From October 4th to October 6th 2012, the Japan Foundation ran a series of seminars at the University of Edinburgh and the Japan Foundation London office to explore a form of Japanese study many learners and teachers may have already tried – studying through manga and anime! These workshops were led by Ms Nanae Kumano, Language Education Specialist at Japan Foundation Madrid and developer of the Japan Foundation’s Japanese in Anime & Manga website.
As Japanese anime & manga has become popular all over the world, so has the incentive to use such materials in Japanese language study. However, some words and phrases that are used in anime and manga might not always appear in a dictionary, causing headaches for the typical learner. The Japanese in Anime & Manga website has been designed by the Japan Foundation with these people in mind. Through fun games and quizzes, users can practice words and phrases suited to their level of Japanese and preference of genre.
These seminars gave teachers and learners of Japanese the opportunity to learn more about the website, and explore how it could be used to enhance Japanese language studies. Students were able to discuss what kind of manga and anime they liked as well as consider the differences in speech between each genre. In the teachers’ seminar, this was expanded to include how the website could be used effectively in order to help students have fun studying even when they have more specific learning goals.
The workshops were well received, with nearly 100 people attending in total across the three days. James Thornton, a Japanese language learner, said it was a “Very good event and the website looks amazing,” while one of the Japanese language teachers commented, “I always wanted to use manga in my lessons, but I never knew how. This event was very beneficial.”
We would like to thank all the dedicated Japanese language teachers and learners who came to the workshops, as well as Ms. Kumano for her very informative sessions. If you are interested in learning more about Japanese in Anime & Manga, you can visit the website at http://anime-manga.jp.