Good practice

日本で実践されている国際共修は、海外のいわゆる「多文化クラス」とは少し異なります。
国際共修には様々なタイプがありますが、ここでは代表的な3つのタイプとその事例を紹介します。

Course Subject Title: Contribution to Internationalization of Campus
Let's learn internationality through collaborative project with international students I (Second semester), II (First semester)

Instructor Kazuko Suematsu (Tohoku University) Eligible Students All students (including International students) Course Location Classroom and outdoor
Credits Yes (2 credits) Duration 6 months Course Forms Classroom and outdoor
Language English  

1.Theme setting

Students will work collaboratively while communicating in English with team members from different backgrounds, with awareness of certain "outcomes" contributing to communities such as universities or society.
Project I will be mainly a project for planning and complementing of international collaborative event and Project II will be a problem-solving project.

By working on collaborative projects where emphasis is placed on teamwork, leadership, and spontaneity, students will obtain a professional experience similar to the real world and the opportunity capturing phenomena from diversified perspectives and creating new values as well.

2.Materials

None

3.Points to attention regarding class management

  • To ensure thoroughness of contributing to the internationalization of Tohoku University
  • Discovering and solving problems
  • Producing concrete outcomes
  • Cooperating with team members who have different linguistic and cultural backgrounds

The instructor will remind students in various forms in each class.

4.Contents and frequency of assignments

Two (2) times of learning goal settings, Three (3) times of learning review reports, One (1) time of group presentation, One (1) time of planning and implementation of discussion for high school students

5.Evaluation method

Based on the goal setting at the first class, review reports for (1) intercultural and own-cultural understanding and for (2) improvement of communication skills (30%), presentation (40%), and contribution to discussion and group project (30%)

6.Points to attention in course practice

(1) Differentiation between personal growth and project success
Not only the student's "learning" but also the completeness, namely outcomes, of the project will be stressed. With outcomes, the student’s sense of goal achievement and self-efficacy will increase and students will increase their motivation for further self-growth.
(2) Encouragement of student-centered learning and roles as a facilitator
During class, the instructor will check the progress of each team and does “intervention” with questioning. The instructor will not give excessive advice or support, and if a trajectory is within the range that can be corrected, dare let students experience setbacks.
(3) Securing collaborators on and off campus
It is important to secure people who understand and collaborate with us. We will make collaborators understand that what the class is aiming for and we can support "growth of students" which is our common interest by collaborating with university and communities.
(4) Class improvement
Self-assessment is carried out not only by using the students' class evaluation and reports but also listening to the opinions of TAs and collaborators and improve class little by little every semester based on PDCA cycle.

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

I would like to convey that society changes by actions and the importance of discovering and solving problems.

I would like students to acquire the project planning and implementing, and transferable skills that are necessary in real society and that cannot be learned in the classroom.

8.Issues in class and approach for improvement

Issue 1
The number of students in every semester, in particular the ratio of Japanese students to international students, and the language and culture background of international students is unpredictable.
Since classes vary considerably depending on the ratio of Japanese students to international students, recruit candidates for those who have studied abroad if the number of Japanese students is insufficient, or re-recruit through exchange student program mailing list for international students to ensure the balance of the class members.
Issue 2
Since English ability of Japanese students is weaker than that of international students, they cannot follow discussions and project planning in English.
We will inform important matters such as homework and grading in writing or in Japanese. We will arrange student advisors on the team so that we can check whether Japanese students and some Asian students are left behind.
Issue 3
Role sharing within the team: Motivated students have more tasks and idle students are relaxing.
Make sub-leader confirm whether role sharing is done fairly within team (usually more tasks go to the leader). I will tell students that peer reviews will be included in the evaluation and give them a feeling of tension.

