Director Masahiro YAMAGUCHI
In April 2014, Tohoku University established the Institute for Excellence in Higher Education (IEHE) as an academic organization that would embrace the high potential of promoting higher education. IEHE carries out various activities, being the core organization to develop and promote liberal education, promote the internationalization of our higher education, and promote student support services. IEHE has 11 centers, one of which is the Center for Culture and Language Education (CCLE). CCLE is the core educational organization for Japanese and foreign language education at the university, which has been designated as a super global university, and conducts activities that contribute to the advancement and further development of liberal arts and sciences education related to language and culture.
The mission of CCLE is to contribute to, advance, and further develop education related to language and culture. As involvement in the international community becomes a reality for an increasing number of people, so does the chance of having to address challenges that don’t necessarily have a right answer. Therefore, we will need more human resources that have not lost their identities as individuals, but can still share diverse values, and have international leadership abilities. In order to develop these human resources, it is indispensable to foster an extensive sense of values and world views. Thus, our center requires the promotion of new educational activities that will lead to the acquisition of communication skills and a broad sense of multicultural understanding by gaining comprehensive language ability that extends beyond students’ first languages to several other languages.
As the core educational organization for Japanese and foreign language education at the university, CCLE has faculty members that teach Japanese, English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean. The main activities the faculty is involved in are: 1) the teaching of “Foreign Language Subjects” and “Japanese Language Subjects” as part of the general education at the university, and “Japanese Language Education Programs” for international students throughout the university, 2) the development of language education programs, and assessment and improvement of the educational effects of current programs, and 3) the development of programs to improve the educational capabilities of faculty members in charge of culture and language education. Improving the English proficiency of students is a particularly essential educational task for international research-based universities such as ours, and thus it is necessary to build and continuously operate an integrated English educational system that includes upper-year English education. It is also important to constantly enhance the Japanese language education for the ever-increasing body of international students.
We will continue to work hard to improve language education, with the goal of contributing to the development of human resources that have an understanding of diverse cultures and international perspective. Furthermore, we will work to contribute to the advancement and further development of culture and language education, while ensuring the development of a high level of language proficiency for students at the university by developing and implementing foreign language education methods for both English and other foreign languages.