Multilingualism: New book provides insights in tertiary teaching of Japanese in NZ
A new book co-edited by University of Canterbury Lecturer in Japanese Dr Masayoshi Ogino gives unprecedented insight into issues and strategies around Japanese language learning and teaching in New Zealand at tertiary level.
Creating New Synergies: Approaches of Tertiary Japanese Programmes in New Zealand is the first book to be published on Japanese language teaching in New Zealand universities and tertiary institutions.
Co-edited by Dr Ogino with Ms Dallas Nesbitt, AUT, and Dr Penny Shino, Massey University, it is a compilation of in-depth research into how the teaching of Japanese in the New Zealand tertiary sector is successfully adapting within a rapidly-changing and challenging learning environment.
Although Japan remains steady as New Zealand’s fourth-largest trading partner, the number of secondary school and tertiary students learning the language has been dropping since the highs of the late 1980s and ’90s through the era of Japan’s ‘bubble economy’.
The authors highlight that learning another language helps people develop a range of skills which add value to any career, including creativity, communication, interpersonal skills, flexibility and adaptability, self-awareness and confidence, and being attuned to diversity.
The authors agree that the formation of Japanese Studies Aotearoa New Zealand (JSANZ) in 2013 has fostered a strong sense of community between Japanese language teachers at all levels, and created opportunities for language learners to work together in dynamic settings. Moreover, with the Government committing $10 million over five years to the Asian Language Learning in Schools programme in 2015, the authors are hopeful this will lead to increased learners in tertiary institutions.