From the Dean
Harumi Kashiwagi Dean
Our center has undertaken a variety of initiatives over the years, including the development of a university-wide foreign language education curriculum that fosters advanced, diverse foreign language skills to support students’ autonomous language learning beyond the classroom. In particular, we have devised a four-year system that can provide comprehensive classes including the introduction of advanced subjects and foreign language seminars.
Adopted in 2005 as a MEXT Contemporary GP Project, the center developed its “Special Program for Developing Presentation Abilities in Foreign Languages” as an innovative educational program to nurture university students’ English and critical thinking skills. SOLAC later also implemented the “Global English Course (GEC)” as part of MEXT’s Global Human Resources Development Promotion Project.
In FY2018, as part of improving the environment for active learning throughout the university, the existing CALL classrooms were converted to “active learning labs” and “interactive learning labs”. With the aim of utilizing the learning support system called Kobe University LMS BEEF in foreign language classes, we have also created a collection of examples of foreign language classes that showcase the use of these labs.
I trust that these activities can contribute to the development of tertiary students who can make actively use foreign languages.
As part of Kobe University’s Institute for Promotion of Higher Education, SOLAC is the organization that conducts research, and planning for foreign language education throughout the university.
It plays a central role in enhancing foreign language education in both the undergraduate and graduate programs of Kobe University and in planning other special university-wide programs.
- Established as the School of Language and Communication
- Integrated within Kobe University’s Institute for Promotion of Higher Education
SOLAC’s aim is to contribute to the enhancement and development of our foreign language education. The organization plans, manages, and implements research related to foreign language education as stipulated in Article 26, Paragraph 1 of the Kobe University Academic Regulations, and provides foreign language education support for international academic exchange and study abroad. Based on Article 3-2 of the University Education Promotion Organization Regulations, SOLAC is charged with;
- Research on foreign languages
- Research, investigation and planning concerning foreign language education for the entire university
- Maintenance of the foreign language education environment
- Support for foreign language education
- Other matters necessary to carry out the operations of the center
Structure of the Department
SOLAC is made up of four research divisions.
System Research Division
Members: Atsuhisa Shimazu, Daichi Hirota, Hirokazu Yokogawa
This group conducts research on educational support systems, such as students’ proficiency levels, aptitude, educational goals according to needs, curriculum creation, and class formation according to standardized testing:
- Research and development of the organization of foreign language courses and curriculum
- Research and development of educational systems such as teaching methods and ability-based classes
- Setting educational goals and planning foreign language performance evaluation methods
- Investigations into the application of educational technology and evaluation of foreign language teaching methods
Contents Research Division
Members: Shinichiro Ishikawa, Chunyue Zhu,Rei Yasuda
This group conducts research on the development of comprehensive communication skills that balance the four communicative skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), as well as teaching methods and materials in line with language education:
- Research and development of teaching methods and teaching materials in line with English education
- Research and development of teaching methods and teaching materials suitable for German language education
- Research and development of teaching methods of the four skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking)
- Planning teaching materials for English education
Media Research Division
Members: Harumi Kashiwagi, Kazuhito Yamato, Sachiko Yasuda,Mayu Hamada
Research and development on the introduction and efficient use of multimedia educational equipment using the Internet, such as information equipment and E-learning
- Introduction and operation management of IL & AL classrooms
- Research and development on the construction of an effective environment for E-learning
- Back up self-study support system
Academic Exchange Research Division
Members: Tim Greer, Emiko Kihara, Yasunori Takahashi
Research and support of foreign language operation methods for faculty members and dispatched international students
- Educational research on intercultural communication using foreign languages
- Educational research on foreign language examinations
- Educational support for foreign language presentations and discussion formats and methods