The Japan Foundation has awarded the University of Bath a grant in order to develop new teaching resources for students learning Japanese.

Satoko Suzui, Japanese Teaching Fellow, has started the collaboration with the Japan Foundation to fill a current gap in the market for Japanese language teaching material. She will use ‘Rakugo’, a traditional, popular form of Japanese storytelling, to support language learning.

Using Rakugo to teach language will be interesting from a pedagogical perspective. Students taking part in the Skills Centre's popular Japanese language classes are often familiar with Manga and Anime art and very keen to learn more about Japanese culture. Using Rakugo performances will allow the students to experience ‘real’ Japanese in a highly entertaining and engaging way.

The collaboration with the Japan Foundation means that the learning materials will be available to Japanese language teachers at other universities and in schools in the UK, raising the national and international profile of the University of Bath.

Satoko Suzui said of the award:

I am really excited to start work on developing this Rakugo-inspired material. The idea came to me following some training on Rakugo with the Japan Foundation in July 2020 and because of our students' keen interest in Japanese culture. Finding suitable Japanese teaching materials is currently very difficult, so I hope my work will also be of benefit to many other passionate teachers of Japanese.

Japanese is one of eight foreign languages available to students and members of staff through the Skills Centre.

(Image: By vera46 - originally posted to Flickr as rakugo, CC BY 2.0)