The benefits of having plurilingual education in the Asia Pacific region

Gilder Davila Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


Globalisation and internationalisation pose new challenges to the Asia Pacific region. “All national entities are multilingual, even those that call themselves homogeneous” (Beacco and Byram, 2003). Plurilingualism refers to the ability to use languages for the purposes of communication and to take part in intercultural interaction, where a person, viewed as a social agent, has proficiency, of varying degrees, in several languages and experience of several cultures (Council of Europe, 2001). Japan, as a leading country in Asia, has invested money, time, and effort to achieve the goal of globalisation. However, according to statistics from different national entities one the main problems to achieve this goal is not a linguistic one but instead a cultural one. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the basic concepts of plurilingualism and pluriculturalism from the view of language education. In doing so, the speaker will introduce relevant linguistics concepts such as multilingualism, multiculturalism, and interculturalism in order to guide the audience towards the understanding of plurilingualism and its application in environments where different cultures converge. Since Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University is an educational institution where people with an extensive repertoire of languages and language varieties gather, the talk will also focus on teaching methods that can be used by educators in order to raise awareness of languages and cultures. Finally, the speaker will introduce examples of how teachers and international educational institutions can promote learners’ consciousness of their existing repertoires and how to make proper use of them in global contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event15th Asia Pacific Conference: Global Perspectives in Changing Local Landscapes - , Japan
Duration: 11 Nov 201712 Nov 2017
Conference number: 15th


Conference15th Asia Pacific Conference: Global Perspectives in Changing Local Landscapes
OtherThe Ritsumeikan Center for Asia Pacific Studies (RCAPS) held the 15th Asia Pacific Conference (2017 AP Conference) on Saturday, November 11 and Sunday, November 12, 2017. This year the conference attracted approximately 330 presenters from around the world.

The AP Conference has been held annually since 2003, three years after the establishment of APU, and has grown into one of Japan’s largest social science conferences conducted primarily in English.

At the opening session, Professor Akira Mizutani of the College of Asia Pacific Studies and former Ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique delivered a key note speech entitled “Globalization and Localization in the View of History and Human Emotions” based on his own experiences as a diplomat in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Professor Mizutani cited Beppu as an example of a smaller city that brings in international tourists, highlighting its utilization of the human resources in the hospitality industry and its hot springs as a tourism resource. He stressed the importance of thinking “glocal (global and local)” and stated that it is his mission to diminish both disputes and protectionism.

Under the main theme of “Global Perspectives in Changing Local Landscapes,” 60 panel sessions (47 for researchers, five for master’s students, and eight for undergraduate students) were conducted covering a range of topics related to the Asia-Pacific region. The conference drew a large audience as well, and altogether about 900 people attended the panel sessions across the two day conference.
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