Study Abroad for Foreign Language Advancement (SAFLA) Special Interest Group

The Study Abroad for Language Advancement (SAFLA) SIG aims to focus on study abroad for the purpose of advancing language skills. Through the exchange of information via informal discussions and presentations, we strive to observe the landscape of study abroad in Japan for the advancement of Japanese language.

We encourage interested AATJ members to participate in the SAFLA SIG by:

- proposing panels at the AATJ spring/fall conferences to report on programmatic features and outcomes in specific study abroad programs in Japan;

- presenting papers based on empirical research on study abroad at annual AATJ spring/fall conferences. (We are particularly interested in collaborative research to examine students’ contact with homestay members, friends, and other study abroad participants, as well as their process of socialization.);

- participating in SIG meetings at annual AATJ spring/fall conferences to discuss study abroad issues and good practices. As a result of these discussions we hope to create and expand an inventory of in-culture activities for students to engage in while on study abroad.

Please contact SIG Chair Mari Noda ( if you would like to be on the SAFLA e-mail list.


Presentations from the 2014 AATJ Spring Conference, SAFLA SIG Panel

Members of the SAFLA SIG organized a panel at the 2014 AATJ Spring Conference in Philadelphia. The theme was "Culture-Heavy Study Abroad: Lessons from the 2013 Critical Language Scholarship Japan Institute Experience."

The presentations have been edited and are available for viewing and downloading:

Panel Overview
by Chair Mari Noda

"Connecting the Rich Cultural Cultural Environment and the Classroom in Study Abroad: Mixing Explicit and Implicit Instructions"
by Yuya Takeda

"Socialization and Language Acquisition: Cases of Novice-Level Study Abroad Participants"
by Hiromi Tobaru

"Listening Strategy Training: An Attempt in an Intermediate-Level Class in a Study Abroad Program"
by Natsumi Suzuki

"Promoting Language and Culture Learning Outside of the Classroom: Implementing Student-Led Committees in Study Abroad"
by Stephen D. Luft