The Japanese Language and Culture Program

Kimihiko NomuraWelcome to the Japanese program in the Department of International Languages, Literatures and Cultures at California State University, Chico.

The focal point of the instruction in the program is "teaching how to say what you want to say as you wish," and not "teaching what to say." Therefore, I urge you to think about what you would like to do with the Japanese language. Japanese is syntactically simple. Once you understand the simple interlocking mechanism through the coursework, you are able to put your thoughts into sentences and speeches effortlessly in a short period of time.

Many students went to Japan to pursue their study or work using Japanese in their profession. As long as you have passion for learning with a clear personal goal, you will do well. You will be treated with utmost respect for your individual needs and choices that you make as an adult.

The Japanese program also offers a unique tutoring system, in which each student can sign up for a weekly session that fits his/her schedule. Tutoring sessions are given by trained native speakers of Japanese at the Student Learning Center. Each session accommodates up to 5 students with the same fluency level and is personalized and productive focusing on the students strengths and weaknesses. During each session, students can review the class materials, clarify the key points, prepare for the quizzes and exams, engage in free conversations, and participate in a variety of small group activities. The most important thing is to “enjoy learning.”

At Chico State and in the community, opportunities are abundant. Many Japanese exchange students are assisting students in the classrooms and/or tutoring at the Student Learning Center. In addition, students in the Japanese program are actively involved in student organizations, such as Japanese Fusion and Japanese Anime Club, engaging in a variety of cultural exchanges on and off campus.

The Japanese program views language itself as a cultural product and practice. Thus, the ultimate goal of studying languages ought to be an appreciation of the differences and similarities between the people of a variety of cultural backgrounds. I hope you will find this opportunity of studying Japanese not just as one of the university coursework, but as a life-changing resource with which you can develop new friendships and build a career while expanding your view of the world.

Taking advantage of the systematic approach to acquiring the essence of the Japanese language, you can decide how you want to apply and use it to enrich your life. I expect and value your determination for personal growth.

I look forward to seeing you in class.

Kimihiko Nomura