Tokyo Woman's Christian University

Research Story

[Language Sciences]

What can language education do to create a society where everyone participates equally and fairly?


Shin MATSUO, Ph.D.
Department of Language Sciences


In Brazil, Indonesia and Taiwan I researched language education including language choice and language shift of minority groups in certain societies. Since moving my research site back to Japan, I have been exploring language education as a way of social involvement. 


Together with TWCU students, I join in a Portuguese class for Japanese-Brazilian children in Gunma and a Japanese language group for refugees from Burma in Tokyo. I have helped the Japanese language group since its establishment. It is one of my research sites in which I study how all the participants including refugees, students, and citizens can communicate equally and learn from each other.


Through the research it appears that experience and tacit knowledge, expertise of a facilitator in addition to knowledge of Japanese education are necessary to create an environment where all participants with different backgrounds and different Japanese abilities can be involved in as fair and sufficient as possible.
  • Professor Shin MATSUO, Ph.D.

    Department of Language Sciences

    I taught Japanese for 12 years in Brazil, Indonesia and Taiwan. My study at the beginning was how Japanese was inherited from generation to generation in colonies of Japanese immigrants in Brazil. Then, I became more interested in how language education can contribute to build a society where everyone is respected equally regardless of their native languages. I have been working on this theme since then.