Creative Education
2013. Vol.4, No.12B, 75-82
Published Online December 2013 in SciRes (
Open Access 75
Integrating the Spiritual-Cultural, Rights-Responsibilities, and
Economics of a Citizenship Development Higher Learning
through a Differently Conceived and Practiced Sociology in
(Second Language) English in the Japanese University
Alan Brady
Department of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya City, Japan
Email: aybrady@
Received October 30th, 2013; revised November 30th, 2013; accepted December 7th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Alan Brady. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribu-
tion License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original
work is properly cited. In accordance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights © 2013 are
reserved for SCIRP and the owner of the intellectual property Alan Brady. All Copyright © 2013 are guarded by
law and by SCIRP as a gu ardian.
School classroom life and study can be thought of as a threefold social sphere which encompasses the
economic, the rights-responsibilities, and the spiritual-cultural. In order that there be a healthy threefold
social sphere in the classroom, all three intertwined sub-spheres must be equally developed and work to-
gether. Human development and the instilling of socially beneficial values in young people are the pub-
licly stated goals of Japanese education at all levels in Japan. Language of wider use and communication
(LWUC) English medium study integrated with and directed by content study in a one-world ontology of
knowing and communicating, has an important role to play in the implementation of this goal. However,
to do so requires the creation and nurturing of an intersubjective well-being class study framework that
can serve as an ongoing resource to create opportunities for civic dispositions to be learned and relearned.
A study framework is required that prioritizes 1) people over technology; 2) progress over status quo ar-
rangements; 3) the valuing of study over operational or epistemic outcomes; and 4) a process co-con-
structed and evolving curriculum over a closed already decided and other-directed curriculum and sylla-
bus. This study framework will contribute to enhancing individual and communal awareness of partici-
pants’ civic responsibility.
Keywords: Social Threefolding; Citizenship Development; CLIL (Content and Language Integrated
This writer is an English language and sociology of educa-
tion researcher-practitioner at a university in western Japan,
Kwansei Gakuin Univerrsity (KGU). English language study in
the Sociology Department where I work is confined to first and
second year general education, and is viewed in the Department
as peripheral, and at best auxillairy, to study in the specialty-
area (native language Japanese) mainstream part of the curricu-
lar provision. English language is not institutionally accepted as
a medium of sociological practice learning, but remains en-
trenched as a lower priority, separate and separated subject-object
of study. Students are expected to connect English language
communication with sociological study on their own without
any institutional assistance. Nevertheless, “Sociology in Eng-
lish” is a buzzword in the Sociology Department, though it has
more of a public relations’ role and responsibility than teaching
or researching recognition or acceptance. The Department pr ide s
itself on being a “global sociology” higher education entity.
Having a small percentage of the department’s curriculum p ro vi-
sion and research in a language of wider use globally (English)
would, therefore, have valid educational significance.
I thus decided in my class teaching to make explicit connec-
tions between language-communication and social life learning
where students actually experience in their study a ”sociology
in English” to explore the ongoing living nature of social life as
it unfolds in the classroom. School classroom life and study can
be thought of as a threefold social sphere—following Steiner,
cited in Lamb, (2008)—which encompasses the economic, the
rights-responsibilities, and the spiritual-cultural. Put another
way, social life in the classroom involves power relations and
rights-responsibilities (political relations and considerations),
caring and sharing and cooperatve-collaborative endeavors
(spiritual-cultural relations and considerations), and competitive
individual development (economic relations and considera-
tions). In order that there be a healthy threefold social sphere in
the classroom, all three intertwined sub-spheres must be equally
developed and work together.
The Importance of Inclusive Social Threefolding
in Classroom Teaching and Learning
What any society values and sees as ideal often gets taught in
schools. Furthermore, what and how children are taught results
in their developing certain ideals and values that are perpetu-
ated in the wider society once these students become adults and
go into society as local and global citizens. These values may
very well include in this modern capitalistic-bent world of ours,
a competitive ethos, a conviction that meritocracy is the norm, a
view that instrumental-extrinsic motivations are more important,
and an excess valuing of academics (i.e. knowledge and skills)
over values/ideals and social or e motional development. Sch ools
are also, Giroux (1992-93) maintains, terrains of struggle or
places and spaces where contradictory values and ideals com-
pete for prominence. Proponents of a democratizing education
argue that people who are given freedom and choice will even-
tually become better democratic citizens simply because they
have learned how to negotiate with others, to identify obstacles
and paths of resistance, to know themselves and others. They
are also open to change and listening to others as they all con-
sider themselves to be vital to the development of a vibrant and
healthy social threefolding.
