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...
- Plan and put into practice language education programs suited to Kobe University students.
- Provide learning environments which fulfill the additional needs of students who aspire to study foreign languages
- Conduct research into foreign language pedagogy and the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of languages offered in the university's programs.
Supporting Foreign Language Study
SOLAC has been establishing and maintaining computer-assisted language learning laboratories to enhance autonomous learning.
SOLAC provides students with information and assistance in applying for
language proficiency tests such as TOEFL and TOEIC.
SOLAC plans and administers short-term student study abroad tours during spring and summer vacations, including programs based at;
- University of Melbourne, Australia
- University of Washington, USA
- Beijing University of Foreign Languages, China
- Catholic University of Lyon, France
- University of Graz, Austria.
- Griffith University, Australia
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.
|Function||Extend and adapt educational curricula to suit students' needs.|
|HIROTA, Daichi (Chair)||French|
|Function||Establish and maintain CALL labs, develop multimedia-based learning materials and facilitate student use of the HUB room.|
|KASHIWAGI, Harumi (Chair)||English|
Materials Development Division
|Function||Develop innovative educational materials for language education|
|Members||ISHIKAWA, Shin'ichiro (Chair)||English|
Academic Exchange Division
|Function|| Foster relations between Kobe University students and its associates overseas
|Members||GREER, Tim (Chair)||English|
|School of Languages and Communication, Kobe University|
|Address||Tsuru-kabuto, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501 JAPAN|