Waseda offers new MOOC course on Japanese pronunciation Follows success of last course in over 120 countries

Tokyo – Waseda University has participated in edX (https://www.edx.org/),the world-renowned MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform since September 2015. Its second course will be for students and language teachers on Japanese pronunciation.

Waseda has over 5000 international students, the largest number in Japan,and is dedicated to Japanese language acquisition. The Center for Japanese Language offers approximately 650 Japanese language classes, and the Graduate School of Japanese Applied Linguistics continues to produce highly qualified Japanese language specialists to teach all over the world.

Using our experience and expertise as an institution noted for Japanese language education, we will discuss pronunciation, one of the most challenging aspects for non-native speakers of Japanese. Professor Takako Toda of the Graduate School of Japanese Applied Linguistics, who will instruct the course, has long studied the difficulties of students learning Japanese. She has published a book entitled “Japanese Pronunciation Lesson for Communication,” also available in Chinese and Korean, and the sequel “Japanese Pronunciation Lesson through Shadowing.” Both publications are highly regarded and continue to be reprinted. “I look forward to making a contribution to a field I am dedicated to using my specialization,” Professor Toda said with enthusiasm.

Waseda’s first edX course, “Tsunamis and Storm Surges: Introduction to Coastal Disasters” taught by Professor Tomoya Shibayama from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, recorded 2,600 participants from 123 different countries and regions. 57 percent said they were not familiar with Waseda prior to the course. Nearly half of the participants were from coastal areas where a tsunami or storm surge had struck before or were at risk. They commented that the course helped raise awareness towards natural disaster prevention, and that they learned what actions to take when a disaster happens. As a result, approximately 50 percent of participants said they would like to study at Waseda University, contributing to our global recognition in research and education.

The University’s strategic plan, Waseda Vision 150, aims to double the international student body to 10,000 by its 150th anniversary in 2032. Through this course, we aim for our research and education to play a crucial part in the field of Japanese language education and to attract many talented international students from all over the world.

Details of the planned course
Title: Japanese Pronunciation for Communication
Instructor: Professor Takako Toda, Graduate School of Japanese Applied
Linguistics, Waseda University
Enrollment Start: July 2016
Course Start: November 2016
*Course title and dates are as of time of writing

Waseda University’s edX MOOC site “WasedaX”

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