At a time when both Japanese studies and Japanese language programs are under pressure to maintain stable enrollments and attract a growing and diverse population of students, collaborations among faculty across departments in language and studies areas are offering a wider variety of courses that give students opportunities to expand their language skills and connect them with other areas of study.
This roundtable session describes creative ways in which Japanese language and Japanese studies faculty are collaborating on innovative learning experiences for students. Participants will describe their experience with courses that integrate language and content in subject areas that include literature, history, environmental studies, religious studies, history, philosophy and ethics, media studies, business, and other specialties. Students majoring in Japanese were able, for example, to earn credit toward their major by participating in a special section of a modern history course in which they read original source materials in Japanese with the help of a language assistant. Alternatively, they read short literary works in the original to supplement their study of the work of popular Japanese authors in translation. Students with varying levels of Japanese language skills were able to participate in varying ways in the integrated class.
After specific examples are presented, a general discussion will focus on the role of collaborations in expanding Japanese studies offerings at a variety of institutions; the possibilities for new initiatives like the CLAC (Culture and Language Across the Curriculum) Collaborative and the US-Japan COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) Initiative; and future directions for Japanese language and Japanese studies in the US academy.