Christainsen, Garvin, and Sweet (1991) contend that higher
education has become more isolated from the kinds of learning
people require for their life competencies. The main value that
a higher education can impart to students, they argue, is a pre-
disposition to love learning across the curriculum above any
ability to learn only in any one or more isolated part(s) of that
curriculum. This pre-disposition is far more urgent than that
students passively bank knowledge, skills, values, or ideals, or
that they (students) are not themselves actively engaged in con-
structing or reconstructing their learning. Abe, Perrin, and
Woolbright (1995) go further in maintaining that a higher edu-
cation’s main role and responsibility is to help students define
the important characteristics of adult citizenship.
There is, and has been for a very long time an urgency—
though too few people have too infrequently recognized it or
advocated for it—for a higher education mission integrating a
language of wider use and communication (LWUC) English,
and academic and social development content in the Japanese
university context. Brady (1997) argues that,
The continued acceptance and practice of isolating commu-
nicative English language teaching and research from native
language (Japanese) academic study bodes ill for the future
and further development of the university in Japan (Brady,
1997: p. 85).
Engllsh as a LWUC can ahelp students, faculty and the uni-
versity community as a whole increase their awareness of local
and global society and their social roles as Prodromou (1992)
what we teach and particularly the way we teach reflects our
attitudes to society in general and the individuals place(s) in
society. It also reflects our eduational practice as an implicit
statement of power relationships, of how we see authority in the
classroom and outside. Just as the mother tongue in Freires
Pedagogy of the Oppressed becomes a process of increasing
consciousness of ones society, so too may the teaching and
learning of (and in a foreign language. (1992: pp. 74-75)
Success in language teaching and learning in Japan, includ-
ing most unfortunately at the tertiary level as well, is too often
conceptualized and practiced – and measured for its success as
well—in terms of how well students bank their study—pas-
sively learn or acquire reading, writing, listening, and speaking
knowledge and/or skills in their engagement with or use of the
language. Students’ language learning may be primarily meas-
ured for its “success” in how well they “master” linguistic lan-
guage (e.g. grammatical competence). and/or pass competency
examinaions. If students are fortunate enough they will have
teachers who prioritize intercultural communicative compe-
tence learning. But as necessary as this aim might be for lan-
guage engagement and use, it is not in and of itself sufficient to
help students link their language learning with social change
and participation.
A life-long love of and for language study/learning and in-
tercultural communication contributing to a participatory citi-
zenry for constructive social change can only happen if teachers
and the syllabus respond to students’ needs to connect the lan-
guage they study and learn to the real concerns that they have in
their lives, which involve school, family and relationships,
changing identity formation, curiosity and uncertainty, and
worries about the future. This is a responsive view of language
study supported by a great many applied linguists such as
Littlejohn (2004), Lange (1994), Brady (1997), and Brady and
Shinohara (2000).
According to Tanabe (1978) English in Japan operates as a
borrowed subject/object language, not as a language of wider
use or communication, or as a locally or globally useful means
of intercutural communication. Imamura (1978) argues that
university faculty engaged in the teaching and researching of
English language must re-examine their basic approach to lan-
guage education, and is concerned with the following five is-
1) What is language and language study for?
2) Why teach and study/learn language?
3) Which non-native (i.e. non-Japanese) language(s) need be
taught and studied in Japan?
4) Who benefits and how do they benefit from such study?
5) How should language be taught?
Suzuki (1978) pointed to a perhaps more fundamental prob-
lem with the conceptualiation and practice of English study at
university. He noted that there is far too inadequate attention to
and concern with language study as (my italics) educational
growth. Mark (1990) has offered a multi-dimensional view of
language teaching and learning—cited in Brady (2006) —which
highlights the role of language teachers as educators where,
in the language learning process the teacher and students
alike have room for personal growth and betterment in under-
standing themselves and the world we live in. (Mark. 1990:11)
Bisong (1995) believes, and I agree, that English as a lan-
guage of wider use and communication opens up new opportu-
nities for a society and its people. It can, he says, help a society
become multilingual and multicultural, and also offer its citi-
zens a richer linguistic repertoire and an expanding conscious-
ness. Beyond the many limitations of English language study
which have existed in Japan for far too long, LWUC English
study, integrated with content as the driving force, has the po-
tential to help university students develop a more flexible and
critically aware approach to their study and learning.
