On November 5, 2017, Globalize DC’s Director, Sally Schwartz, joined a Sunday afternoon seminar, sponsored by J-LEARN, on the current state of K-12 Japanese language education in the greater Washington, DC region. J-LEARN is a grassroots organization created by a coalition of parents, educators, and concerned individuals from the local DC area and dedicated to promoting and supporting the teaching of Japanese language and culture in public schools. The lively presentation and discussion focused on the benefits of Japanese language education for K-12 students preparing to enter the 21st century global economy, and strategies for promoting Japanese in a time of budgetary constraints, competition from other languages, and other challenges. We were happy to share information about our own afterschool model (Japanese Plus) as evidence that Japanese language teaching and learning is taking hold among DC public school students.
The event was held in conjunction with J-LIVE (Japanese Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement) Talk, an annual Japanese language speech competition for university students, held at George Washington University. The occasion was also an opportunity to recognize the contributions of Ambassador John R. Malott, President of the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC, for his work in promoting US-Japan relations and Japanese language education.