Saturday, May 30
“Diversity” in Critical Language Education
Dr. Yuri Kumagai (Smith College)
Dr. Kumagai has been developing a project- based language and culture learning curriculum by collaborating with other language teacher-researchers worldwide. Her research interests include critical literacy and multiliteracies in foreign language, analysis of classroom discourse and interactions, and ideology and language. She has been active in presenting her research findings nationally and internationally, and her publications appear in numerous journals and edited books both in English and Japanese. Her most recent publications include: Nihongo de shakai to tsunagaroo! (co-authored, Coco Shuppan, 2016); A Genre-Based Approach to Reading as a Social Practice (co-authored, Routledge, 2015); Multiliteracies in World Language Education (co-edited, Routledge, 2015); and Mirai o tsukuru kotoba no kyooiku o mezashite (co-edited, Coco Shuppan, 2015).
Saturday, May 30
Language Learning for the Complex World
Mr. Yo Azama (North Salinas High Schoool and California State University)
Our world is becoming more interdependent yet in some ways more disconnected. How can we better prepare our students for this fast paced, ever changing complex world? What are the roles of language learning and teaching for the future, now? Some consider World Language as a “thinking-light” subject where students memorize vocabulary and learn about the mechanics of the language enabling them to “handle” situations in the real world. Meanwhile, many language teachers struggle to engage students in learning about a language. How about learning about the world with a language? World Language classrooms offer unique opportunities for learners to examine social phenomenon through the lenses of “others”. This session will explore ways to create a cognitively and emotionally engaging learning experience for both students and teachers.
Mr. Azama has received numerous awards including the 2012 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year, the 2013 Outstanding Teacher of America Award by Carlston Family Foundation, the 2014 Robert J. Ludwig Distinguished Leadership Award, and the 2015 Elgin Heintz Teacher Award. He has served as a College Board Advisor for the AP Japanese Development Committee since 2011. In addition, he has published widely in the field of language education and culture and conducted over 200 presentations, workshops, and institutes at national, state, and regional levels.
Sunday, May 31
On Goals of Language Education and Professional Competence and Expertise: Towards the Cultivation of the Next Generation
Dr. Junko Mori, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The 2019-2020 academic year has seen a remarkable number of job postings for tenure-track positions and/or non-tenure track coordinator/director positions in Japanese language programs in U.S. institutions of higher education. The trend appears to indicate that the generation who obtained positions during the first boom in Japanese language study has reached the stage of passing the torch to the next generation. Over the last four decades, however, the contexts of language education have dramatically changed due to the advancement of globalization and information technology, evolving political and economic dynamics in the world, the change in student populations and their interests, and more. Consequently, professional competence and expertise expected of language educators have also expanded and transformed over time, as reflected in qualifications described in the job announcements. What kinds of competence and expertise define who we are as Japanese-language educators today and into the future? As a profession, do we maintain sufficient infrastructure and foster an inclusive learning environment to cultivate and support the next generation of Japanese-language educators?
The current presentation considers these central questions by providing a) a brief overview of the development of the field since the 1980s, b) the quantitative and qualitative results of an online survey on beliefs and experiences of Japanese-language educators in North America, conducted in 2018 (Mori, Hasegawa, Park & Suzuki, forthcoming), and c) critical self-reflection as a member of a graduate program that trains future Japanese-language educators. In particular, the presentation considers how to support a balanced development of the ability to identify particular linguistic forms and practices as models to emulate and the critical awareness of the potential roles that Japanese-language educators play for the reinforcement and dissemination of language ideologies (e.g. Kubota 2003; Sato & Doerr 2014; Sato & Murata 2018).
Dr. Mori’s research interests center on the application of the sociological methodology of conversation analysis to the study of talk-in-interaction involving first- and second-language speakers of Japanese. She has investigated the relationship between linguistic structures and organizations of social interaction, classroom discourse, intercultural communication, and workplace interaction. In recent years, the scope of her research has expanded to address the issue of diversity and inclusion, be it in the classroom, the professional community of language educators, or healthcare facilities in Japan where the presence of international workers has been on the rise. She is the recipient of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language/Modern Language Journal (ACTFL/MLJ) Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education, and co-editor of Japanese Applied Linguistics: Discourse and Social Perspectives (Continuum, 2008) and Pragmatics of Japanese: Perspectives on Grammar, Interaction, and Culture (John Benjamins, 2018). Her work has also appeared in a number of journals such as Applied Linguistics, Foreign Language Annals, Journal of Pragmatics, Modern Language Journal, and Research on Language and Social Interaction.