It is the main argument of this paper then that an integrated
and self-directed, student engaged teacher led and assisted so-
cial threefolding, which combines the study/learning of and in a
language of a locally and globally useful wider use and com-
munication (i.e. English LWUC) with academic and social
development content (e.g. sociology study), can best satisfy the
concerns of educators who hope to develop an active and
well-educated adult citizenry to contribute to and nurture their
local and global societies. As Barnett (1997, 2000) contends, a
Open Access
higher education must provide students experiences which en-
courage them to 1) reflect on their thoughts and actions, 2)
reinterpret presenting situations where they see the curriculum
not as an imposition but as a set of possibilities and practical
hopes framed in large part by themselves, and 3) develop a
continuous expression of both a skeptical and questioning out-
look geared to the continuous and recursive reappraisal of their
own individual and collective learning.
What Is a Higher Education Global Citizenship
Integrated Language and Content Development?
Blanton (1992) argues, and I agree, that education often vio-
lates the deepest needs of the human spirit by 1) alienating and
boring or dulling teachers and students/learners, and/or 2) by
failing to address in any meaningful ways the real issues of
importance in our lives. These real isues have been articulated
by Splitter (1995) as follows:
a) Does (my) life have meaning, and if so, what is that mean-
b) Do I have gifts that the world wants and needs?
c) Who and what can I trust?
d) How can I rise above my fears and prejudices?
e) How do/can I deal with suffering, my own and others?
f) How do I keep hope(ful)?
Splitter (1995) argues that educational quality must be de-
fined in terms of the thinking and feeling development of stu-
dents. Schools, in his estimation, are and continue to be agents
of manipulation as well as preservers and protectors of the
status quo rather than facilitators for personal and social en-
richment and liberation. Most schools, says Splitter, confuse
educating with a far more narrow and primarily economic-
oriented view of training, an idea that is supported by people
such as McVeigh (2002), and Refsing (1992) in particular.
Teachers concerned with developing a deeper more critical
thinking and feeling in students must recognize, he says, that
“in the real world outside the classroom thinking among ordi-
nary citizens may be more of a threat than a priority” (1995:1).
There are certain dispositions, according to Splitter (1995)
which can guide a philosophy of thinking and feeling for those
educators who wish to go beyond training students whether for
jobs or to fit into society as it is already constituted, which
Forbes (2005) calls responsibility to society These dispositions
a) argumentation skills,
b) inquistive skills, especially the seach for reasons and not
accepting what is given and true,
c) identification, modification, and application of criteria to
form judgments and make decisions,
d) making distinctions to allow people to see the complexity
of a situation, event, problem or solution, an act or decision,
e. the ability to identify relationships to help us make sense
of things (i.e. causes and effects, means and ends, parts and
f) the exercise of moral imagination by which we think of
different ways about doing things
Splitter’s advocacy of what he calls a “philosophy for
thought” needs, however, to be expanded and widened to in-
clude spiritual higher learning, especially when that study and
learning takes place at/in a Christian or any other faith-created
institution such as is the case at Kwansei Gakuin University in
the Kansai area of Japan, where this writer teaches and re-
searches in that university’s Sociology Department. How can
we teachers find ways in our study with students to explore
those deeper dimensions of teaching, learning, and living? By
spiritual is meant the never-ending human quest for con-
nected-ness with others and the world we see and experience,
as well with all that which we can not possibly know or see for
certain, something larger and more trustworthy than our own
egos, in short, the total mystery of our being alive together and
sharing life together.
When we higher education teachers and students enter the
classroom we bring our physicality and spirituality with us, so
we can choose to either reflect upon or avoid those questions
we live with every day, and how we are living them. We teach-
ers, can if we choose, together with students, prioritize dialogue
over lecture, collaboration and cooperation over competition,
and democracy over authoritative control But interrogating the
truths that we together live in class, and which can be extended
to our lives outside class as well, can easily conjure up fears
that somehow we all need to “fix” one another and solve
“problems.” How can we get over this reluctance to spiritually-
culturally, economically, and politically engage with one an-
One way might be for us as teachers to consensually, car-
ingly, and cooperatively - but never threateningly or imposingly
—adopt with students an agreed-on study framework with
ground rules that once adopted can release us from our fears
and anxieties, and at the same time teach us all to live our ques-
tions with one another rather than forcing ourselves to have to
find “correct” answers to them. This we can do by dialogically
opening up to one another—we to students, and students to us
and each other—using life content topics to spur us to ask
questions, to guess and predict (if possible) what may or may
not be, to make tentative conclusions—not protestations or
pontifications—about why things are or might be as they are.
