God in the classroom

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Paul Wicking, Meijo University


For the past 150 years in Japan, there has been a close relationship between Christian mission and English language education. Missionaries and churches have been heavily involved in the English language teaching profession during this time. Even today, there are many Christian ELT professionals working throughout Japan. However, there is a strong view within the ELT profession that religious beliefs should play no part in the classroom. This places the modern Christian language teacher in a dilemma: in what way, if at all, are a teacher’s Christian beliefs to be expressed in class? This paper aims to shed some light on this question, by examining the nature of religious belief and expression in relation to language pedagogy.