Statement of Purpose II
I will have studied my particular interdisciplinary concentration by specifying my study of Asia to mainly Japanese based courses but then tried to expand the genre of my study to include: Language, Culture, Society, Identity, History, Anthropology, Geography, Religion, and Nutrition. I will have taken classes like Japanese Society and Identity through Literature, Japanese Society through the Visual Arts of Manga, Modern Japanese History, and hopefully Russo-Japanese Relations. I have already taken two Independent Studies with my Japanese teacher Misa Yamamoto. In these classes we had a focus on integration, a study of interaction, language, and modern conceptions. All of these classes are very relevant to my course of study because they all will have prepared me for integration into the Japanese school system and to educate Japanese students. Understanding that I will have to cross the cultural gap of the Japanese classroom is part of this educational agenda.
To further help me with teaching skills and getting into the Japanese mindset I was also an Instructional Assistant with Appalachian State’s Japanese classes. Here I learned to focus my methodologies and get some real world application of language learning from an instructor’s view point. An invaluable experience that gave me a better idea of what I have to look forward to in the educational field.
My minor courses are all based around Teaching English as a Second Language. I took these in order to be a more efficient teacher to non-native speakers. While in these courses I worked closely with exchange students and local non-native speakers to increase their fluency. Those are examples of how I will apply the knowledge I acquire in these courses. The courses have also allowed me to compile my personal pedagogy and a small lesson plan for second language acquisition to Japanese youth and post them to a personal webpage. http://appstate.edu/~wl65727/philosophic.html
All of the classes I will have taken are relevant to my course of study, because they all will have prepared me for integration into the Japanese school system and to educate Japanese students. Because, it is my personal pedagogy to attempt to meet the students in a realm they know and can freely expand in, so that inspiring a thirst for knowledge is easier attained.
To further understand language I have sat in on, and attempted to fit into my course load, some other language courses that would help me as a language teacher. I attempted to fit an Arabic class to analyze the different language structure and therefore the teaching methods that accompany it. I also sat in on some Latin classes in order to help with root word and language progression over time. Understanding where a language comes from is very important to learning the flow of the language. And finally I completed a course in Introductory American Sign Language. It is a little more non-traditional then most languages but still a viable and important one. Like Japanese it is a high context language and requires a different mindset completely then English. Showing how culture plays strongly into the picture.