- Applied Linguistics
Applied Linguistics is a course that creates an academic foundation for students to research, learn, teach, and analyze languages other than their first language in terms of theories of second language acquisition, second language evaluation, second language pragmatics, psychology of second language learning, and second language text analysis.
In Theories of Second Language Acquisition, students come to understand the theories and practical aspects of how learners acquire a second language. Theories of Second Language Evaluation begins with an understanding of language proficiency within the framework of language education. Based on the content and activities of different educational settings, students learn how to define and measure language proficiency as well as how to reflect upon them in evaluation. In Second Language Pragmatics, students consider when and how second language learners acquire knowledge and norms related to choices of language and expression in terms of when, to whom, what, and how one ought to use the target language. Students learn how to research second language learners’ knowledge and competence of second language usage, and how to transform these research findings into teaching and testing practices. Psychology of Second Language Learning focuses on psychological factors in second language learning, especially motivation, and is designed to help students to comprehensively study theories and practices related to second language learner psychology. In Second Language Text Analysis, text linguistics is used as an example for students to learn the basic concepts and methodology of applied linguistics, to discover the problems associated with it, and to learn methods of data collection and analysis.
- Research Methodology in Second Language Studies
In Research Methodology in Second Language Studies, students gain proficiency in both quantitative and qualitative research methods for collecting and analyzing data. Students also learn how to progress in research, from the results of these analyses to research design and thesis writing.
In Quantitative Research Methods, students learn about designing quantitative research and statistical approaches, including acquiring an understanding of statistical concept. The study of statistical approaches is centered on the basic knowledge and principles of descriptive statistics, reliability tests, correlations, multiple regression analysis, and variance analysis, as well as the basics of applied multivariate analysis. They will also use actual data and analyze them using statistical applications. The goal is for the students to consider the design, topics, and methods of their research, and apply what they have learned, keeping in mind collection of data in actual educational settings. In Qualitative Research Methods, students look at second language learning and teaching, as well as actual usage of second language as the actions of persons possessing agency and consider what kind of educational or societal benefits are possible by clarifying second language users’ lives in social and educational settings. Students learn sociological and psychological theories and methodologies undergirded by such theories (for example, ethnomethodological conversational analysis and life stories). The goal is for the students to systematically design and pursue a research project on a topic of their choice.
- Second Language Pedagogy
Second Language Pedagogy, is a course in which students research both the theoretical and practical aspects of second language performance skills and consider more sophisticated methods for learning and teaching. The course deals with the four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
In the unit on Reading, students learn about the process of reading a text and the position that reading holds in foreign language learning and education. The goal of the course is to develop the ability to consider pedagogical methods for reading through the study of theories about foreign language education, language acquisition, as well as analysis of teaching materials. In the unit on Writing, based on awareness of discourse genres and theoretical considerations of matters such as the rhetoric unique to each genre, students consider classroom-based pedagogical methods and pedagogical applications through their own writing practice. The units on Listening and Speaking involve both theoretical and practical research on how learners acquire skills in listening and speaking. Based on previous studies, students investigate the mechanisms for understanding and speaking a second language. Students also examine pedagogies for developing listening and speaking skills, and their classroom applications.
- Pedagogical Practice in Second Language Teaching
Pedagogical Practice in Second Language Teaching is a course that offers a multifaceted consideration of the practical aspects of second language pedagogy, including curriculum development, development of teaching materials, educational media theory, research on teaching, and second language pedagogy. At the same time, it considers educational media theory and development of teaching materials that employ cutting-edge technologies and methodologies.
The unit on Curriculum Development takes a comprehensive approach, starting from setting learning goals based on analysis of the learners’ needs and circumstances and proceeding to curriculum design and assessment of goal attainment, taking account of theories of language acquisition and learning. Students consider curriculum development in response to specific circumstances. In the unit on Teaching Materials Development, students consider resources for learning a language other than their first language, either in an educational institution or independently. After investigating the human, social, and physical aspects of designing teaching materials, through careful consideration of previously developed teaching materials, students attempt to develop new resources. In the unit on Educational Media Theory, students acquire basic knowledge for making use of ever-evolving information and communication technology (ICT) for language teaching and learning and consider future approaches to ICT support in educational settings. In the unit on Research on Teaching, students learn about specific teaching practices for second language education, including reflection based on the philosophy of “reflective practice,” and examining their theoretical foundations.
In the unit on Second Language Pedagogy, students learn about the theories and practical aspects of a wide range of second language teaching methods, from traditional approaches, such as the Audio-Lingual Approach to more recent methods, such as “Content and Language Integrated Learning” (CLIL).
- Sociocultural Approaches to Second Language Studies
In Sociocultural Approaches to Second Language Studies, students consider the correlations among language, culture, society, and the self in theoretical terms, and, from the perspectives thus obtained, they critically consider multilingual, multicultural phenomena, plurilingualism, translanguaging, and language policy. Students learn to view language as more than a mere physical skill and develop deep insights into its relationship with cultural and societal frameworks and the construction of the self. These insights then form the basis for critical consideration of language education and language policy. The goal of the course is to enable the students to develop a sophisticated, multifaceted view that allows them to conceptualize and practice new forms of language education and education in multilingual circumstances.