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Specialized Courses

Today, with the globalization of international society and the rapid development of the global information and communications infrastructure, interaction among people around the world is becoming extremely diverse. In order to develop human resources with high-level expertise and practical abilities in this new situation, in 2004 TUFS added five specialized courses to its undergraduate curriculum.

Students certified as having completed one of these courses after being screened are allowed to receive in their fourth year up to ten credits for classes in the master's course of the Graduate School. This program enables students to earn a master's degree after one year in the Graduate School.

Another major feature of these specialized courses is to consider short-term training in a company, overseas training, and overseas study to be part of the credits received according to the characteristics of each course. Since there are certain conditions for registering with one of the courses, however, it is necessary to make appropriate preparations starting from the first year.

Japanese-language Education

In recent years, the number of students studying the Japanese language at the elementary, middle, and high-school education levels, particularly in South Korea, China, Australia, and other countries has increased rapidly, causing a shortage in the number of qualified Japanese-language teachers. Since early on, TUFS has enrolled a large number of Japanese and foreign students wishing to teach Japanese, and each year many students with a bachelor's or master's degree find employment with organizations teaching Japanese in Japan and abroad. This specialized course is designed to further meet the Japanese-language needs of society.

One aim of this specialized course is to make the most of the University's distinctive features to develop persons who acquire high-level techniques for teaching Japanese theoretically and practically as a foreign, second, or international language not only in Japan but also in various countries worldwide. Another aim is to cultivate capable persons who will engage in training these persons in the future and play a leading role in Japanese-language education.

It does not matter which language students major in if they are firmly motivated to teach Japanese and make the steady efforts needed to achieve that goal. If students wish to find employment overseas, holding a master's degree and mastering a local language provides them a greater advantage. In that sense, this could be regarded as majoring in two languages.

English-language Education

This specialized course aims at cultivating teachers of English with sufficient expertise and skills, persons who engage in training English-language teachers, and persons who develop English teaching materials, including computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and examinations. Students who take this course are selected from among those whose major is English.

Many of the subjects included in the curriculum are related to instruction and evaluation methods for English and studies of language mastery. Possible career choices for students who complete this course include teaching English at elementary, junior high, or senior high school, developing English-language teachers at the university level, and working for publishers specializing in English-language education, developers of language tests and/or teaching materials, and English conversation schools.

Language Information Engineering

With the rapid development of the global information and communications infrastructure, including the Internet, the internationalization of society and the globalization of economies are progressing. As a result, rapid changes are occurring in various fields, such as politics, economics, and industry. In such changing social and economic environments, industries, social strata, cultural backgrounds, business goals, and strategies are intertwined in a complicated manner. With the innovation of information and communications technologies, the involvement by people in various regions of the world in languages other than their native language is becoming increasingly diverse.

The aim of this specialized course is to allow students-those expected to assume leadership roles in the international community in the future-to understand the workings of computers as tools for thinking, the notions of information volume and information handling, and techniques for handling information. They will also acquire the ability to freely utilize computers in displaying their own expert knowledge in increasingly globalized societies and economies.

Specifically, students aim at comprehending the relationships between not only English or Japanese but also various other languages and information technology, thereby gaining a competitive superiority over students from other universities―a superiority provided only to TUFS graduates. Students are also required to master information equipment by learning about its technical aspects, acquire practical abilities, and utilize an engineering-based approach to strategically analyze such issues as language, characters, analysis of regional information, the economics of information and communications, and relations among local communities.

International Communication and Interpreting

This specialized course provides exhaustive training aimed at cultivating a high-level ability to use English for international communication. Today, even though many people speak English, high-level reliable professionals with outstanding English abilities are needed in various fields, including business administration, journalism, education, and interpreting. This course aims at meeting these social needs.

Studies other than skills in English are essential to acquire outstanding English abilities. Gaining expertise in certain areas other than English and using that expertise as one's core competency to understand the world better will make one an even more powerful master of English. The curriculum for this course reflects this idea and combines language/information studies and area/international studies.

After completing this course and successfully passing examinations, students can study international communication at the Graduate School, where the focus is on developing simultaneous interpreters.

International Cooperation

It is said that survival of mankind on a global scale in the 21st century and thereafter depends on whether coexistence can be realized in the international community. Although the walls of states are becoming increasingly low and thin, international organizations and regional communities are playing an increasingly important role in realizing coexistence in the international community. In this backdrop, it is expected there will be even greater demand in the future for human resources engaged in international cooperation.

Taking these developments into consideration, this specialized course aims at training students for work as personnel in international organizations (the United Nations, the UNESCO and other specialized agencies, regional organizations, and NGOs), to become diplomats, or to become other types of international civil servants, or for engaging in international cooperation through international operations.

There are several paths for career development at the United Nations and other international organizations. One is to pass examinations conducted by the U.N. headquarters or the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for young applicants. Another is to be seconded by public agencies to those organizations. A third way is to develop one's career in a private enterprise, research institute, or other organization and apply for a vacancy at an international organization. Any of these approaches requires a master's degree, as well as high-level language abilities (at least in English or French), expertise in areas of study particular international organizations require, and general education concerning international issues. Currently, international cooperation is chiefly provided in the three areas of development, the environment, and human rights, and the target of international cooperation includes developing poor countries and those involved in conflicts or suffering from natural disasters. The curriculum for this specialized course is designed to allow students to gain expertise in as multi-faceted a way as possible in each area and acquire the ability to utilize such expertise in practical situations.