Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA) in English: Teaching English as a Second Language




This autoethnography documents the author’s one-year experience teaching English in Honjo, Japan. The author details daily life in the public schools and introduces World Englishes. Chapter 1 includes definitions and examples of autoethnography as well as the author’s background, which qualified him for employment in Japan. Chapter 2 is a literature review of research on varieties of English and how they are evolving and being used in classrooms in Japan. The author suggests that Baudrillard’s simulation and Plato’s Allegory of the Cave provide a framework for analyzing current teaching methods and materials being used in the national core curriculum in Japan. Communicative language teaching is defined, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) policy related to the teaching of English is detailed. The importance of multimodal literacies in English learning is highlighted. Autoethnography is discussed afterwards. Chapter 3 is a literacy narrative and an autoethnography describing the author’s experiences living in rural Japan and teaching at three elementary schools, integrating into a culture different from his own. Chapter 4 is the author’s discussion of what he learned from his experiences teaching in Japan and how this has shaped his current teaching philosophy. Chapter 5 includes (1) the limitations of the study, (2) suggestions for those preparing to teach in Japan, (3) recommendations for future research, (4) implications for teaching, (5) the value of autoethnography, and (6) final reflections.