by Amanda Rollins, Japanese Language Program Coordinator
You probably know that JFLA supports Japanese arts and culture with events, film screenings, tours, exhibitions, lectures and workshops. But are you aware of the myriad things that we do for Japanese language in the United States? Here’s a brief overview:
Advocacy: People love to ask us, “Why should I speak Japanese?” And we love to answer with: “Go to our website SPEAKJAPAN.org!!” It’s a collection of reasons to learn Japanese, supported by interesting facts and statistics.
Survey/Database: Every three years, JFLA works hard to survey all of the institutions in the US which teach Japanese. The result is an online database which students can use to find places to learn Japanese – that includes public schools, private schools, weekend schools, adult schools, and online schools.
High School Students Trip to Japan: The JET Memorial Invitation Program (JET-MIP) invites 32 students on a two-week tour of Japan in the summer, including visits to the tsunami-devastated areas in Tohoku.
Assistant Teachers: The Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-LEAP) provides schools with assistant Japanese language teachers for up to two years.
Leadership Workshop: In collaboration with the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ), JFLA invites potential leaders in the field of Japanese language education to gather together and work toward creative problem-solving and improving leadership skills.
Online Resources: JFLA’s Teacher Page is a collection of internet goodies: a job listings page, a Teaching Resources page, and all kinds of information about assessments and scholarships. Don’t forget our popular How to Become a Teacher page!
Conferences: JFLA staff regularly attend large conferences where we set up a booth for information distribution and networking. We also often hold training sessions or presentations, or support special panels and discussion forums.
Grants: Every year, JFLA awards a multitude of grants to schools all over the country to support their Japanese classes and increase opportunities for students to study the language. Items eligible for support: teaching materials, teacher training and professional development, teacher salaries, learner events, and material development.
Invitational Group Tour to Japan: When a new Japanese program starts at a school, it must have strong support from the administration from the very beginning. With that in mind, we invite superintendents, board of education members, and principals on a group tour trip to Japan. They always come back excited for Japanese!
Consulting: We are always happy to hear from you! Whether you want to discuss a challenging issue at a school, get information about scholarships or exchanges, or let us know about a new Japanese program, please email us or call us at (323)761-7510.