The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Education Bulletin - Vol.5 Summary


Activity Design for Japanese Language Learners in Discussion Practice Focusing on Learners Cooperation and Teachers Involvements


We have attempted to design an activity aiming for active learner participation and cooperation in Japanese class through the sharing of their learning objectives with on another and the provision of effective teacher support.
Under this design, learners themselves 1. decide the rules for discussion prior to the practice, 2. fill in a reflection sheet following practice. The teacher 3. writes the points of each learner’s opinions on the whiteboard during practice, and 4. provides feedback to each learner’s reflection.
The interviews with the learners reveal that 1. the rules help learners to be conscious of participation in discussion, their own learning objectives, and maintain good relations with classmates. 2. the reflection sheet makes learners conscious of what they learn, and their own problems, and 3. Assistance from the teacher encourages learners to understand discussion points, establish their own goals etc. When conducting learner-learner activities, a design considering teacher engagement is important.

The Tense Change in "YODA" "RASHII" Seen in Newspaper Text


The characteristic of the tense change of “YODA” and “RASHII” in newspaper text is as follows: “The present” becomes the standard time axis of speech for the speaker who had personally experienced a past event, and, when there is an absolute chronological relationship between the past, present, and the future, no tense change is possible for “YODA” and “RASHII”. On the other hand, sometimes the speaker seems to become a certain sharacter in a fictional story. In that case, the time of the event in the past becomes the standard time axis at the time of the speech. In such a text, tense change is possible for “YODA” and “RASHII”.

Research Papers

Teacher Learning in the Japanese Language Course ―Deepening of Teacher Participation in the Course and Its Development

IINO Reiko

According to situated theory, when Kato & Arimoto (2001) state that an individual “has ability”, it is seen as the result of the successful organization of physical and social circumstances that allow us to observe the individual’s “ability”. To “have ability”, is seen as a phenomena that occurs concurrently with a deeper contribution to cultural practices.
This paper focuses on teacher participation in the Japanese language course run by the Japan Foundation Budapest Office. It notes the physical and social circumstances surrounding teachers, and analyzes the actual extent of teacher participation in the Japanese language course. The analysis framework uses activity theory, a theory derived from situated theory. From this analysis, I investigate methods of deepening teacher participation in the Japanese language course, and show that such deeper participation leads to the development and improvement of the course as a whole.

The Process of Career Development and Issues Related to Non-Native Japanese Language Teachers: a Case Study at the Special Preparatory Program for Entry into Japanese Universities at the University of Malaya

TODA Toshiko, KOBAYASHI Manabu, MURATA Yumie, MORI Michiyo

The Japan Foundation has been sending Japanese-Language Specialists to the Special Preparatory Program for Entry into Japanese Universities at the University of Malaya (Ambang Asuhan Jepun) since the program was launched in 1982. In recent years, the program has seen an increase in Malaysian teachers working with teachers from Japan, and their new responsibilities not only as language teachers but also as trainers of new teachers and as researchers, presumably assuming a future leadership role in Japanese language education in Malaysia. The present study investigates the career development process of these teachers through interviews and discusses issues and future prospects for their career advancement. The study reveals the necessity of training Japanese language teachers in Malaysia as well as of providing Malaysian teachers with more opportunities to conduct and present research related to Japanese language. Suggestions on how Japan might support the Japanese language teaching in Malaysia are given.

Toward Program Evaluation through Weblog Practice

UEDA Kazuko

This paper examines weblog practice to describe the process of developing “Nihongo de Care-navi”, an internet data-base site, through different voices and multifaceted narratives to evaluatethe project. The weblog is an experimental practice as a report or record of the project with regardto the media, style and multi-voiced description of episodes. This, however, plays a significant rolein project evaluation.
The author elaborates the following points as findings of this practice:
1) “Nihongo de care-navi” clearly reflects and is influenced by the daily life of teachers, concerning language learners and project management, etc.
2) In member entries, we can find the core components of the project, such as problems, aims and desires for the project.
3) In a general sense, it is necessary to recognize the function of such weblogs in the workplace.
The process of description in the ongoing project is an important method for its evaluation.

