September, 2011: Breeze Issue #47
A Free Monthly E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese
September usually signifies the end of summer and the start of a brand new school year and this year is no different with many school districts starting early here in Southern California. To prepare for the upcoming school year, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, completed three major programs designed to support Japanese language education in the United States. They are the Summer Institute in Chicago, the first half of the Leadership Workshop in Los Angeles, and the first inaugural J-LEAP orientation that sent 15 teaching assistants from Japan to various schools around the United States. We are also gearing up for the upcoming Japanese-language proficiency test in December and the registration period will start and end this month. With many new activities scheduled for the rest of the fiscal year, we hope you will continue to support us.
Misako Ito, Director
The registration period for the 2011 JLPT started on September 1st, 2011 and will last through September 30th, 2011. If you are a learner interested in taking the test, please make sure to send in your application before the deadline. If you are a Japanese-language teacher, please also make sure your students send in their applications by the deadline. Application materials and instructions can be downloaded from our website below.
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA) will open a new Japanese-language course in January 2012. With our many years of experience and achievements in Japanese Language Education, we will offer courses based on "JF Standards," which our Headquarters in Japan have developed during the past few years. We invite applicants to apply for our Full-time/ Part-time Japanese-language Lecturer Position in Los Angeles and work with us to promote Japanese in Socal. If you are interested in taking our Japanese language course, please Click Here.
J-LEAP (Japanese Language Education Assistants Program) has just begun! On August, 7th, 2011, 15 Japanese teaching assistants arrived in Los Angeles to attend a one week workshop at The Japan Foundation Los Angeles, to prepare them to teach in American schools all across the United States. During the workshop, they learned about the American education system, National Standards, advocacy, and other useful information about teaching in the United States. Towards the end of the workshop, they were introduced to their supervisors at their assigned schools. On the last day of the workshop, Director Takehiko Wajima from the Japan Information and Cultural Center, Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles, gave a speech to encourage the participants at their "send-off" dinner. Ms. Naoko Nogamoto, who is a participant assigned to a school in Kentucky, expressed her ambitions stating "I believe that being a Japanese Language teacher is like being a diplomat at a grass-roots level. As a young teaching assistant, we are enthusiastic in creating opportunities for mutual understanding among the American and Japanese youth." Starting this fall, 15 Japanese TAs will be teaching Japanese-language at the K-12 levels in 13 states across the country until the end of July, 2013. We will be providing reports from the TAs every month in our online newsletter Breeze, starting in October, so please be sure to follow their progress.
PAJ aims to increase access to Japanese performing arts and further an appreciation of Japanese culture in the United States and Canada. Applicants can be US and Canadian nonprofit organizations only. Project commencement period needs to be between July 1st, 2012 through June 30th, 2013. Grant categories include touring grant, which assists the touring project at multiple locations in the US and Canada, with emphasis on locations outside major metropolitan areas, where there i little exposure to the Japanese performing arts, and collaboration grant, which facilitates the collaborations between Japanese and American/Canadian artists to create a new work with the potential to develop into touring projects. The application deadline is Tuesday, November 1, 2011. To find out more information about this award, please visit http://www.jfny.org/arts_and_culture/paj.html.
The Japan Foundation is implementing a program to dispatch students from Japan, who are majoring in Japanese-language education at universities/graduate schools in Japan, to overseas educational institutions as student intern for the purpose of supporting Japanese-language education. It also aims to provide the Japanese students with the opportunities to experience first hand the field of Japanese-language education overseas.
As you may have read about in previous issues, JFLA sent 32 high school students from all over the United States to Japan back in July for the first inaugural Jet Memorial Invitation Program to foster friendship and goodwill between the youth of both countries. One of the assignments for the program was to write a final essay about the participant's experiences abroad and we have included three of the essays here for you to read. We will be posting four essays a month for the next eight months so that you will have the opportunity to read the experiences of all 32 participants of the program. This month, we will be feature the essays of Chamarra McCorey, Fan Chen, Marlene Campos and Michelle Pham.
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, in collaboration with DePaul University conducted a four-day Summer Institute in Arlington Heights, Illinois, in August 2011. The five topics of Content Based Instruction and Critical Thinking, Testing and Can-Do Statements, The Japan Foundation Standards, and Networking/Advocacy were presented by Dr. Nobuko Chikamatsu of DePaul University, Professor Sukero Ito of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and Maki Watanabe Isoyama of the JFLA respectively. There was also a Special Topics on Japanese Studies, Ethics, and A-Bomb discourse presented by Dr. Yuki Miyamoto of DePaul University, Japanese Literature presented by Dr. Miho Matsugu of DePaul University, Game and Animation presented by Dr. Norko Tomuro of DePaul Univeristy, and Film/Japanese Culture presented by Dr. Jason Christopher Jones of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Twenty K-16 teachers of Japanese language gathered from all around the country – as far away as Hawaii to attend. They reviewed and improved their teaching practices by revisiting basic knowledge and concepts of Japanese language pedagogy. They also gained firsthand knowledge of Japanese Studies, and built a network through discussions with other teachers.
The 4th Annual Leadership Workshop was hosted at the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, over the weekend of August 6th, 2010. Participants were selected from various teacher's organizations across the country to take part in this two day workshop. Lecturers were presented by Janet Ikeda, President of ATJ and Maki Watanabe Isoyama, Senior Program Officer of JFLA. Topics covered included networking, advocacy and grant writing. This is the first of a two part workshop, which will continue at the ACTFL Conference in November.
Over the weekend of August 27th, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles in cooperation with the Consulate General of Japan, San Francisco cosponsored the J-POP summit in Japan Town, San Francisco with many other sponsors and partners. The festival celebrated all aspects of Japanese pop culture with many performances scheduled during the two-day event. It was also one of the first events organized by a Japanese organization here in the United States. We received much interest about Japan at our booth and had many opportunities to discuss the future of J-POP in the bay area. Through events like this, the Japan Foundation is able to reach out to large communities to introduce the culture of Japan to those who would not normally have the chance to experience it first hand. Our gratitude goes out to New People, who organized this festival, and all the supporters who came out during the weekend.
Our office continues to grow into the fall with the addition of two new individuals to our team. Andrew Nohan will join us to help out with this year's JLPT administration. He was previously on the JET program and also worked in Japan for several years before returning to the states. Masayo Matsudaira is also joining this month and will be taking over the duties of Mamiko Nakai who will be going on maternity leave later this fall. Hiroki Kaifu, who was helping us out over the summer, has completed his summer internship with us and will be returning to school in the fall. We appreciate his help and wish him best of luck in his studies.
In order to make it easier for our users to search for materials in our Nihongo Library, we consulted with EOS to develop an online catalog for our library. This new system makes it easier for us to manage our inventory of over 10,000 print and audiovisual materials. Furthermore, our users can quickly search through our entire catalog for specific items.