What is AATJ?

The American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) is an international, non-profit, non-political organization of teachers, scholars, and students of Japanese language, literature, and linguistics, which works to promote study of the Japanese language at all levels of instruction in the field and to broaden and deepen knowledge and appreciation of Japan and its culture.

In recent years, with the importance of Japan in the world economy and the worldwide influence of its media and popular culture, the importance of study of Japanese language, literature, and culture has been increasingly recognized. As more schools, colleges, and universities offer programs of study in these areas, the AATJ has assumed an increasingly important role through its conventions, its services and activities in public affairs, its involvement in policy decisions, and its advocacy at the national, state, and local level.

AATJ sponsors two conferences each year: an annual spring conference in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS)and serves as the Japanese-language co-sponsor of the annual November convention of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). It publishes the internationally recognized research journal Japanese Language and Literature twice each year and the AATJ Newsletter four times annually.

There are at present more than 1500 members of AATJ, representing every state as well as Canada, Australia, Europe, and Japan, and every level of instruction and area of study. Members have opportunities to be involved not only at the national level but also at the local level through membership in the regional or state affiliate of their choice. To find out about becoming a member, click here. For more information on local affiliates, click here.

AATJ's ongoing projects include professional development for teachers, research and discussion of Japanese-language teaching methods and materials, support for the AP Japanese Language and Culture Program and other new initiatives for students, and evaluating textbooks and other teaching materials.

To find out about new initiatives for teachers, including annual Teacher Awards and the JOINT Online program of courses and webinars for in-service teachers, go to Professional Development.

AATJ sponsors a number of activities for teachers including the Japanese National Honor Society for both college and high school students; the Annual Nengajo Contest and the National Japanese Exam for high school and middle school students.

AATJ administers the Japanese Language Proficiency Test at 15 locations in the United States; the JLPT is an opportunity for learner of all ages and levels to evaluate themselves using a test that is given all over the world.

As part of a multi-organizational effort to encourage more students to study in Japan during their college years, AATJ has established a clearinghouse to collect and distribute information on study-abroad programs in North America and international student programs at Japanese universities. It also administers the Bridging Scholarship program, which has supported more than 1,200 students studying abroad in Japan since 1999. For more information on this project, click on Study Abroad.

Teachers of Japanese will want to visit AATJ's Jobline, with up-to-date announcements of positions in the Japan studies field.

Please click here to view the IRS Letter of Determination that AATJ is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization.