Monday, September 28, 2015


This past weekend, with colleague Takae Tsujioka and Georgetown's Kumi Sato, we held a workshop at the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) 2015 held in Williamsburg. We presented Murakami Haruki as a viable tool in learning Japanese at the advanced level. Many times instructors find Haruki's material too esoteric or even incomprehensible. So we presented a couple of stories--"Coffee" and "High Heel"--to show how we may use them not only as stories to promote Japanse language learning, but as literature to promote discussion on matters beyond a huge store sign that says coffee (think Text with a capital "T") and an elephant wearing high heels on the subway (think marginalized people). I'm not sure how many people we convinced, but our presentation was received well, if the evaluations are any indications. I hope to take this to a larger audience, but we will see.

SIDE NOTE: I think that FLAVA is pronounced in a way that rhymes with "guava", but I want to pronounce it like "flavor" but in a more urban way: flay-vuh.