Dispatch of Japanese-Language Specialists
Overseas Dispatch of Specialists
The Japan Foundation dispatches Japanese-language specialists around the world to help Japanese-language education take root and become independent in each country. In fiscal 2012, 123 specialists were sent to 39 countries to train local teachers, help develop curricula and education materials, support networking among teachers, and teach the Japanese language. They are to ensure that Japanese-language education is provided consistently and improved at the institutions or countries where they are assigned.
In Hungary, Japanese-language specialists and the local Japanese-languageteachers association jointly developed a Japanese-language textbook. Targeting high school students and older learners with upper elementary to lower intermediate levels of Japanese-language proficiency, Dekiru 2 is a textbook written in Hungarian and published in August 2012 as a sequel to Dekiru 1, which was published in the summer of 2011. The textbook is remarkable in that, unlike other Japanese-language textbooks published in Europe, it was developed based on objective criteria showing language proficiency levels. It is hoped that Dekiru 2 will greatly contribute to the further development of Japanese-language education in Hungary.
Projects to Support Japanese-Language Education
"Sakura Network" Members Expanded to More Organizations Worldwide
The JF Nihongo Network, also known as the "Sakura Network," is a global network linking overseas Japanese-language organizations and aiming to promote the Japanese language and to improve the quality of Japanese-language education abroad. The network consists of the Japan Foundation's overseas offices and core universities and Japanese-language teacher associations providing Japanese-language programs with a strong outreach in neighboring areas. First established in March 2008 with 39 member organizations from 31 countries, the network expanded to 123 members from 44 countries and 2 regions by the end of fiscal 2012.
Sakura Core Projects, for which members of the JF Nihongo Network can apply, implement or support programs with a strong outreach effect leading to growth, expansion, and broader use of Japanese in their country or region. We also run the Grant Program for Japanese-Language Education Activities to provide Japanese-language organizations in countries andregions without an overseas office of the Japan Foundation with support tailored to the individual needs of each country and region. This support includes grants for teaching materials, salary for lecturers, speech contests, and meetings and symposiums (photo)
The First Conference of Japanese-Language Education in Kenya is one of the projects supported by Sakura Core Projects. The conference was held in the capital of Nairobi in August 2012, with Japanese-language teachers from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Sudan participating. (Tanzania and Sudan participated through their messages being read out.) The first-ever such confer ence held in East Africa must have had a significant impact on the development of Japanese-language education in the region. We hope that the Japanese-language teachers who took part in the conference will grow through mutual encouragement and greater cooperation, and that the outcomes of the conference will be reflected in classrooms, so that Japanese-language education will further develop in each country.
Training for Overseas Teachers
(Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa)
Since its establishment in Saitama City in 1989, the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa, has provided training programs for over 9,000 overseas-based Japanese- language teachers. In fiscal 2012, 488 teachers from 52 countries and regions participated in 18 training programs varying in duration from two weeks to one year (photo)
Among the programs is the Advanced Training for Teachers of the Japanese Language, in which the participants specify challenges they want to address and broaden their knowledge and skills to overcome these challenges, with the aim of playing more important roles as leaders in Japanese-language education in their countries or regions. In fiscal 2012, 10 participants from eight countries took on projects such as "Nursingrelated Japanese-language materials reflecting intercultural communication," "Development of tasks to improve listening comprehension lessons," "Development of education materials for basic kanji review to hone skills in building vocabulary," "Collection of model everyday conversations in Japanese (Japanese-Bengali-English)," and "Learn kanji through pictures." Returning home after two months of training in Japan, the participants continued their research and studies, and submitted their final reports in June 2013. It is hoped that these projects will contribute to the further development of Japanese-language education overseas.
Training for Overseas Learners
(Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai)
The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai, which was established in Osaka Prefecture in 1997 and marked its 15th anniversary in 2012, provides Japanese-language residential training programs for overseas specialists whose jobs or research activities require a good command of Japanese, and also for university and high school students and other people studying Japanese overseas. In fiscal 2012, 704 people from 104 countries and regions took part in those programs(photo)
The JET Memorial Invitation Program for U.S. High School Students, launched after the Great East Japan Earthquake, brought invitees to Ishinomaki and Rikuzentakata in fiscal 2012. Two JET teachers from America working in these two cities lost their lives in the disaster. Participants took part in various interaction programs including the "U.S.-Japan High School Students Summit in Rikuzentakata 2012." During their two-week stay in July, 32 high school students selected across the United States participated in training classes at the Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai, and many other interaction activities (photo)
The Kansai Institute works to expand cooperation with other organizations as well. In fiscal 2012, the institute concluded cooperation agreements with Wakayama University and Osaka University, and implemented comprehensive exchange programs including allowing participants at the institute to attend lectures at the universities and holding special lectures and seminars for them. Also added to the institute's training programs were visits to a production facility of Osaka Gas and lectures at the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, among other activities.
Japanese-Language Education for Nurse and Certified Care Worker Candidates under EPAs
The Japan Foundation provided Indonesian and Philippine candidates for nurses and certified care workers with a six-month preparatory Japanese-language education program before coming to Japan under the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between Japan and their countries (photo) The program offers a wide range of classes from Japaneselanguage lessons to learn basic grammar, vocabulary, and speaking skills to classes designed to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Japanese society, culture, manners and customs. Acquiring the habit of efficient study i s essential for candidates to pass the Japanese national licensing examinations while working at the hospitals or nursing care facilities they are assigned to in Japan. The program also places emphasis on assistance for self-learning, and provides the candidates with training on how to plan, review, and assess their own studies.
With a strong sense of unity and mutual encouragement, both Indonesian and Philippine candidates worked hard in their Japanese-language lessons and eagerly participated in various activities such as Japanese-language contests and recitations. We hope the candidates will remain motivated and play an important role at hospitals and nursing care facilities in Japan.