JALT2014 Plenary Speaker article: Investigating concepts of desire, gender, and identity in language learners

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Michi Saki, Ritsumeikan University

An interview with Kimie Takahashi, International Christian University, Tokyo

Sponsored by the Gender Awareness in Language Education (GALE) SIG 

Over the course of her international career as a sociolinguist, Kimie Takahashi has spent many years working in Australia and Thailand. She has published widely on gender, race, and language learning, which she addresses in her new book Language Learning, Gender and Desire: Japanese Women on the Move (2013, Multilingual Matters). Takahashi is also the co-founder of the sociolinguistics website Language on the Move <languageonthemove.org>. In this interview, Takahashi discusses the motivation behind her research and the concept of akogare and its relationship with second language learning. With many of our students learning English being women, the concepts behind Takahashi’s research is of great interest to any language teacher—male or female. Such knowledge can help deepen our understanding of language learning and of our students. 

The title of her JALT2014 talk is Gendering Intercultural Communication—Asian Women on the Move. Takahashi completed her doctorate with the University of Sydney in 2006, and is now Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Society, Culture, and Media at the International Christian University, Tokyo. Takahashi’s research interests focus on gender, race, bilingualism, and second language learning and use in transnational contexts.