Achievement Report (excerpt) on FY2005 grant-in-aid for research base formation,
etc. (aid for fostering young researchers)

Program summary

The program “Training of researchers of language education studies contributing to multilingual society” is based on TUFS’s philosophy and aim, i.e., “to promote mutual understandings among multilingual and multicultural global society and contribute to peaceful coexistence and symbiosis, through education and research of linguistics, culture and area studies of the various regions of the world including Japan.” To respond to our nation’s shift toward a multilingual society expected in the future, this program aims at training researchers who will practice “language education studies” from a global viewpoint, based on universal theories for linguistic education beyond those of individual linguistic education, as well as nurturing human resources to lead this area in the future.

The priority at present to respond promptly to our nation’s shift toward multilingual society which our nation will face in the future, is not individual linguistic education theories for a specific language. What is really needed is a body of research on “Language Education Studies” from a global point of view, based on universal theories for linguistic education found among various linguistic and cultural circumstances. Researchers to practice this research are also needed as well as fostering of human resources to 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 research who can contribute to further development of multilingual society, are the practices of TUFS’s philosophy, “to contribute to peaceful coexistence and symbiosis of 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 various languages unique to TUFS (about 50 languages taught 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 understandings 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 enhance research planning and practice ability of the students and have them acquire wider vision, opening of courses “Field research in Language Education Studies” and “Independent research in Language Education Studies” and a plan for independent 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.

For more effective implementation of the above, “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.

Specific achievements on the program