Center for Asian Studies/American Association of Teachers of Japanese
American Association of Teachers of Japanese, United States
At a time when both Japanese studies and Japanese language programs are under pressure to maintain stable enrollments and attract a growing and diverse population of students, collaborations among faculty across departments in language and studies areas are offering a wider variety of courses that give students opportunities to expand their language skills and connect them with other areas of study. At the same time, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has provided opportunities for teachers and scholars to invent and expand collaborations using technology.
This round table session describes creative ways in which Japanese language and Japanese studies faculty are collaborating on innovative learning experiences for students. Participants will describe courses that integrate language and content in subject areas that include literature, history, environmental studies, religious studies, history, philosophy and ethics, media studies, business, and other specialties. Students majoring in Japanese are able, for example, to earn credit toward their major by participating in a special section of a modern history course in which they read original source materials in Japanese with the help of a language assistant and explore issues of social and racial justice. Alternatively, they read short literary works in the original to supplement their study of the work of popular Japanese authors in translation. Students with varying levels of Japanese language skills are able to participate in varying ways in this type of integrated class.
The highlighted collaborations include both in-person and online/virtual courses and projects. After specific examples are presented, a general discussion will focus on the role of collaborations in expanding Japanese studies offerings at a variety of institutions; the possibilities for new initiatives like the CLAC (Culture and Language Across the Curriculum) Collaborative and the US-Japan COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) Initiative; and future directions for Japanese language and Japanese studies in the US academy.