Collaboration promotes Japanese education

Lau Pui-ki


CityUniversity's Division of Language Studies collaborated with the Society of Japanese Language Education Hong Kong to present the 6th International Symposium on Japanese Studies & Japanese Language Education, 8 and 9 November. The annual Symposium, including discussion of Japanese dissertations and the improvement of Japanese Education, takes place in a different country each year.

During the two day Symposium, 116 researchers from all around the world who are engaged in Japanese education or investigations of Japanese, presented their results. Dr Tanaka Yuuko, from the JapaneseHouseiUniversity made the first presentation about the network between Japanese culture in the Edo period and Asian cultures. With so many other topics at the Symposium, such as the relationship between multi-media and Japanese Education, and the influence of international current affairs with Japan, six separate venues were created.

"It took a miracle to hold the Symposium in Hong Kong this year," Dr Rita Takahashi, Symposium Chairperson and Lecturer in CityU's Division of Language Studies (LS) announced. "We were prepared for this event since February this year, as it is always held in spring. However, due to SARS in April and May, the Symposium was nearly moved to another Asian country. Fortunately, SARS was finally defeated." She is proud of the efforts of LS staff in organizing the event; most of the assistance came from students of the Applied Japanese Studies course established by the LS. just 5 years ago. Some 46 student helpers played an important role in running the Symposium smoothly. "I benefited a lot by being a helper today. Some researchers from Japan gave us souvenirs and taught me the knack to improving my Japanese," Daniel Wong, an LS student, said excitedly. "The Symposium's success shows CityU's capabilities and also the great potential of our Applied Japanese course," Ms Takahashi added.

Ms Kabayashi Yoshiko, a researcher from Hokkaido University, Japan and a Symposium participant, said that she was satisfied with the reception she received. Ms Kobayashi's research topic was "Linguistic Characteristics of Japanese and Chinese". She is planning to cooperate in future with fellow researchers she met at the Symposium. In addition to the symposium, she also enjoyed her leisure time exploring Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui. "Although Hong Kong was hit hard by SARS, it never changed my passion for Hong Kong," she said, smiling.

At a special Japanese teaching materials exhibition corner, Ms Nakano Kayako from the Japan Forum was invited as a Guest. She presented new Japanese textbooks and a series of multi-media teaching materials. The newly developed software introduces the life of Japanese teenagers.

The International Symposium serves to promote Japanese Studies and Japanese Education globally. It is organized by the Society of Japanese Language Education in collaboration with the Japan Information and Cultural Centre, the Japan Society of Hong Kong and the Japan Foundation. This event was also supported by, in addition to CityU, Hong KongUniversity, the ChineseUniversity of Hong Kong, Hong KongPolytechnicUniversity, the Hong KongUniversity of Science & Technology and the University of Macau. Overseas organizations from mainland China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan also sponsored this Symposium.





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