9.Reactions and comments of students

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

Japanese students
Since I have never taken such a class, it was fresh. Although it was hard work, I obtained confidence by planning a project with international students and having success. I think I have grown a lot.
Japanese students
Since I could not keep up with English at first, I could hardly contribute to the project. However, I gradually became conscious of "English to be transmitted" instead of "Proper English", I was able to communicate at the end.
Japanese students
I was surprised that the way of thinking, the way of approaching to the project, and style are so different by country and region. Since I worked on activities in a truly multinational environment, I became deeply inclined to study abroad.
International students
It was a class where I learned many things so that I wanted to have such a practical class even in my home country.
International students
It was a good experience because I wanted to work in a multinational company in the future.
International students
Japanese did not speak up their opinion, so I was a bit irritated. However, I learned a lot since I worked with only students who had solid thoughts and a sense of responsibility to work exactly what they are assigned.

Course Subject Title: Let’s learn about the world through cross-cultural communication - International co-learning classes-

Instructor Kazuko Suematsu (Tohoku University) Eligible Students International students and Japanese students in the all departments Course Location Classroom and outdoor
Credits Yes (2 credits) Duration 6 months Course Forms Classroom and outdoor
Language Japanese  

1.Theme setting

Students from different language and cultural backgrounds will discuss social problems occurring in the world from a multilateral perspective.

While deepening mutual understanding and acquiring flexible thinking skills, they will obtain the opportunity to create new values.
Students will improve their communication skills and presentation skills through team discussion, and planning and implementation for debate.

2.Materials

Newspaper articles, literature, video materials, etc.

3.Points to attention regarding class management

In order to encourage student-centered discussion, the instructors devote themselves to being facilitators as much as possible and intervene only when a biased idea is about to be fomented.

For group discussions, pay particular attention to whether international students are in an easyto- speak environment, and continuously call attention by taking a shock therapy such as using English only for 30 minutes.

Explain effective presentations in detail, make time for interviews for each group, and supervise individually in the final debate planning for high school students.

4.Contents and frequency of assignments

Two (2) times of learning goal settings, Three (3) times of learning review reports, One (1) time of group presentation, One (1) time of planning and implementation of discussion for high school students

5.Evaluation method

Based on the goal setting at the first class, review reports for (1) intercultural and own-cultural understanding and for (2) improvement of communication skills (30%), presentation (40%), and contribution to discussion and group project (30%)

6.Points to attention in course practice

  • Make an affable atmosphere by ice-breaking that incorporates group work as well as selfintroduction in the first class.
  • Grouping carefully that the country of origin, gender, and department can be unravelled as much as possible.
  • Prompt Japanese students to repeatedly pay attention about speaking speed, clarity, and vocabularies.
  • By letting students learn that they are not allow to participate in every discussion if they do not prepare, increase students' interests in current affairs and knowledge.
  • Encourage international students to speak in an information sharing session with all members after each group discussion.

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

Make the class that all students take this course will broaden their perspectives and grow up.

8.Issues in class and approach for improvement

Issue 1
The number of students in every semester, in particular the ratio of Japanese students to international students, and the language and culture background of international students is unpredictable.
Since classes vary considerably depending on the ratio of Japanese students to international students, recruit candidates for those who have studied abroad if the number of Japanese students is insufficient, or re-recruit through exchange student program mailing list for international students to ensure the balance of the class members.
Issue 2
The degree of assertiveness of students in each semester (interests in current affairs or involvement in discussion) is different.
Always remind students to be a participatory class by changing the theme while watching their attitudes, or encouraging remarks during group discussion patrols.
Issue 3
International students are left behind because Japanese students make wording that only applies to themselves.
Add "Check everyone speaks and encourage properly remarks" onto sub-leader's roles. Repeat that people who cannot keep up with the development of discussion are not blamed, and that people making such situations are lacking of efforts.
Issue 4
How can each student's contribution in the project be evaluated accurately?
Mark students actively speaking in group patrols. Have students self-evaluate their contributions to their team in the report.

