Friday, January 19, 2018

US-JF Elgin Heinz Teacher Awards

The United States-Japan Foundation (US-JF) is now currently accepting applications and nominations for the  Elgin Heinz Teacher Awards.  This award is open to K-12 teachers and there are two award categories: humanities and Japanese language.  Candidates generally have at least 10 years of experience, and will have shown commitment to promoting understanding between Japan and the US.  The award includes a certificate of recognition, monetary award of $2,500, and award of $5,000 for project funds.

For more information on eligibility, application/nomination procedures, and more, please visit the below link:

US-JF Elgin Heinz Teacher Awards

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Book review: NIPPON 3.0 の処方箋



Last year, TJSC (the Teachers of Japanese in Southern California) invited Dr. Yasuhiko Tohsaku to their fall workshop as a keynote speaker to discuss language education in the 21st century.  I enjoyed his presentation, and later on over the winter vacation, I had the chance to read his book.  To summarize, this book outlines bringing Japan and language education up-to-date for the 21st century.  "Nippon 3.0" refers to upgrading Japan’s education system to be able to respond to the growing diversity and complexity in the world today.  However, the ideas that he writes about are perfectly applicable to any language educator’s work.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Movie Review: "Hafu"



Japan is diversifying.  In Japan, 1 in 49 marriages are international marriages.  If you look further at the data, you can find a significant number of marriages between Japanese and Chinese, Japanese and Filipino(a), Japanese and Korean, and more.  Whatever the roots, the children who come from these international marriages are known as “haafu” (although some prefer the term “double” to emphasize the presence of two different cultures).

This documentary movie follows the lives of several individuals whose parents are of different cultural backgrounds.  They each struggle with their own individual circumstances and come out with their own personal accomplishments, and this is where this movie shines.  The interviewees come alive through their own individual stories.  One cannot help but cheer on David as we see him connecting with his immediate Japanese community to build a school in his mother’s country.  One cannot help feeling for Alex, the older son of the Oi family, who experiences adjustment difficulties at school because of bullying.  These are individuals who we truly can empathize with, and it is likely that one finds oneself relating to one of their stories.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Japan Bowl 2018!

If you are a teacher at the high school level, consider competing in Japan Bowl.  Japan Bowl is an exciting competition among high school student teams to showcase their love and knowledge about Japanese language and culture. It’s a great experience for all and also shows the wonderful amount of passion that participating Japanese teachers have in teaching their students!
Check out this video to learn more, and share this video with other students, teachers, and parents!



Check out this link from the Japan America Society of Southern California for more details:
https://jas-socal.org/JapanBowl

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

For Movie Lovers: Japanese Film Festival Magazine



Those interested in Japan through its movies may be pleased to find another excellent resource to learning more about the Japanese film medium!

This website, Japanese Film Festival Magazine, provides information and a global perspective of Japanese films for overseas audiences.  For example, there is information on Japanese film festivals going on around Asia, and for us who are not in the Asia Pacific region, there are also interesting articles that are updated monthly that touch upon themes that many can resonate with:




Through film, the audience can not only be entertained, but learn a little something about the culture and history of Japan.  Check it out!


Friday, December 8, 2017

New Essay Contest: The KCC-JEE High School Essay Contest


Are you a high school teacher or know someone who is?  Then check out this essay contest that students can participate in!  The KCC-JEE (Kobe College Corporation-Japan Education Exchange) High School Essay Contest is accepting applications from high school students. Deadline is February 1, 2018!

The winner will receive a round trip ticket to Japan, a one month homestay, and language instruction at the Kyoto Japanese Language School. 

This is definitely an opportunity to encourage your students to try for!  For more information, please see the link below.

Who's Hiring? Jobs That Use Japanese (12/8/2017)

A sample of job postings that use the Japanese language, posted every week.  Please share with any who may be interested!


Culture and Education Exchange Coordinator  at Astar Education Institute (Manassas, VA).
Translation Project Manager  at JET Translations, Inc (Meridian, ID).
Language Data Associate - Japanese at Amazon (Cambridge, MA).
Project Planning, Promotion & Development Administrator at Toyota (Dallas, TX).
Business Analyst at TMS LLC (Newark, NJ).
Project Control Specialist (Bilingual-Japanese)  at Louis Berger (Morristown, NJ).
Japanese Language Lecturer at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ).
International Staff Coordinator -Japanese Bilingual  at North American Lighting (Muscle Shoals, AL).
Japanese Bilingual Accounting Manager /Office Manager  at Interesse International Inc (Detroit, MI).
Japanese speaking Production Administrator  at FCC (North Carolina), LLC (Laurinburg, NC).

50 titles added to Nippon Foundation’s Gakushuu Manga lineup!


Early on, we introduced the Nippon Foundation’s selection of manga that are not only entertaining, but also have educational value.

We are pleased to announce that 50 more titles have been added to the list!

These new selections include:
-Manga dealing with depression
-Manga about the appreciation of manga itself
-Manga about life in prison, drawn from the author’s own experience
-Manga about Fukushima agriculture and the consequences of the nuclear reactor incident.
And many more thought-provoking titles.

As more and more learners are being drawn to Japanese culture, teachers are also incorporating authentic materials.  This is a great chance for readers to learn more about Japanese society and the everyday lives of its people, to go beneath the surface to dig deeper into various issues, and to make connections between Japanese society and their own experiences.

Check out the new titles here:

2017 ACTFL Convention Report Available!





Hello everyone!  It's been quite busy here, but I hope you are all winding down and getting ready for the holiday season!  We have recently uploaded our summary report of our business trip to the 2017 ACTFL Convention that was held November at Nashville, TN.  Check it out here through our JFLA Breeze newsletter: