NCJTA | 北加日本語教師会 | Northern California Japanese Teachers’ Association

Northern California
Japanese Teachers’ Association

2024 OATJ(オハイオ日本語教師会) Spring Workshop

Dear Japanese teachers,

We are happy to announce our 2024 OATJ Spring Workshop. All language educators are welcome. We hope you will join us!
For this workshop, Suzuki-sensei and OATJ are conducting a short study regarding kanji instruction. Please help us by filling out this short survey even if you are not participating in the workshop. We will present the survey results at the workshop.

Title: 漢字指導・添削の再考:脱標準化の試み Reconsideration of Kanji Instruction and Grading: Integrating “Beyond Standardization”

April 6th, 2024, 1:00-3:00 pm (ET)  Online via Zoom

Presenter: Kimiko Suzuki-sensei (Haverford College)

Registration  Please use this link

Free of charge and open to the public, but a current AATJ or OATJ membership is required. Please renew your 2024 AATJ membership at, if you have not done so yet, or contact OATJ to become an OATJ member (annual membership fee: $15). This workshop is free thanks to the support from a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to the Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.

Please register by March 31st.

About the workshop: 従来、日本語クラスの漢字学習では教科書で「正しい」とされている形や筆順を習得することが求められており、正しさの境界線は固定的なものとして捉えられがちです。実社会では規範の形からズレていても許容されることも多くありますが、その許容範囲は特に初級クラスでは狭められていることが多いのではないでしょうか。また旧字体が新字体に変えられた歴史的背景を省みることなく、旧字体の漢字を間違いだとしている教師の方もいるかもしれません。このような漢字学習は、教科書の情報や教師が描く日本語像が「標準」として受け入れることを助長することになります。

When learning kanji in Japanese language classes, students are usually required to learn the “correct” shapes and stroke order that are exemplified in textbooks, and the boundaries of correctness tend to be fixed. In the real world, it is often acceptable that the shape of kanji deviates from the standard shapes, however, this tolerance often seems narrower, especially in elementary level classes. In addition, some instructors may think that the traditional forms of kanji are incorrect, without considering the historical background of the change from the traditional to new form. This type of kanjiinstruction will encourage students to accept the information in textbooks and the image of the Japanese language portrayed by instructors as “standard.”

This workshop will be based on classroom activities practiced in a second-year Japanese course that aims to counter-standardize kanji learning. The participants will share their insights on the discrepancy between “the acceptable range of kanji usage outside classroom setting” and “the kanji usage expected of students” while reflecting whether their kanji instruction approach focuses on “correctness.” By doing so, they will be guided to reflect on whether they have consistent boundaries of correctness about kanji both when they are being themselves and when they are playing an instructor role. The workshop will conclude with brainstorming kanji instruction activities that aim “beyond standardization.”


Ohio Association of Teachers of Japanese|オハイオ日本語教師会

Twitter:  @oatjohio

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