04 May 2010

Court nullifies private university's dismissal of two professors of German (German as a Foreign Language)

I have often thought Japan's universities would do well to emphasize EFL and Chinese (CFL), and if other foreign languages were covered in university curriculums, they might consider Russian, Korean, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia, but also Bahasa Malaysia), etc. However, restructuring departments and personnel slots is an extremely difficult issue, as this case shows. Traditionally, English/EFL has fallen under the departments that included English-language literature, linguistics (usually formal linguistics after Chomsky), and 'English education' (Japan's version of TEFL for training JHS and SHS EFL teachers). Foreign language departments might reflect a similar makeup of literature and linguistics, concentrating on two European languages of major importance, German and French. Chinese has often been in a special relationship with Japanese (Japanese as a native language art), given the historical ties of literacy and cultural influence. This has been complicated in recent years, however, by the fact that the vast majority of Japan's 120,000 international students are from China and come to study and improve their Japanese (JSL, JFL). So specialists in teaching JSL and JFL have often emerged from the previous Japanese-Chinese studies departments.  



Court nullifies university's dismissal of German-language professors

Wednesday 24th February, 07:17 AM JST


The Kanazawa District Court nullified Hokuriku University’s decision Tuesday to dismiss two professors teaching German language courses, saying the university abused its power of dismissal. The university in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, abolished in 2004 law and foreign language departments the professors belonged to and focused its language education on English and Chinese. It then told the two to leave as they have no classes to teach from fiscal 2007, according to the ruling.

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