Greene (1993c) believes that to truly have a shared learning
experience teachers must make special efforts to listen more to
students’ voices in order for teachers to discover and act about
what they, our students, are thinking and feeling, what most
concerns them, what has meaning in life both inside and outside
the classroom for them. This prime attention to students’ voices,
however, can create tensions with systems especially, where the
overall agenda of study and learning revolves around system
and teacher control, and which focuses primarily if not exclu-
sively on our individual and socially collective responsibilities
to society, not for any re-making of society.
Prime attention to students’ voices can create empowerment
possibilities where, as Banks (1991) points out, knowledge and
skills are not neutral. Both knowledge and skills, however we
define them, are important purposes or instruments if you like
to help people improve the quality and spirituality of their im-
mediate classroom society and hopefully by extension, society
in the wider more global world. Education must light paths for
social change. This obligates us as teachers and educators to
lead young people to promote constructive change(s) towards
more just and compassionate and sustainable approaches to
living and learning in a rapidly changing and increasingly com-
plex, puzzling, more globalized, and at the same time more
fragmented world.
I believe that this attention to, and concern for, developing in
young adults their local and global citizenship development in
class study must involve the following:
a) democracy in real-time and an end to systemic control and
Open Access 77
unquestioned teacher authority in study and learning,
b) prioritizing what Bollinger et al. (2003) call a one-world
ontology of knowledge and communication,
c) responsibility in class to (our) society and for (our) soci-
d) prioritizing the “phronesis” or process value of study over
its operational (skills) or epistemic (knowledge acquisition)
results or product,
e) a commitment to Splitter’s philosophy for thought,
f) a post-method approach to higher language learning and
g) a strong or stronger communicative language teaching
(CLT) than now prominently reigns in language pedagogy,
h) re-conceptualizing and differently practicing an integrated
language (sociology) content higher learning
The question then arises of how we can conceive and prac-
tice a content-driven language and interactive communicatively
engaged learning? Murphy (1996) believes that a theme-based
integrated content and language approach allows students to
become knowledgeable, curious, and inquisitive about things of
importance, concern, and interest. As this knowledge base
grows, Blanton (1992) argues, vocabulary and other linguistic
forms also grow at the same time simply because knowledge of
whatever sort has no way of existing or means of expression
without language and interactive communication. Lange (1994),
commenting on the concept and practice of curriculum delivery,
maintains that the curriculum (i.e. the learning plan), and prac-
tice or instruction (i.e. the coupling of that plan to students as
they learn), are influenced by and influences students’ concep-
tualization(s) of the world and their place in the world. The
focus of any language instruction and learning, in his estimation,
is to develop competence and confidence to comprehend and
use language. Such a focus connects the study of and in lan-
guage to the content of almost any discipline, as well as the
student-learners’ personal, social, and political contexts.
Higher educators, particularly those involved in language
education which prioritizes communication and active interac-
tion, need to constantly wonder why language study and learn-
ing is important and what the language requirement is for.
Analysis of language and/or any approach which treats lan-
guage as isolated compartmental subject or object learning,
whether “communicatively-oriented” or not, is not sufficient to
justify the inclusion of a language learning component in a
specialized content-area higher education such as sociology.
The proper orientation, says Lange (1994):
must be toward a level of language use or proficiency where
students use that proficiency to learn about themselves in the
worldit is at this point that language learning becomes an
important element in a higher education. The suggested princ i-
ple only works with cooperation in other areas of the liberal or
specialized curriculum to provide for language use (1994: 4)
Hallet (1999: p. 24) argues that expanding students’ commu-
nicative competence when studying (in) a content area and
teaching through a language other than the native language
equips students with the necessary skills to communicate more
confidently and easily about 1) their own culture and society/
civilization, 2) history and geography, 3) the socio-cultures of
the target language, and 4) universal and global experiences and
intercultural and multicultural phenomena. Additional aims and
“payoffs” of an integrated content and LWUC university edu-
cation can be a) to introduce students to the textual discourses
of a particular discipline (e.g. sociology), b) to help students
develop academic literacy skills in the LWUC, and c) to teach
students discipline-specific vocabulary that can and will help
them pursue their future careers and also prepare them to con-
tinue their studies in the LWUC at a postgraduate level.
