A Japanese teacher with many years of teaching experience recently remarked (@shirassh) that some students staying overseas usually turn back to “Katakana English” to avoid being ridiculed by their classmates afterward.
— shira (@shirassh) September 5, 2020
According to Japanese-language media, the teacher found that many of his students who returned from abroad would use katakana English because they were afraid of being bullied by peers.
“If only one person speaks with a native accent, they’ll stand out in class and if they’re unlucky they’ll get bullied,” the tweet read.
The teacher added that many students who return from abroad would discuss with their teachers with perfect pronunciation, but deliberately switch to “katakana” pronunciation when speaking in front of their classmates.
The post has received tremendous response and many users, who have faced the same peer pressure, have shared their own experience.
One wrote: “Even though I was brought up in an English-speaking country when I was a young child, I couldn’t speak at all at school in Japan. When I raised my hand to give my opinion in class, students would giggle, and when I thought I’d try to use the correct pronunciation, students would giggle. It was one of the reasons I hated school.”
Another user shared that he listened to British rock music and he was humiliated in his first English class in junior high when he pronounced it the way he heard it in a song.
“I hated English class and became self-conscious of being bad at English itself,” the user wrote.