2012 Language Institute: Kyoto, Japan
Note: Information below refers only to the 2012 CLS Institutes and is subject to change. CLS 2013 partners and sites will be announced in the Spring.
The CLS site in Kyoto, Japan, takes advantage of its location in the historic capital of Japan to provide students with an intensive eight-week course that incorporates classroom instruction in Japanese language deep and varied experiences of Japanese modern and ancient cultures.
The CLS Program in Japan is designed to develop students’ listening, reading, speaking, spoken interaction, and writing skills. Students attend a minimum of twenty hours per week of language classes, targeted for language levels ranging from intermediate through advanced, for a total of over 140 hours of language study—comparable to one year of study in a U.S. classroom.
Participants take part in organized semi-formal and informal learning activities that promote interaction with the host community and culture. These activities are designed to support the formal classroom instruction. Students also participate in a variety of cultural enrichment lectures and activities.
Students spend much of the program housed in apartments, but each student lives with a host family for a portion of the CLS program. Host families give them the opportunity to experience life in a Japanese family and develop their language skills outside of class. Host families provide two meals a day. Students are provided with a stipend to cover meals not provided by the host family, as well as to cover meals during the time students are housed in apartments.
The Japanese site for the CLS program, Doshisha University was founded as Doshisha Eigakko (Doshisha Academy) in 1875 by Joseph Hardy Neesima, the first Japanese citizen to obtain an academic degree at Amherst College in the United States. The university is renowned as a prominent private educational institution with a long tradition in Japan. Doshisha is comprised of 11 faculties, 31 departments, the Center for Japanese Language and Culture, and 13 graduate schools, including two professional graduate schools. Between its two campuses, Doshisha University has a student body of more than 26,000 students.
Find out more about Doshisha University.
In 2010, the CLS Program adopted the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) as an additional measure of the effectiveness and quality of the institutes overseas. Before the program, students take a diagnostic OPI test; at the end of their 8-week course of study, they take an ACTFL-certified post-program OPI assessment. The scores on these tests give students a concrete, widely-recognized measure of their speaking skills in Japanese.
CLS Blog Entries for Japanese
Institute at a Glance: Kyoto, Japan
|June 10 - August 9, 2012||Doshisha University|
- Intermediate: Minimum requirement: completion of two years of college-level Japanese, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program.
- Advanced: Minimum requirement: completion of three years of college-level Japanese, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program.
Students on the Japanese program in 2011 had the opportunity to visit Hiroshima and speak with a hibakusha—a survivor of the atomic bombing—about her experiences.
Students visited Kyushu Island as part of the cultural excursion plan in 2011. There, they stayed with local farming families and learned about agricultural life in rural Japan.
2010 alumnae Loretta Scott has her own YouTube channel for teaching Japanese. She has been creating videos for three years on the YouTube channel Kemushichan and has more than 5,000 subscribers. Her videos focus on topics such as how to sound more like a native Japanese speaker, using books to study Japanese, and more recently, an episode about how you might cheer up your Japanese friends in light of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
2010 alumnus Mike Young studies law at Harvard University. Following his participation in CLS, he interned at an American law firm in Tokyo over the summer and writes of his experience: “I've actually been surprised at how valuable Japanese is in the legal market. There are just so few people with law degrees that speak Japanese...”
2010 alumnus Ryan Seebruck received both a Boren and a Fulbright scholarship to complete his Ph.D. dissertation research in Japan at Shizuoka University.