Horio (1995) maintains that Japanese students are deprived
of sufficient opportunities to think or feel on their own. They
are also deprived of having any significant input or investment
into the kind of learning necessary for them to be creative and
individual and socially responsible thinkers and doers. They are
not given enough opportunities to cooperate rather than com-
pete in their learning. By the time students arrive at university,
Horio says they are expected to have what can be called a
“self-organized criticality” but may be seriously unprepared to
meet this expectation. The key to preparing students for the
uncertainties of life, and those decisions which must be made in
light of uncertainties, lies with the ability and willingness of
teachers to help young people find their own forms and avenues
of participation, and their own ways and means of effecting
constructive social change in their own lives and the lives of
their fellow citizens.
Higher education, crucially including the language study
provision, cannot contribute to citizenry or national develop-
ment unless it abandons its operation as a passive activity with
fixed curriculum, authoritative control structures, and other
status quo arrangements that justify a continued banking knowl-
edge transmission path to study and learning. I will now con-
tinue this story by using additional social science/sociological
and applied linguistics research support to further conceptualize
and give hope of actually practicing the above.
Reconceptualizing the Practice of a Sociology in
English: Social Science and Higher Language
Educational Concerns
Social science support for an integrated content-language
learning (CLIL) centered on a socially responsible and ac-
countable citizenship development comes from Bauman (1989:
179) who argues:
The existential modality of the social (unlike the societal) has
been seldom held at the focus of sociological attention. There is
no sociological consensus as to the meaning, experiential con-
tent and behavioural consequences of the primary condition of
being with others’. The ways in which that condition can be
made sociologically relevant are yet to be fully explored in
sociological practice.
Barnes (2000) maintains that the relationship between the in-
dividual, society, and social structure has not been addressed
with proper regard for social interaction. Society is often con-
ceived in purely structural “otherness” terms, or in very indi-
vidualistic terms. Too much attention is given to the subjective
and the objective at the expense of the intersubjective. Barnes
argues that the central problems of sociology are those of col-
lective or soci al agency.
“Responsibility” has not been a compelling central element
in the construction of any major social theory where,
understanding the everyday employment of this concept, with
its double significance - psychologically it implies internal
capacities, sociologically it implies liability and answerability
– is also (my italics) the key to understanding of the role of
choice’, ‘agency’, and related concepts in everyday contexts.
(2000: xii)
Johnson (1997) argues that in a modern society that values
Open Access
individualism and is dominated by it, the idea that a society is
just people may seem obvious. This is true of classroom society
as well. Yet, this approach ignores the difference between peo-
ple who participate in social life (e.g. class study), and the
many varied relationships that connect participants to one an-
other and to other groups and societies through their participa-
tion in a social life system such as schooling. People, says
Johnson, often participate in systems without feeling or believ-
ing they are a part of them, and that they in fact make them
happen. The “classroom” “social study” system is not simply
comprised of an aggregate of individuals.
Class social life is a system with connected individuals and
connected groups who participate and relate to each other in a
number of ways. People are what make any system “happen,”
and without their participation any system exists only as an idea
with some physical reality attached. Nevertheless, a system
affects how we think, feel, and behave as participants. People
make systems happen, and systems lay out paths of least resis-
tance to shape participation. Johnson (1997) says that of what
we accept as reality consists not of things as they really are, but
of ideas that we develop about things as we think, feel, or be-
lieve they are, where believing is seeing. The classroom is a
real social context, and is, according to Andrewes (2005), more
than the study of language or content “out there” in the “real
world.” The classroom can be used for communication devel-
opment and knowledge acquisition, where the main role of
language, communication, and knowledge-building in social
life is neither functional nor strategic, but affective. Classroom
social life can be directed towards defining and molding rela-
tionships in a community. We always participate in something
larger than ourselves (i.e. systems). As social life flows from
this relationship, we need to consider that we are all involved, if
only indirectly, in any social consequences that result, whether
beneficial or not.
Simply making a connection between sociology content and
language learning by itself, however, is not sufficient for stu-
dents to better understand the nature of responsible and ac-
countable social life. I believe sociology students can better
understand “sociology in English” if they are actually involved
in experiencing the nature of their own unfolding social life in
their learning, rather than looking at social life as an “outside
self” subject or object. Sociology in English” should be con-
ceived, and practiced, as a one-world ontology exploration of 1)
our knowing about the social world, and 2) what we communi-
cate and how we communicate with each other about social
systems and our participation in them. A “sociology in English”
is 1) social life in shared and connected participatory commu-
nication, and 2) shared and connected participatory communi-
cation in social life.
