The program “Training of researchers of language education studies contributing to a multilingual society” is based on TUFS’s philosophy and aim, i.e., “to promote mutual understanding among a multilingual and multicultural global society and contribute to peaceful coexistence and symbiosis in the world, through education and research of linguistics, culture and area studies of the various regions of the world including Japan.” As our nation is going through a dramatic change toward multilingual society, there exists a strong need to cultivate researchers who are able to practice language studies in a broader universal multilingual perspective rather than a narrow individualistic monolingual perspective. This program aims to nourish such human resources to lead this field in the future.
The priority at present to respond promptly to our nation’s shift toward a multilingual society expected in the future is not individual linguistic education theories for a specific language. Rather, what is really needed is a body of research on “language education studies” from a global viewpoint based on research achievements such as linguistic acquisition theory found common among diverse linguistic and cultural circumstances. Thus, it is vital to foster researchers who can practice and lead such research in this field.
From the viewpoint of universal language-education studies, promoting advanced research and providing the knowledge acquired as feedback to research and education of individual languages, and to foster experts on language education studies who can contribute to further development of a multilingual society, are the practices of TUFS’s philosophy, “to contribute to peaceful coexistence and symbiosis of a global society”. These are also considered extremely important for Japan’s linguistic policy.
Aiming at these practices, educational organization concerning language education studies shall be developed and enhanced. Through education based on “language education studies” perspective provided to graduate students majoring in various languages unique to TUFS (about 50 languages including 26 majors) and graduate students involved in The 21st Century COE Program “Usage-Based Linguistic Informatics”, the program aims to train “researchers for language education studies” who, based on excellent linguistic ability and cross-cultural understanding cultivated at TUFS, are able to contribute to peaceful coexistence and symbiosis in the multilingual and multicultural society.
Our specific approaches are as follows. In addition to the numerous sessions and projects at TUFS concerning multilingual and multicultural education, in order to strengthen planning and execution of research by students and have them acquire wider vision, opening of courses “language education studies field research” and “language education studies independent research” and a plan for voluntary workshops and training activities performed abroad to be counted as credits will be examined and introduced as part of the curriculum. For the Doctoral Program, establishment of “short-term course” using “distance learning” will be examined, aiming to extend the opportunities of recurrent education for teachers already teaching Japanese or other languages at higher educational institutes abroad.
Furthermore, “Language Education Studies Program Office” will be established as a part of the Graduate School organization, to function as an internal base. With respect to research development, space for language education studies program will be prepared, to organically integrate and upgrade the already established language education studies specialized in individual languages into language education studies based on universal linguistic theories and practice advanced research necessary for this educational program.
(For 2005 academic year)
For 2005 academic year, internal base for effective implementation of plans and research development of the program will be prepared by securing space for “Language Education Studies Program Office” as part of the Graduate School organization.
The structure of the program to be practiced on full scale effective 2006 academic year will be organized through preparative researches and examinations on new courses to be opened in 2006 and the plan for voluntary activities such as workshops and trainings performed abroad to be counted as credits.