Monday, October 25, 2010

From GW Today

" The Japanese Language and Culture Institute is an 11-credit program that integrates the study of the Japanese language with culture through film. Students choose between a basic and an intermediate language course, depending on their proficiency, and all students take the same film class, where they watch Japanese movies with English subtitles. "

To read more--and to see a photo of our Aerobics-in-Japanese class (that's Mrs. Onigiriman up front)--click this link to the original article.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Summer Institute: Award Winning Teachers

Alright... It's the middle of October and I've been gearing up for our Summer Institute already. The proposal is in and I hope the powers that be will accept it. I've made some changes from last year--no more "semi-immersion" approach. It was too difficult to monitor without having to be with students 24/7 and I'm sure they get enough of me in class as it is.

I'm still working out the details, but one thing is for sure: The two regular full-time faculty who will be teaching this summer are also recent award winners for innovative teaching.

Assistant Professor for Teaching, Takae Tsujioka, will be team teaching Intermediate Japanese (JAPN 006) with Rika Seya. Tsujioka sensei is the recipient of the 2010 Bender Teaching Award. I can vouch for her teaching skills. Whenever I go to her class to observe, I always come away in awe, and often end up stealing some of her ideas to incorporate into my own language courses.

The other award winner will be teaching Beginning Japanese (JAPN 005) along with Wakana Kikuchi, and that teacher is......... me. Those who know me, pretty much see me as outgoing and, well, narcissistic. I'm actually quite modest and reserved... but I'll tell ya' anyway: I was fortunate enough to receive the 2010 Robert W. Kenny Award for Innovative Teaching. (Okay, did it sound like I just couldn't wait to tell you?) Unfortunately, I can't vouch for myself, especially since I'm "borrowing" ideas--with permission, of course--from Tsujioka sensei. Then again, the award was for my literature course, Love and Politics: The Tale of Genji.

Anyway, as details are confirmed, I will post information about our Summer Institute for Japanese Language and Culture over the coming months.

Monday, October 11, 2010

JET: Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program

If you’re a senior and you’re considering applying for JET, take note: Their website——says that the 2011 application will be available on October 25th, 2010, but Japanese major Rebecca Rowe (GW ’10) says it’s available online now. Be sure to go to their website for all relevant information. The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) is the largest program for English instructors in Japan, sponsored by the Japanese government. Each year 800-1000 American young professionals are selected to teach English in Japanese public schools. A small percentage of our participants also work in local government offices on international relations projects. This past summer, the local Japanese embassy sent approximately 75 new participants from the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, to join a total of nearly 5,000 participants throughout Japan. Be sure to check out their site if you are interested.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Japanese Chat Room--日本語を練習しましょう

The Japanese program staff started its Japanese Chat Room, a gathering where students of all levels studying Japanese at GW can come to practice the skills they have acquired in class. It is also an opportunity to meet other students and teachers (!) you do not know... yet.

There have been three Chat Rooms so far—including the Mount Vernon Language Café--and we have had a warm response from student, mostly beginning level. It is an art to speak to first year students in Japanese for an hour--how many ways can you say, "My name is..." "I am from..." "My major is..."??? Whew! I'm not sure how many ways we said it but it was fun. But I hope students from second, third and fourth year come as well, because...

As I mentioned in the previous newsletter, studying in the classroom gets you all the basic tools and information you need to speak, but to become fluent, you must practice… and practice… and practice. So I hope we get to see you participate in our Chat Rooms sometime during the semester. The remaining schedule is as follows.

  • October 8 (金) 佐藤 11-12am, Rome 470
  • October 14 (木) 浜野 5-6 Phillips 210A
  • October 19 (火) 瀬谷 2-3 Eckles Library, Mt. Vernon Campus
  • October 27 (水) はなみ 5-6 Phillips 210A
  • November 5 (金) 辻岡 3-4, Room Phillips 210A
  • November 12 (金) 佐藤 11-12am, Rome 470
  • November16 (火) 瀬谷 2-3 Eckles Library, Mt. Vernon Campus
  • December 1 (水) 浜野 5-6 Phillips 210A
  • December 7 (火) 瀬谷 2-3 Eckles Library, Mt. Vernon Campus

If you’re studying Japanese, take advantage of these opportunities. It should be fun, rewarding, and best of all, no quizzes.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Fall Semester

Jeepers. It's already October and Fall semester is in full swing. I meant to write a bit more about summer session but a colleague teaching one of the classes fell ill and I had to cover the class for the rest of the summer session. Teaching two intensive courses left little time to do things like blogging. Happily, the colleague is recuperating and getting better, but I was exhausted.

Rest was in order... but right after grading finals I participated in series of workshops to learn about the tools for creating and implementing online courses. After which, I helped to organize the Japanese Program retreat to discuss and plan our methods of assessing students--and thereby assessing ourselves. Before I knew it, Fall semester was here, and I found myself preparing for classes.

I regret that I didn't get to touch my research... Wait... Did I say "regret"? What I should have said is "afraid". Like, I'm afraid of that tap on the shoulder... "Dude, did you publish anything this year?" *shudder*