On the 19-20th March, the Japanese Programme hosted a National Symposium on Tertiary Japanese Education in New Zealand. Day One focused on creating new and strengthening pre-existing synergies and strategies to enhance tertiary Japanese teaching, in discussions initiated by the tertiary language strategist Associate Professor Sharon Harvey (AUT).
Day Two focused on language teaching methods relevant to both secondary and tertiary level learners, including a most entertaining and inspiring demonstration lesson given by Mr Kohji Oikawa. Mr Oikawa is a former secretary in the Japanese House of Representatives turned professional comedian, who has now developed a unique approach to boost Japanese learners’ oral proficiency.
The symposium participants included JSANZ (Japanese Studies Aotearoa New Zealand) members, representatives of all tertiary institutions offering Japanese courses, local and national secondary school teachers and UC Japanese students. The event was funded through a special grant from the Japan Foundation’s Sakura Network of the world’s most active Japanese language institutions, to which the UC Japanese Programme was admitted at the end of 2015.