How life transpires inside class has potential to transform the
quality of life that goes on outside class when study is focused
on the life-world of the community as a whole, not on indi-
vidualistic “what’s in it for me” concerns. Content and lan-
guage integrated learning or CLIL is an approach which has
gained currency among language educators who seek to con-
nect language learning with content-knowledge acquisition and
engagement. The teaching approach, outlined in part V of this
paper, is also a response to what Johnson (1997), Sandelands
(2003), Baumann (1989), King (2007), Forbes (2005), and
Barnes (2000) feel is most urgent in sociological practice:
re-directing it away from the study of social life as the life of
interacting individuals, towards a more socially responsible
study of the lived nature of cooperative social life itself.
Andrewes (2005) maintains that classroom social life, which
focuses on language-communication development, and/or
knowledge acquisition, does not usually exploit opportunities
for participants to develop personal and social relationships to
support and promote the social life learning process. CLIL fo-
cusing on responsibility to and for society, can help cement
interpersonal relationships within and between connected
groups of people. CLIL also builds intercultural knowledge,
develops intercultural skills, and provides opportunities to
study social life content through different perspectives. Re-
search also shows that CLIL study frameworks diversify meth-
ods and forms of teaching practice, and enhance participants’
awareness of different ways of 1) understanding the world, 2)
what and how we communicate about the world, and 3) our
place in the world as connected individuals participating in
social systems.
Littlejohn (2004) believes that it is an illusion to think class
language study practices have little impact beyond the learning
of language. As educators, language teachers are uniquely posi-
tioned in helping to shape the views that young people have of
themselves in relation to learning in general, and their relation-
ship to and participation in systems of oppressive authoritarian-
ism and control. Language educators can shape how young
people see and value themselves as active or passive agents.
Language educators need to help students develop a question-
ing and skeptical attitude, and what they do depends on their
own sets of values and priorities, and as Littlejohn argues, their
political stance as well. As much as our practices in class emu-
late or should emulate individual and social responsibilities to
society, we have an obligation, says Forbes (2005), to make a
coherent and principled contribution to shape the future by
being responsible for society.
A Critical Prerequisite for an Experiential
Sociology in English CLIL: The Necessity of a
One-World Ontology of Knowing and
Bollinger, Nainby, and Warren (2003) perceive a conceptual
divide between contemporary communication theory and criti-
cal educational practice. At present there exist, they argue,
conceptually two separate worlds, one the world we communi-
cate with or the entire set of symbols, sounds, gestures, pictures
and other things we use to communicate. The second world is
the world we talk about, all of the various subjects that move us
to talk to one another. Bollinger, Nainby, and Warren believe
teachers must work with students to rethink and interrogate
how and why we constitute the world as we do. In a one-world
ontology the two stages become one where knowledge and
reality can be unmasked and recreated simultaneously.
Representational two-worlds ontology models, they maintain,
fail to account for the complexity of lived experiences of people
in class, where the emphasis remains on systemic meanings
rather than minute immediate communicative acts. Building on
Freire (1970) and Stewart (1995), Bollinger et al. assert that
human conditions are fully constituted in and through social
interaction, and can be changed by social interaction as well.
Two-world assumptions can affect exploration with students of
the socially-constituted nature of, for example, exploitation and
any pedagogical possibilities to create the goal of transforming
exploitative conditions. Communication, they maintain, forms
Open Access 79
the essence of social life, unifying humans and the world in
which people live; communication is not a mere tool-instru-
mental means to achieving human world-shaping.
A one-world ontology, where language and communication
have immediate effects on teaching and learning practice(s),
can redirect CLIL toward a more exploratory, experiential,
non-technical , and non-epistemical, life valuing phronetic ap-
proach advocated by Flyvbjerk (2001). But more than an onto-
logical vocabulary is necessary. Young adults in Japan come
from pre-university schooling that has, for the most part, been
decided for them and where they have had little if any invest-
ment in decisions taken on their curriculum. It is necessary to
set up teaching and learning structures in class where students
have rights and obligations to voice, to question, to actively
participate in shared understandings, and to make educated
guesses about things they do not know.
What sort of pedagogy can be generated in the process of
class interaction? What kind of thinking, feeling, and behavior
changes can be fostered by that engagement? Can students in a
one-world ontology of study and learning have opportunities to
better understand the relationships between (their) communica-
tion and the material conditions of their (individual and social)
lives, and how their lives are ongoing and sustained by the
many choices they make every moment in class and whether
they choose paths of least resistance or not? Can students also
have opportunities to see the social hegemony that is instituted
in education and social life? Furthermore, can they learn to
experience in their here-and-now shared participation in com-
munication the constraints the world has over them and the
transformative possibilities they have over the world (Shor,
1996)? In the concluding two sections I will answer in the af-
firmative to all three questions.