9.Reactions and comments of students

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

Japanese students
I felt keenly that my perspective would broadened through the themes covered in class and exchanges with international students, and I would have to pay more attention to the world situation and the circumstances of each country. I was stunned about who did not know too much about my country. Since globalization will progress more and more, I wanted to become a person who can share opinions with other people from an international perspective.
Japanese students
I was not good at communicating and talking in front of people, but each discussion in the group was enjoyable and exciting. Lastly, since I was able to make presentations, I got confidence.
Japanese students
Organizing discussion forums for high school students was hard. Besides classes, we gathered many times and repeated discussions. Also, the instructor individually pointed out the improvement points that we did not notice so that I could finally be satisfied with the activities.
Japanese students
I was vaguely interested in study abroad but changed to a clear goal.
International students
While repeating preparations, discussions, and presentations in Japanese, the Japanese language skills improved. The Japanese people of the team also praised me since I began devising the way to talk.
International students
I learned a lot, not only the Japanese way of thinking, but also how to proceed with discussion.
International students
I learned a lot about my country, Japan, and the world. I thought I would be embarrassed unless I knew more about my country.
International students
I should have taken this course earlier. I did not have such a class at my old school, so I thought that it was worth to study abroad in Japan.

Course Subject Title: Practicing of Education for International Understanding (First Semester), Promoting of Human Rights Education (Second Semester)

Instructor Mino Takahashi (Tohoku University) Eligible Students Capacity 25, enrolled 20 people Course Location Classroom
Credits Yes (2 credits) Duration 6 months Course Forms Classroom
Language English  

1.Theme setting

  1. In addition to themes related to "Education for International Understanding," students will learn and discuss the policies and movements of UNESCO regarding "Education for International Understanding" in elementary, junior high, high school, and university.
  2. The instructor will pick up themes related to "Human Rights," such as gender, children's rights, and citizenship. By occasionally referring to the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights," we will deepen understanding of each article.

2.Materials

(use the below as textbooks, introducing many other references)

  1. Education for International Understanding (by Lucie-Mami Noor Nkake, International Bureau of Education.)
  2. Osler, A., & Starkey, H. (2010). Teaching and Human Rights Education. Stoke on Trent, UK and Sterling, USA. Trentham Books

3.Points to attention regarding class management

Acting as a facilitator, the instructor will provide students with knowledge and tasks.

The instructor is will encourage students to work on their own initiative.

This should create a system where both international and Japanese students actively participate in class from equal positions of interests and concerns.

4.Contents and frequency of assignments

Each class will cover topics related to major themes of the course. At the end of each class, students will be given assignments to prepare for the upcoming class. Class will be conducted in a participatory manner while incorporating supplementary lecture, discussions, and related activities.

5.Evaluation method

Attendance and class participation (20%), assignments and reviews (30%), group presentations (30%), Test (20%)

6.Points to attention in course practice

Fifteen (15) classes are divided into the first half and the second half.

The first half is for knowledge acquisition, and the second half is for presentation.

In the first half, students will discuss group discussions, and in the second half, students will be allotted time for preparing and presenting group presentations.

The instructor will encourage them to prepare for presentation with group members even outside classes. The instructor will conduct the class in a participatory style, rather than in one-way lecture style.

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

The instructor will build an environment where students not only learn knowledge, but also actively participate in and talk by the approach of active learning.
Also, the instructor will support students as a facilitator.

Ultimately, we will aim to allow students to learn "knowledge about themes" and to acquire "values and attitudes, skills, and actions" conforming to human rights.

8.Issues in class and approach for improvement

Issue 1
English ability of Japanese students
The instructor will conduct opinion polls on mutual support of languages for students using the questionnaire at the first class. In the second class, the instructor will encourage students to help each other while feeding back of the results. In class, the instructor will observe the whole class while paying attention and providing language support and information as necessary. In addition, the instructor will give students copies of Japanese materials or class slides so that they can review the content of the class.
Issue 2
Maintaining attendance rate
The instructor will tell students that they will not have credits if they are absent more than 3 times, and encourage them to attend.
Issue 3
About the mixture of international students and Japanese students
So that international students and Japanese students are able to discuss with diverse members, they are asked to work in different groups every time in the first half.

The instructor and TA will observe the students. By the second half, the instructor and TA will grasp the characteristics of each student and decide a fixed group for the group presentation with consideration of not only the student's nationality, gender, English ability, but also assertiveness.

In this way, by making a fixed group considering student's assertiveness, it being observed that passive students feel comfortable to talk.