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Book Chapter

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Publication Title

Educational Linguistics


The dichotomy between native speaker (NS) and non-native speaker (NNS) remains ubiquitous across different language-learning contexts despite increasing mobility and multilingualism of society. L2 Japanese learners in particular may find themselves positioned as subordinate to NSs because of the myth of Japan being a homogeneous nation of one race and one language. To help L2 Japanese students counter such positioning and gain a sense of ownership, we implemented “plurilingual critical literacies” in a Japanese language course in the U.S. Critical literacy aims to cultivate students’ awareness that power relationships are at play in language use, and plurilingual pedagogy valorizes students’ multilingual resources. Eleven high-intermediate-level Japanese students mobilized their linguistic and cultural resources to read and discuss authentic texts by transcultural or “culturally mobile” writers (Dagnino 2015). These writers expressed resistance to the status quo and made meaning creatively, as mediators between two languages and cultures. Reading, analyzing, and discussing texts by transcultural writers motivated students to counter ideologies of NS superiority, and to own Japanese in the ways that best suited their transcultural identities.


Critical literacy, Japanese-as-a-foreign-language, Ownership, Plurilingualism, Transcultural writer, Translanguaging



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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.


Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.

This is the version of the chapter accepted for publication in Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta and Golden, Anne and Holm, Lars and Laursen, Helle Pia and Pitkanen-Huhta, Anne, (eds.), Reconceptualizing connections between language, learning and literacy. Cham: Springer, pp. 165-186. (Educational linguistics ; v 39)



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