Introduction to Japan: Seeding and cultivating an interest in Japan for first-year UEA students

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This article discusses a pedagogical case study of how a new course module, ‘Introduction to Japan’, was shaped. The module was targeted at 1st Year students – the majority of whom have been studying Japanese language – in order to maximise students’ interests in continuing their academic studies through pursuing post-graduate studies.
The course surveys many major aspects of the history, society, cultures, and global position of Japan with a fresh look at stereotypes associated with Japan; and serves as a critical overview of changes occurring in contemporary Japanese culture and society. The module provides a good all-round basic knowledge of Japan that will be of value both to students intending to major in Japanese and those interested in Japan. Exercises and discussions in class moreover enhance both students’ understanding and motivation to study Japan in its transnational context. It provides students with the fundamental knowledge needed to pursue Japanese studies, both at a higher educational level, and within an employed environment.
I present case studies of how the module was further developed in its second year through reviewing the syllabus, teaching methods, and materials, as well as class activities, such as encouraging greater international collaboration with students in Japan. In addition, I demonstrate how lecturers’ own research material and academic discipline was adopted in order to seed a methodology and to cultivate critical analysis within the module.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJapan in the World, the World in Japan
Subtitle of host publicationA Methodological Approach II
Place of PublicationRomania
PublisherPublisher Pro Universitaria
Number of pages126
ISBN (Print)978-606-26-1087-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • Japanese Culture
  • Japanese Language
  • Education

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