A center for studying, teaching, and researching languages

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In the age of globalization, the way that foreign languages are taught must be responsive to the realities of the 21st century. On a daily basis we have information at our fingertips from countries all over the world and multimedia has given us increasing opportunities to actively engage with people in other languages.

The significance of international communication for academic research is being increasingly recognized and it is becoming particularly important for Japanese students to equip themselves with the ability to function in a foreign language.

In order to accomplish this, what is required is not just functional proficiency in linguistic skills, but indeed the ability to communicate inter-culturally, based on an extensive knowledge of other worldviews.

In response to these needs, in October 2003 Kobe University established the School of Languages and Communication (SOLAC), which aims to plan, manage, and put into practice all aspects of the university’s foreign language educational programs, including research into designated languages and support for international academic exchange and student overseas study tours.

SOLAC aims to...

  1. Plan and put into practice language education programs suited to Kobe University students.
  2. Provide learning environments which fulfill the additional needs of students who aspire to study foreign languages
  3. Conduct research into foreign language pedagogy and the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of languages offered in the university's programs.

Supporting Foreign Language Study

CALL Rooms

SOLAC has been establishing and maintaining computer-assisted language learning laboratories to enhance autonomous learning.

External Exams

SOLAC provides students with information and assistance in applying for language proficiency tests such as TOEFL and TOEIC.

Study Tours

SOLAC plans and administers short-term student study abroad tours during spring and summer vacations, including programs based at;

The Language HUB

The Language HUB is an exciting new communication space at Kobe University which provides all students and staff with the opportunity to drop in and speak freely with international teaching assistants in more than five different languages. In addition, the HUB provides facilities such as video-linkups for distance learning, computer-based e-learning and an extensive selection of DVD’s and books to encourage students to use other languages for pleasure. The HUB is the site for regular functions that allow students to experience languages other than those they have selected for academic study. Its staff also provides students with information on overseas study and advice on language learning. Students regularly use the HUB as both a self-access function center and as a point of contact that allows them to make use of languages other than Japanese for actual communicative purposes.

Research Divisions

Function Extend and adapt educational curricula to suit students' needs.
Members YOKOKAWA, Hirokazu English
SHIMAZU, Atsuhisa English
HIROTA, Daichi (Chair) French
NISHIDE, Kayo German

Multimedia Division

Function Establish and maintain CALL labs, develop multimedia-based learning materials and facilitate student use of the HUB room.
Members KATO, Masayuki English
KASHIWAGI, Harumi (Chair) English
YAMATO, Kazuhito English
YASUDA, Sachiko English

Materials Development Division

Function Develop innovative educational materials for language education
Members ISHIKAWA, Shin'ichiro (Chair) English
ZHU, Chunye Chinese
FUKUOKA, Asako German

Academic Exchange Division

Function Foster relations between Kobe University students and its associates overseas
Members GREER, Tim (Chair) English
KIHARA, Emiko English
TAKAHASHI, Yasunori Chinese

Job Openings (Due 4 Dec)

Part-time Instructor (English)
Jrec-in Announcement

Contact Information

School of Languages and Communication, Kobe University
Address Tsuru-kabuto, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501 JAPAN
Phone +81 (0)78-803-7522
Fax +81 (0)78-803-7539
E-mail inquiries@solac.kobe-u.ac.jp