For Immediate Release | October 22, 2018
National Symposium on Japanese Language Education
The Japan Foundation, Sydney in partnership with the Monash Japanese Language Education Centre presents the National Symposium on Japanese Language Education (NSJLE), to be held 2–3 November 2018 at the University of Technology, Sydney.
NSJLE is a two-day biennial symposium bringing together educators and stakeholders to discuss topical issues facing Japanese language education. Japanese is one of the most widely taught languages other than English at Australian schools, and is the third-most popular study destination in the Indo-Pacific region for Australian university students receiving New Colombo Plan Scholarships. Despite this, the growth in student numbers since the boom in the 1990s has started to slow in recent years.
In an attempt to address this problem, the theme for NSJLE 2018 – “Bigger, Broader, Better” – will explore how educators and stakeholders can better support and promote Japanese language teaching and learning in Australia, and increase student engagement. Panels and presentations will encompass a wide range of topics related to Japanese language education, including advocacy, learning methods and teaching approaches, technology integration, the Australian Curriculum, and global citizenship.
The symposium will formally open on Friday, November 2 from 9:00am. Conference sessions will follow on directly from the opening ceremony and keynote address.
Keynotes and invited guests include:
- The Hon. Scott Farlow MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier
- Keizo Takewaka, Consul-General of Japan, Sydney
- Lesley Harbon, Head of School, School of International Studies, University of Technology, Sydney
- Anne de Kretser, Director of Monash Japanese Language Education Centre
- Kumi Taguchi, ABC TV
- Yo Azama, teacher of Japanese at North Salinas High School, World Language Method Instructor at California State University, USA
The inaugural NSJLE was held in Melbourne in 2012, and was a direct response to a recommendation in the 2010 report, The Current State of Japanese Language in Australian Schools. The symposium has since been held biennially, growing continuously over the past six years. NSJLE provides a platform for scholars, researchers, and educators from every level of education, to exchange ideas and knowledge on topics related to Japanese language education. NSJLE aims to promote interaction and collaboration among Japanese language educators and stakeholders, facilitate dialogue, and ultimately work towards the betterment of Japanese language education in Australia and internationally. Building on the resounding success of the past three symposiums, NSJLE 2018 is expected to attract over 200 attendees from all over Australia and abroad.
ABOUT JAPANESE LANGUAGE EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA
As a result of the implementation of various multicultural policies in the 1970s, there was a boom in the teaching and learning of Japanese in the 1980s and 1990s. The massive surge in student numbers was so large that it is often referred to as the ‘tsunami’ – in the two decades from the late 1970s to 1998, the number of Japanese language learners in Australia increased about 40 times, and by 2000, Japanese became the most widely taught language in Australian schools and universities. This growth started to slow and decline by the mid-2000s, and while it remains one of the most widely taught languages other than English, its position has become vulnerable in recent years.
According to the latest report on the Survey on Japanese-Language Education Abroad conducted by the Japan Foundation once every three years, Australia had 2,800 teachers and 357,348 learners of Japanese in 2015.