who fall within this category. Through use of a questionnaire, this presentation examines the personal opinions of 223 university-level Japanese intermediate EFL students regarding the definition and process of becoming bilingual. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of emerging themes in the data show that most of these emergent bilinguals do not view themselves in such light, and consider the notion of bilingualism to be an out-of-reach goal at their current level. The presenter suggests the need to educate FL learners of their bilingual status so they may dismiss the idea of attaining native-like competence and instead embrace their unique set of bilingual languaging strategies to make meaning, to express themselves, and to learn.