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May 24, 2004

Is the Revolution Happening Online?

Can English and the Internet together bring about a cultural revolution in Japan? Steve McCarty, a professor at Osaka Jogakuin College and President of the World Association for Online Education, recently posted the question for discussion on the Child Research Net web site. In his article, he wonders whether the younger generation's ease with online communication, often in English and without the traditional Japanese emphasis on "face time," will also allow them to become more comfortable in the foreign language than their parents could ever be. He seeks to allay fears about the spread of English having a negative effect on Japanese culture by emphasizing that the two are not inseparable. He says that "Japanese-English bilingualism is 'additive' for adult native speakers of either Japanese or English in Japan."
Using English and the Internet could foster a Cultural Revolution in Japan

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