by Amanda Rollins, Japanese Language Program Coordinator
March was busy!! JFLA went to two big conferences to support teachers and Japanese language education.
First, we headed down to San Diego for the California Language Teachers Association (CLTA) Annual Conference, where we set up a Japan Foundation booth and handed out plenty of Nihongo goods and information. At a Saturday morning information session, Program Coordinator Amanda took her first step onto the Japanese language education stage with her presentation on the 2012 Survey results with a special focus on California. Did you know that California has 24% of all learners of the Japanese language in America? And 27% of the teachers!
Just a week later, we flew to Philadelphia for the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) Spring Conference, which was held in conjunction with the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference. While meeting with many Japanese language teachers to discuss advocacy, articulation, and the Advanced Placement (AP) exam, we attended interesting sessions on recent research in Japan studies. Our colleagues at the Japan Foundation, New York arranged a number of events including a roundtable panel on the future of Japan Studies in America, where respected scholars spoke about the need for interdisciplinary collaboration and the shifting focus from area studies to global studies. The Japan Global Articulation Project (J-GAP) also held a meeting to spread awareness of the need to collaborate with teachers of all levels so that students can smoothly advance in their studies. The Japan Foundation Reception was a big success, during which professors, PhD candidates, and scholars networked. JFNY also held an informational session on their various grant programs, including the substantial Institutional Program Support (IPS) Program which can award more than $100,000 per year for several years to support a university’s Japan Studies program.
All in all, what with the fiscal year ending and the directorial transition, JFLA couldn’t catch a break. Bring it on, April!