Practice Reports

Curriculum Design of Academic Skill Training for Non-Native Japanese Language Teachers ―On the Graduate Program on Japanese Language and Culture (Master's Course)


This paper reports the implementation of the academic skill training for non-native Japanese language teachers in a one-year master’s course. In this course, taking advantage of the fact that student majors coincide with the lecturers in “Academic Japanese”, curriculum was designed in consideration of the specialized subjects. As a result, guidance which focused on academic skills needed in this course was realized.

Professional Development for Japanese Language Teachers at The Japan Foundation, Sydney ―Designing and Evaluating an Intensive Program


This is a report of a professional development (PD) program for teachers developed by the Japan Foundation, Sydney (JF, Sydney) which incorporates recent trends in Australian language education such as Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning (ILTL) and Professional standards for accomplished teaching of languages and cultures.
In April 2008, the JF, Sydney developed a new intensive PD seminar for teachers. The goal of this seminar is to enable participants to deepen their knowledge of ILTL and to make lesson plans based on these concepts. The evaluation of this seminar consisted of a course evaluation by the participants, an assessment of participants’lesson plans and a follow-up questionnaire. It was concluded that this seminar had been effective in developing participants’professional skills.
This course was based on the model of the development of teacher proficiency by Oshima (2006) and the result shows the possibility of applying this model to the development of PD for Japanese language teachers.

The Operation and Reconstruction of the “Minna no Kyozai”, a Website Providing Teaching Materials for Japanese-Language Teachers

AKAZAWA Miyuki, KONO Chieko, ISOMURA Kazuhiro, MIHARA Ryushi

“Minna no Kyozai” is a website providing teaching materials that The Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa developed as a part of overseas Japanese teaching material development support, and opened to the public in May, 2002. Reconstruction was started as the fifth development program in 2006, and completed in October, 2008. This paper describes the details of teaching material support that came to be the material offered through the Internet in the flow of the teaching material production undertaken by the Japan Foundation. Also, it reports on the concept and the aim of development that adopts CSCL research and the reflective approach as a theoretical framework, and the status of use over the six years from the opening of the site. Further, it reports the result of the user questionnaire conducted twice and an outline of reconstruction: i.e. 1. addition of materials; 2. improvement of the search function; and 3. strengthening of the community function.

Designing Educational Material for Short-term Japanese-Language Courses for Overseas Students: Action-oriented Japanese Language Learning ― "Japanese through Real Activities"


The Japan Foundation, Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai has been conducting short-term (2 - 6weeks)Japanese-language programs to encourage Japanese language study overseas. Aiming to make the best use of the participants’residential circumstances, we set the goals of these programs as follows: (1) To use the Japanese language effectively,(2) To experience and understand Japan, and (3) To find useful strategies to study the Japanese language further. Utilizing various resources outside the classroom, we designed a course which places “socio-cultural experience and exchange activities” at the center of learning and supports this with an autonomous learning support system. This article reports how we crystallized our accumulated know-how into the development of materials, and proposes “action-oriented Japanese language learning” as a new learning approach which connects the “inside” and “outside” of the classroom and leads learners to “be able to act” in the real world.

Supporting Japanese Language Education in the U.K. through Teacher Training Sessions with CHIKARA GCSE Japanese Resources


The Japan Foundation London has been working on the CHIKARA project, to develop resources for the GCSE Japanese examination, since 2005. The project aims to develop resources that secondary school teachers can share, and to improve teaching skills and promote networks among teachers through training sessions following the opening of CHIKARA online.
This paper reports on five teacher training sessions with CHIKARA resources, including the specific contents and participants’responses. These included sessions on lesson design, editing and developing teaching materials; a session using CHIKARA and other resources developed by the Japan Foundation; and a session for non-native Japanese teachers to improve their own Japanese. We have received very positive feedback from participants on the contents of each session, the useful educational information introduced, and the opportunities for teachers to network.


A Report on "The Training Course for Japanese Language Teachers in Europe"

KONDO Yumiko

A Report of the 2008 Symposium at the Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai: Session on "For A Good Partnership with Community Residents"


Summer Workshop for Children: "Collaborating With Friends from Around the World" ―Report on Workshop for the Promotion of International Mutual Understanding between the Japanese Language Program Participants of the Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai and Local Elementary School Students;


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