The first part of the chapter re-visits the theme of gender differences in language attitudes by recapitulating Kobayashi (2002)’s finding of Japanese female students’ favorable attitudes towards English study and reviewing more recent literature findings about the tendency observed not only in Japan but also in more gender-equal societies such as Hong Kong and Sweden. These findings are discussed in reference to the socially entrenched mechanism of socialization at school and in society at large where girls are induced to exhibit more integrative orientation to foreign language study while boys develop more pragmatic perspectives of language study.

The second part of the chapter addresses an overlooked theme of Japanese female adults’ relationship with English in Japanese society where in spite of their positive attitudes toward English study, Japanese female workers are segregated from male peers and deprived of opportunities to utilize English skills as a tool to do business. Those marginalized Japanese women’s alternatives are argued to (1) seek employment somewhere else (e.g. setting up their own business, working abroad), (2) aim to become English instructors/specialists later in life as working housewives, and (3) resign themselves to continue language study as a hobby of femininity and self-enrichment.