Open Lecture and Symposium: Windows to the Mind

The Center for English Language Education (CELESE) and the Faculty of Science and Engineering will be sponsoring an open lecture and symposium on the theme, "Windows to the Mind", as follows.

Date: January 12, 2013 (Saturday) 13:00 – 18:00
Place: Nishi-Waseda Campus, (Bldg. 63, 2F, Conference Room 3)
Inquiries addressed to: Fusa Katada <>

13:00-14:00 Part 1: Open lecture by Dr. Margaret Thomas
14:00-14:15 (break)
14:15-18:00 Part 2: Presentations by CELESE faculty members

Part 1: Open Lecture

Acquisition of Kanji by Second-Language Learners
in the Age of the Word-Processor

Dr. Margaret Thomas
Professor, Boston College, MA USA

Learning to read and write in Japanese makes very heavy cognitive demands on second- language learners, especially with respect to kanji.  Most teachers and learners consider learning kanji to require memorizing links between (1) meanings, (2) sounds, and (3) shapes.  But a fourth, kinesthetic (movement-based), dimension of kanji exists and supports literacy in Japanese, because writers / readers of Japanese unconsciously use their hands, in a little-researched technique known as kūsho (air writing), when they learn and recall kanji.  The on-going shift from handwriting to keyboard-based writing has massive cultural, educational, and social consequences for the Japanese language; how does this change interact with the fourth, kinesthetic, dimension of kanji knowledge? The lecture will show video footage of learners using kūsho, and analyze its effects on their ability to remember kanji. It concludes with some speculations about the relevance of these findings to the teaching and learning of Japanese in an age when handwriting is being replaced by writing with a keyboard.

Dr. Margaret Thomas is a professor of linguistics at Boston College, Massachusetts, USA. She graduated from Yale University with a degree in Japanese Language and Literature, and completed a PhD in Linguistics at Harvard University. She teaches courses on psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and formal linguistics, including the Linguistic Structure of Japanese. She writes about second language acquisition and the history of linguistics, but has long-standing interest in Japanese, and has visited Japan several times—most recently in July 2012 as a grantee of the Japan Foundation. Dr. Thomas is author of Fifty Key Thinkers on Language and Linguistics, Routledge, 2011.

Part II: Presentations

14:15 – 14:45 Emmanuel Manalo (CELESE), Yuri Uesaka (Tokyo University), and Koki Sekitani (Tokyo University): Using mnemonic images and explicit sound contrasting to help Japanese children learn English alphabet sounds

14:45 – 15:15 Laurence Anthony (CELESE) and Mark Bowen (ICSEP, Waseda University): Mapping native speaker intuitions about English language use to real-world data: The case of mathematics research article writing

15:15 – 15:45 Nobue Tanaka-Ellis (CELESE): Interacting with nonhumans: Another way of looking at activities in language classrooms

15:45 – 16:15 Kazuko Tanabe (Guest presenter, Japan Women’s University): Newspaper corpus based lexical grammatical analysis of Sino-Japanese words

16:15 – 16:30 (break)

16:30 – 17:00 Ralph Rose (CELESE): A descriptive account of the developmental trajectory of L2 learners’ use of hesitation phenomena

17:00 – 17:30 Chris Sheppard (CELESE): Measurement and definition of perceptual learning styles: Defining through working memory

17:30 – 18:00 Fusa Katada (CELESE): Backward ludling in auditory working memory: Orthography-free evidence for the structure of long segments in Japanese

18:00 – 18:15 (closing)

18:45 – Reception (place to be announced, everyone is welcome at a fee)

Download event flyer here.