Japanese at Chico State

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

The focal point of the instruction in the program is not "teaching what to say," but rather "teaching how to say what you want 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 effortlessly put your thoughts into sentences and speech within a short period of time.

Many students go to Japan to study or pursue professions in which they use Japanese. As long as you have a passion for learning and 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. Each student can sign up for a weekly session that fits their 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 material, ask questions, prepare for the quizzes and exams, engage in free conversation, 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 to engage in Japanese-related activities are abundant. Many Japanese exchange students assist in classes and/or tutor at the Student Learning Center. In addition, students in the Japanese program are actively involved in the J Fusion Club, which engages in a variety of cultural activities 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 to study Japanese not just as academic coursework, but instead 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