Episode 3: Lecturer of the Year, Misuzu Kazama

Asian Languages account for more than half of the enrollments every year in Asian Studies, and the bulk of the hard work that goes into teaching all the different languages in our Department is borne by our large and highly credentialed pool of Lecturers. As a way of encouraging and rewarding excellence in teaching among Asian Studies lecturers, every year the Department singles out individuals who have excelled in teaching excellence, taken new risks in their pedagogy, or otherwise distinguished themselves in their service to the Department. For the 2017-2018 academic year that recently ended, the Department wishes to recognize Misuzu Kazama from our Japanese Language Program.

Since joining the Japanese Language Program in our department in 2011, Kazama sensei has taught a wide range of courses ranging from 100- to 300-level, and including both intensive and non-intensive courses, as well as face-to-face and Distance Education courses. She is always striving to achieve excellence in her teaching and works tirelessly to provide the best instruction for her students.

Being interested and quite savvy in educational technology, Kazama sensei constantly tries to incorporate a range of instructional technologies in her teaching to enhance her students’ learning as well as her own teaching effectiveness. Besides serving as one of the developers of the Japanese Language Program Distance Education courses, she has also worked as one of the collaborators with the Department of Linguistics on the TLEF “eNuniciate” project that aims to assist students with accurate pronunciation and accent via online tutorial sessions.

Kazama sensei also spares no efforts in promoting extra-curricular learning activities for our students. For several years now, she has played a leadership role in organizing and facilitating the Language Exchange Table that is offered to our Japanese language students from all levels and including some 75-100 exchange students from Ritsumeikan University each year. This has been a very popular extra-curricular activity and the number of participants is increasing each year. She has undoubtedly contributed to the building of a learning community around Japanese Language.

Last but not least, in the last few years, Kazama sensei has actively participated in various workshops and conferences to strengthen her pedagogic practices, and has also made presentations on the various innovative projects she has conducted; some of the latest such presentations were on “Peer Feedback on Oral Proficiency” and “ e-Magazine Production.”