Good practice


Course Subject Title: Thinking of Japanese Culture-International co-learning classes-

Instructor Sekiko Sato (Tohoku University) Eligible Students 30 students Course Location Classroom
Credits Yes (2 credits) Duration 6 months Course Forms Classroom
Language Japanese  

1.Theme setting

Students will know various aspects of communication.


Main textbook
Senko K Maynard "Te iuka, yappari nihongo dayo ne” Taishunkan Shoten, 2009
Sub textbooks
  • Satoshi Kinsui "Yakuwarigo kenkyu no chihei, Kuroshio" Kuroshio Publishing, 2007
  • the Society for Gender Studies in Japanese edited "Japanese and Gender" Hitsuji Shobo, 2006
  • Takashi Kobayashi and Miyuki Sawamura "Mono no iikata nishi higashi" Iwanami Shoten, 2014
  • Hisashi Noda et al. "Nihongo no hairyo hyogen no tayosei" Kuroshio Publishers, 2014
  • Masaichi Nomura " Miburi to shigusa no jinruigaku - Karada ga shimesu shakai no kioku " Chuoukoron Sha, 1996
  • and others

3.Points to attention regarding class management


4.Contents and frequency of assignments

Students will make a presentation with a group of 2 to 5, one each in the first round (using the main textbook) and the second round (using the sub textbooks).

Although the instructor will give time to prepare for it in class, preparation outside the classroom is necessary.
Students are required to read the textbooks every week (about 10 to 20 pages) in advance and understand the contents well.

5.Evaluation method

Attendance 30%, presentation 30%, participation in class activities 20%, final report 20%

6.Points to attention in course practice

  • The instructor will ask students to write their thoughts, questions, or notifications to the instructor on a comment sheet (folded A3 paper in half) each time and collect at the end of class.
  • Write a student’s name if there is no comment.
  • Contents are anonymous and these will be shared in the next class.
  • The instructor will notify that filling out on the sheet would not be reflected in grades in advance.
  • Have each student decide on a nickname and use it in class.
  • The instructor will frequently change groups and make opportunities to talk with as many classmates as possible.

7.Educational philosophy and goals of teachers in international co-learning

By drawing subjects to discuss from each presentation and comments and asking students to think about, the instructor will conduct classes that they are always aware of problems, think deeply, and notice by themselves.

In order to encourage active involvement in class activities, the instructor will ask students what they can contribute to the class during the first class.

8.Issues in class and efforts for improvement

Issue 1
If more than 30 people are in class, it gets difficult for questions to presentations or opinions on class discussion.
Wait patiently because students raise their hand after a while. Also, do not miss the sign of student who seems to want to speak. First of all, have students take notes of opinions that have been made in the group discussion and share the contents with class.
Issue 2
There is not enough time for group work.
The presentation time is for 15 minutes in one group (two presentations at each session). Since it is tendency to be long, thorough time management is required. Have students to omit the part that audience can understand if they read the presentation handouts. Explanations and comments by the instructor is kept to the minimum.
Issue 3
The number of Japanese students is small. (2013)
In the past, the class time was at Period 5, but it was found that Period 3 or 4 was available at some departments, so it moved to Period 3. As a result, there were only 4 Japanese students in 2013, but there were 25 students in 2014, and 15 students in 2015.

9.Student reaction and comment

(From "One person, one word" the presentation handouts 2010)

International student
It is the first time to prepare a presentation together with people from overseas. As I talk about it, I feel a bit nervous. Fortunately, everyone in the group is kind. We exchange ideas in the group and listen to each other's opinions. In this way, preparation for the presentation proceeds smoothly. Such teamwork became a good learning experience.
Japanese student
I was surprised about international students because their Japanese was very good and the topics which were "ne" and "yo" were used naturally. I was very happy because they tried hard to understand my poor explanations, too. Also, they worked harder than me for the preparations. Thanks to actively preparing of example sentences, PCs, handouts, etc., it was really easy to work smoothly.
Japanese student
International students actively asked questions when they did not understand, so I wanted to imitate their attitude.
International student
It was the first presentation since I came to Japan, but I was not tense or nervous because I had classmates who work hard together. I was able to get along with my group members on the presentation and I think I understand the Japanese language deeper. From the standpoint of an international student, when interacting with Japanese students, what matters is not the conversation staying on the surface, but a relationship that can be long involved and communicated to a goal. Therefore, I think that such group work is a very valuable experience.