Practicing a CLIL-Citizenship Development
Social Life Learning
What “happens” in class social study life can change the
way(s) in which a system functions and how people choose to
participate in that system. Likewise, the way(s) in which that
participation happens, and how teachers treat students in class,
can dampen or increase students’ sense of individual and social
agency as they part icipate in a sys te m.
Teaching language has epistemical-knowledge-building and
technical linguistic aim(s), and also more general educational
objectives such as socialization, cognitive development, and
emotional development. Understanding roles, rules, cultural
behavior, and structured participation in social life in the class-
room can help develop students as explorers of their ongoing
participation in social life, and consequently develop their
awareness and embrace of interdependence over independence
and dependence.
To effectively integrate language, content, and social and
civic responsibility learning we must create the atmosphere,
procedures, norms, expectations, and demands in classrooms
that we see and would like to see outside in the wider more
macro systems of social life. Our teaching-learning environ-
ment should reflect the values to which we hope the wider more
macro society aspires, and we must make a conscious effort to
create that valued improvement in our immediate class society.
Students should be provided with venues for cooperative as
opposed to competitive learning which can heighten their
shared participation in schooling as they experience that system
in class.
Flyvbjerg (2001) has argued that instead of trying to emulate
the natural sciences, the social sciences should be practiced as
phronesis. Phronetic social science focuses on four value-ra-
tional questions: 1) Where are we going? 2) Who gains and
who loses and by which mechanisms of power? 3) Is this de-
velopment desirable? 4) What should we do about it? The
CLIL-citizenship development study framework in my class
instruction is based on phronesis as much as it is concerned
with experiencing, in shared participation in social life, a so-
ciological imagination. A CLIL-citizenship development is not
an end goal in and of itself, but serves to teach class study par-
ticipants the value of a cooperative and collaborative learning
that engages with knowledge and communication of social life.
Building and nurturing sociologically imaginative civil soci-
ety in the classroom begins with students and I together pro-
posing and agreeing to discuss topics that affect our lives on a
daily basis in class and outside class, and which can help us
work towards a greater awareness and understanding of the
connections embodied in Flyvbjerk’s four value rational ques-
tions. A number of class study topics are suggested at the be-
ginning of term, and I ask students’ permission to allow me to
raise one topic in particular to jump-start our topical dialogue.
The first topic we engage in is whether or not we will value
study together individually and/or collectively/communally.
With students’ consent, either by a vote of hands or secret bal-
lot, we start our study with discussion on the merits of coopera-
tive and/or competitive study, and what group study will be like,
if we chose to form smaller groups. How many members will
each group have, what needs to be done and who will do what
needs to be done, for example?
This first topical discussion is held in English in public
whole class talk that I lead, but after groups are formed, is
conducted in groups in either English or Japanese as class
members decide. After/if we have decided to conduct study
collectively and cooperatively—I also take time to advocate the
benefits of cooperative learning over competitive learning—we
then work our way through other study issues that will help
determine where we are and are going, who wins and who loses
in where we are going, and what behavior we expect of our-
selves in where we seem to be headed in our study.
Among the topics suggested by me or by students are:
1) What communication language(s) can we or should we
continue to use and why?
2) What area(s) of social life, besides that in this classroom,
would we like to study together as a large group.
3) Do we need to prepare for our study every week, and if so,
how? Do we need to review previous study and if so, how?
4) How shall we evaluate teaching and learning? If we have
“tests, why and who makes them? How are they made and
taken? What will “test” results be used for? What kind(s) of
other evaluation(s) may be necessary and why?
5) In our study of social life, is, for example, history, geog-
raphy, economics, and anthropology necessary? Why or why
6) Who makes decisions, how will they be made, and about
what week-to-week?
7) Do we need to have social life study rules, and if so what
rules, and who makes them and how? Do we agree to keep to
the rules we consensually make or not? If rules are “broken”
what do we do? Are there “penalties”?
8) What are some “things” we (ought to) value in our study
Open Access
together? For example, do we value raising questions or not,
and if so about what? Do we value listening attentively to an-
other/others when they speak?
The purpose of these start-of-term activities is for us to bond
together as connected individuals and groups in our study, and
to get some ideas about what aspects of social life in particular
we wish to investigate more fully as the term goes on. In that
regard, I advocate the benefits of studying one or two areas of
social life for the rest of the term rather than jumping from one
to another system area topic week-to-week. But this advocacy
is not imposed on students. Everything that we discuss or do is
reviewed and reflected upon in the shape of reflection notes,
prepared first by myself as an imperfect model of what one can
recall of a decision discussion, or activity. After the first, sec-
ond, or third class meeting reflection notes are voluntarily pre-
pared by students as group notes—if students have chosen to
form groups—and/or by individual students where we compare
our recall and understanding(s) of what we have done in our
previous social life study. The class is further structured with
time allotted to 1) whole-class and group greetings, announce-
ments, and shared small talk, 2) submission of and review of
previously agreed upon homework—with sufficient copies to
myself and other groups of students, 3) negotiated discussion of
new study and/or study already begun, and 4) further study and
learning opportunities which recognize our responsibilitites
both to and for our study-learning society.
This last structural arrangement I have labelled the difference
between a “set menu” and an “a la carte menu” of study. The
former is what we are obligated to study according to the al-
ready set departmental and/or course/class misson and guide-
lines, whereas the latter is what we together can choose to study
or do free from contraints placed upon us by, for example, a
uniform text, a uniform test or tests, or the institutionally other-
directed set goals of our study. This conceptual and practiced
CLIL framework aims for students not only to participate in the
planning and practice of the curriculum, but to take control of
their study and learning, McKinney (2007) observes that it is
necessary for study participants to be much more attentive not
only to what they study (knowledge), or the skills they utilize to
enhance knowledge learning. They need, McKinney argues, to
hone in on how they study and how they value what and how
they study through shared dialogue. Though my attention re-
mains fixed on students as individuals and as members of freely
chosen groups, the learning focus, however, is on shared com-
munal learning, and in particular, how we can use the intersec-
tion of our shared language and communication and social life
knowledge-building to drive and nurture a healthy threefold
civil and civic-moral society in class from one week to the next.
Concluding Thoughts
One definition of global citizenship states that if young peo-
ple need to be empowered as citizens then they need to learn in
an environment that actually recognizes them as citizens, and
which treats and respects them as citizens. In such an environ-
ment, it is critical that participants are provided numerous op-
portunities to practice and develop dispositions which enhance
their citizenship responsibilities (Time for Rights, Unicef and
Save the Children, 2002). The many decisions taken in class
study, choices that are or are not made about, for example, what
and how to study, or whether smaller groups and study rules
need be formed and how, can and ought to be better understood
by connected system participants.
Students need to be more fully aware of who they are, not
only as individuals or groups, but more importantly as socially
connected individuals and groups. They need to be aware of
how the world and its social life systems affect them, and also
how they can have control over how the world affects them
through their active participation in systems. Systems do not
change unless relationships change, especially where and when
people choose or do not choose to take paths of least resistance.
Schooling is as much about what people do as it is about asso-
ciations we may have with the idea of schooling as a social
system. What happens in the system (i.e. schooling and the
classroom) depends to a large extent on the situation the par-
ticipants are in, and also how they choose to participate.
Class study culture consists of symbols, especially words,
contained in a language or languages, and various kinds of
ideas about everything from our relations with one another to
the meaning of our and others’ lives. Schooling as a social life
system is an ongoing process being a work always in progress.
Integrated CLIL-citizenship learning can help students see
schooling as micro interaction of connected individuals and
connected groups and as macro social systems in which they
are part. As schooling unfolds, it emerges from how we choose
from moment to moment what we are going to make of it.
One-world language-communication-knowledge development,
and on-going classroom social life are not subsidiary to knowl-
edge about the world outside the classroom. Students’ under-
standings of social life and society are not distinct from how
they experience their own immediate “society” as it unfolds.
If we as university language educators choose to focus on
helping our students develop a heightened sense of local and
global citizenship in a world that is being continuously con-
nected and fragmented at the same time, and also help instill in
them moral and civic responsibilities to self and to others, we
are obligated to treat them as full citizens with 1) rights and
responsibilities, 2) altruistic economic aims, and 3) spiritual
and cultural empathy and inclusiveness. Human development
and instilling socially beneficial values in young people are the
publicly stated goals of Japanese education. LWUC English
medium study integrated with and directed by content study has
an important role to play in the implementation of this goal.
However, to do so requires the creation and development of an
intersubjective well-being framework for study that can serve
as an ongoing resource to create opportunities for civic disposi-
tions to be (re)learned and practiced regularly. The key to cre-
ating and nurturing this framework is a cooperative, collabora-
tive, and collective thought and action by and of teachers and
students to inquire into, for example, sources of knowledge and
differences in values and ideals. A study framework that priori-
tizes people over technology or rules or status quo arrange-
ments will contribute to enhancing communal awareness of
civic responsibility, both on a local and more global scale.
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