Online Course for Teachers of Advanced High School Japanese
The JOINT online professional development program of the Alliance of Associations of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) offered “Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Advanced High School Japanese Course” in Fall 2009. This 6-week course provided high school teachers of Japanese at the advanced level (including those who are preparing their students for the AP Japanese Language and Culture Test) with training and resources to develop a curriculum that enhances students’ proficiency in all four skills as well as cultural knowledge.
Description: The course utilizes background readings and some existing materials as examples, but hands-on experience is emphasized, and course participants will create their own materials to be used in their classes. Participants will work on assigned readings and lectures independently, hold online discussions in small groups that include both native- and non-native-speaking teachers, and work collaboratively in pairs to develop materials. Assignments and evaluations are designed to accommodate the differing needs of those who are enrolled in the course. Participants will be asked for permission to share the materials they create (via the Alliance website) with the broader Japanese language education community after the end of the course.
Faculty: Masumi Reade, The Woodlands High School (Texas); Noriko Vergel, Pacific Island Academy (Hawai’i).
Schedule: Participants are expected to spend at least five hours a week on coursework: one hour for reading, one hour listening to a lecture, one hour in real-time online discussion, and a minimum of two hours on materials development and other assignments.
Materials: Selected reading materials will be made available online.
Credit and Grading: Graduate credit will be made available for those who wish it, at a reasonable cost (usually $50 per credit). Those participants who elect to receive credit will receive grades for the course; grades will be based on participation, materials development projects, completion of assigned readings, and self/peer evaluation. All participants who complete the course will receive certificates of completion from AATJ/JOINT.
Fees: The fee for the course will be $75,* payable after enrollment is confirmed. There is a limit on the number of participants who can be accommodated, and you will be notified after sending your e-mail enrollment request.
Cancellation Policy: Participation in this course requires a commitment to devote several hours a week to real-time online collaborative work with classmates and instructors. Time will be devoted at the beginning to making sure that participants are familiar with interactive technology and can use it comfortably. If a participant is forced to withdraw for unavoidable reasons once the course has begun, his or her enrollment fees cannot be refunded.
Required Technical Background for Participants: Participants should be familiar with basic Internet features such as looking for information, reading online materials, downloading materials, sending and receiving emails, and online chatting. Experience with using Skype (voice and/or webcam) and a collaborative writing tool such as Google Docs or wiki would be a plus. A fast Internet connection (Ethernet or wireless) will be needed to work on various online activities; dial-up modem connection is not recommended. Participants who do not have a webcam and microphone built into their computers will need to purchase one for course participation (the cost for this equipment is usually about $25).
To Enroll in the Course: We hope to conduct this course again in 2010. Please check the JOINT website or write to
for more details.
* JOINT program courses can be offered at a low fee thanks to the support of several organizations: the Japan Foundation, the Toshiba International Foundation, the Shoyu Club, and the US-Japan Foundation.