Major programs of the Monash Japanese Language Education Centre
The MJLEC aims to support teachers of Japanese through a variety of programs which are specifically design to address needs of Japanese language teachers in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Some of the major initiatives of the MJLEC are as follows:
MJLEC Resource Collection
Housed in the Matheson Library at Monash University, the Resource collection is accessible at weekends and late into the evening. It is regularly used by teachers and others interested in Japanese language education. The collection continues to grow in size and in coverage. It includes a wide range of materials focusing on teaching methodology, classroom activities, realia, in addition to materials focusing on teaching ideas and strategies both for curriculum development and for classroom use.
Professional Development Seminars
Regular professional development seminars are offered to teachers. These seminars are designed and conducted to meet the needs of Japanese language teachers and reflect developments in Japanese language education. The seminars cover all sectors of teaching and vary from the informative to the practical, including teaching methodology, information technology, practical classroom activities, immersion and language maintenance courses and curricula development. Seminars are advertised in the Monash Japanese Language Education Centre’s quarterly e-newsletter and through the Nihongo Victoria E-mail Group (NVEG). Every year, approximately 800 teachers receive professional development training through the activities and support of the Centre.
The MJLEC keeps teachers of Japanese informed through a quarterly e-newsletter which reports on the Centre’s activities, gives details of scholarships and professional development training, prints teachers’ letter and keeps readers in touch with the latest development in Japanese language education.
The MJLEC has research funds available to allow the investigation of issues relevant to Japanese language education. Research thus far has included a through survey and analysis of Japanese language education, teachers in this area and their specific needs, and also a study of native Japanese language assistants and their experiences in schools in Victoria.
In 2010 the MJLEC was involved in a major research project resulting in the report “The Current State of Japanese Language Education”.
Through this program, the MJLEC develops materials needed by teachers of Japanese to support the curricula, and makes such material readily available. A vital aspect of this is development of media and realia packs available for borrowing by schools teaching Japanese to enhance the cultural aspect of language learning.
Counselling and Advice
The MJLEC has increasingly supported teachers in their teaching careers by offering support and careers advice to teachers in need of assistance. It has also become well known as a source providing advice on matters related to Japanese language curricula, on teacher availability and on policies for the teachers of second language to interested parties and to general public.
Support for Education Students
High quality Japanese language teachers require quality training for the teachers. The MJLEC has established a program to provide Master of Education student who are planning to teach Japanese with Japanese teaching methods and language- specific training. During the year regular evening and day classes are held for Education students.
The recognition of particular needs of groups within the Japanese language teacher population prompted the MJLEC to establish separate support groups and networks for
- First year out teachers
- Experienced teachers
These groups meet regularly to discuss issues specific to their needs. These seminars are practical and useful, and often include guest speakers.
The cooperation between those involved with Japanese language education at different levels in the education system ensures continuing quality in Japanese language programs across the board.