A Free E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese
Greetings! I would like to start this month’s message thanking all the Japanese teachers who came to the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) bi-annual convention in Boston. JFLA presented at the convention and we found out that the state of Japanese language education in the US is still vibrant in terms of the number of students, but it can be precarious down the road as the number of teachers is declining based on the results of the 2015 survey. At this critical moment, it is very important for all of us, teachers, schools, governments and foundations to unite and remind the decision-makers how important it is for the kids to be exposed to a different culture at an early stage of their lives in order for them to survive in the ever more globalized 21st century!
One of our most successful programs in bringing Japanese culture to American classrooms is J-LEAP. From the viewpoint of an American teacher of Japanese language, the merits of the program are two-fold. Obviously, the first is you get a native speaker of Japanese in your classroom who has been trained to teach. The second, through the robust teacher training sessions built into the program, you get to hone your team-teaching skills. The deadline for application to become a Lead Teacher (LT a.k.a. host teacher) will be on January 10. Please do not miss this great opportunity to enrich your class as well as your own professional skills.
For JFLA, the year of the Monkey has been a great ‘monkey’ leap forward in terms of the number of people we have been able to engage. It has also been a year in which I have reaffirmed my conviction that celebrating diverse cultures and inspiring new encounters and ideas are far more important than just promoting Japan. Thank you all for your heartfelt support throughout the year. We will continue to keep you culturally enthralled in the coming year.
Hideki Hara, Director
Warm-hearted love story that gained popularity through word of mouth. A clumsy and introverted 35-year-old virgin guy falls in love for the first time in his life, with a blind woman.
Help kawaii artist Sebastian Masuda fill a gigantic Hello Kitty time capsule! Bring either a cherished personal item or a letter to your future self, to be placed in the capsule. The capsule is one of ten that are currently traveling the world and will be assembled for a major display in Tokyo in 2020. The capsules will be opened in 2035.
Edo (modern Tokyo) was built to be the Tokugawa seat in 1590, and in 1603 it became headquarters of their shogunate. It was carefully planned to meet ancestral expectations of how an impressive East Asian metropolis should look, entailing a certain alignment of streets, with temples positioned in designated locations, according to magical criteria.
Winter is nearly here, and the registration period for our JF Nihongo Winter Term has begun! We are now accepting registrations for our popular Japanese courses which will begin on January 14th. Our courses are designed for new Japanese-language learners, as well as those who are interested in improving their existing language skills.
Are you interested in inviting a Japanese Assistant Teacher (AT) to your K-12 classroom for up to two consecutive school years? Do you want to give your students an opportunity to learn and hear Japanese from a native speaker or an additional native speakers for some variation? If so, make sure you apply for J-LEAP, which was started in 2011 with the help of the Laurasian Institute (TLI).
We are still accepting applications for the Japanese-Language Education Project Grant (Deadline: 2 months prior to project start date). For eligibility requirements and application documents, please visit the link below.
Last Sunday, JFLA held two free screenings of Cinema Kabuki, “ONE PIECE.” See the event video here! We had a “cosplay corner” with several costume pieces, and a number of people even came dressed as their favorite One Piece character. We held a cosplay photo contest and the winner will receive our entire collection of One Piece cosplay pieces (which we bought in Japan!).
Click here to vote for your favorite One Piece cosplay photo. Search the hashtag #onepiecekabuki to find more photos!!
Every three years, the Japan Foundation conducts a global survey of Japanese-teaching institutions, including public, private, non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, and more. JFLA conducted the JF Survey 2015 for the United States, and the official report is now available as a PDF at this link.
The Japan Foundation is the only organization that gathers nationwide data on Japanese language teaching in the United States at all levels of education. We use the data to decide regional grant allocations, to create new support programs, and to spread awareness about our resources. But you can use the data too! Our Tokyo Headquarters maintains a free, online database of every school that answered our survey. The 2015 results will be entered into the database in early 2017.
For the 2016-2017 school year, we invited twelve native assistant teachers (AT) to various schools around the country as part of the Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP). This is the sixth year of this program where schools around the country are given the opportunity to invite an AT for up to two years with the goal of strengthening their Japanese language program. This month, we will feature the reports from the following ATs detailing their experiences at American schools.
Due to the upcoming holidays, we will be closed from Friday, December 23rd, 2016 to Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017. The library will reopen on Wednesday, January 4th.