The Plurilingual Lounge: Creating new worldviews through social interaction

Izumi Kurokawa, Tomoko Yoshida, Clyde H. Lewis, Remi Igarashi, Kenichi Kuradate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes the Plurilingual Lounge as a method for teaching language and culture through natural interactions. Fantini's (1995) theory of " Language, Culture, and Worldview" and Astin (1984) and Tinto's (1975) " Student Involvement and Integration" are used as theoretical frameworks. This article begins by describing the Plurilingual Lounge at Keio University then reports the results of five focus groups that were conducted. Complete transcripts were created for each of the focus groups and the two researchers coded and analyzed the transcripts using the software Atlas ti based on grounded theory (Strauss, 1987). Results of our analyses suggested that relationships (i.e., with the staff and each other) were key to motivating students to come to the Lounge, thus providing partial support for the " Student Involvement Theory." Participants also felt that the Lounge had its own unique culture that freed them from " Japanese rules" such as using honorofics when speaking to one's elders and not speaking to strangers. Participants were also very conscious of the fact that the Lounge was not only a place to learn language but was a place where they could learn new cultures and worldviews, supporting Fantini's (1995) theory that intercultural communication can be best learned through natural social interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-126
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan


  • Intercultural communication
  • Language lounges
  • Plurilingual
  • Student involvement theory
  • Worldview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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