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Message from the Director of the Center for Japanese Language Education

池田 伸子先生

The increased movement of people across national borders, accelerated information dissemination owing to technological advancements, and various associated changes and issues have made the 21st century more and more uncertain, making the future unpredictable. Here, at the Rikkyo University, we believe the world needs professionals who are able to live in harmony with the society while thinking and acting as individuals, and who strive to help all our graduates contribute to the overall globalization of the society.

Since its establishment in 2011, the Center for Japanese Language Education has put in a great deal of thought about how to contribute better toward the internationalization of Rikkyo University, enabling it to foster "new global leaders" whom it set out to cultivate.

Responsible for Japanese language education, the Center for Japanese Language Education offers nine levels of instructions to meet the needs of learners, and includes content subjects that can even be taken up by the beginning-level students. Further, the Center offers Rikkyo's original kanji skill testing, and a speech contest in which Japanese and international students can participate even at the beginner level. In addition, it operates a Japanese language counseling office to support Japanese language learning; implements short-term programs incorporating specialized lectures and field trips led by faculty members from various university departments; and, as an intra-university organization, nurtures an environment where international and Japanese students can learn side by side. Examples of the latter include speech contests in which international students and Japanese students participate in pairs, and the Japanese students participate in regular classes and short-term programs. With the Center for Japanese Language Education at its core, along with providing opportunities for exchanges between Japanese and international students, the university has expanded the opportunities for both to become aware of the value of their respective languages and cultures, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the other’s language and culture.

In 2022, the university will embark on a new stage of internationalization, with each department accepting more diverse Japanese-speaking international students as regular international students. In cooperation with the host department, here at the Center for Japanese Language Education, we develop a Japanese language curriculum that allows new international students to acclimatize themselves to Japan and have an enriching learning experience with Japanese students. Accordingly, we create a system in which the Japanese students of the host department study alongside international students. We will also be starting a new learning system for Japanese students that transcends simple interactions with international students with the aim of connecting the students’ experiences and awareness with their own actions.

The "new global leaders" that the university is intent on nurturing are professionals who will be able to utilize their unique abilities regardless of where their home is. 立教大学食堂内 In order to develop such professionals, a framework for “co-creation” is critical, which enables students to collaborate with international students, leading to the students becoming more aware, learning immensely, and connecting learned attitudes and behaviors to actions and changes. Going forward, the Center for Japanese Language Education seeks to firmly fulfill its role as the university’s Japanese language education organization under the motto “From Collaboration to Co-creation.” We at the ever-evolving Center for Japanese Language Education humbly ask for your continued support and cooperation.

Nobuko Ikeda, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Japanese Language Education

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