Complementary schools in the global age: A multi-level critical analysis of discourses and practices at Japanese Hoshuko in the UK


Hoshuko are Japanese government approved complementary schools operating in many countries outside Japan and providing Japanese-medium education. Although originally established for children of tempo- rary professional expatriates, increasing emigration has diversified the family backgrounds and educa- tional needs of the pupils. This article explores how the Japanese government, hoshuko , as well as the teachers and parents accommodate to the challenges and opportunities of diversification, looking specif- ically at the context of the United Kingdom. It combines discourse-analytic conceptual tools and ethno- graphic methods to explore discursive practices at the macro-level of governmental policy, the meso–level of institutional policies of nine UK hoshuko , and the micro-level of situated practices at one UK school. We demonstrate how governmental discourses pursue specific coercive aims using discursive strategies, and how these are recontextualised in institutional and individual practices. At each level, we also identify mechanisms through which the official dominant discourse is negotiated. Based on the findings, we ar- gue that a more purposeful policy realignment acknowledging local diversity would benefit the overseas communities involved in hoshuko.

Linguistics and Education, Vol. 60, 100870, pp. 1-12