Home   Profile in Japanese    Letters from Boston    Postcards: My thoughts go on.  

KIKUCHI, Toshikazu, Ph.D.  As of September 2020
Speak with soulful words that reach the hearts of people throughout the world.
This is my classroom philosophy. This is what I want my students to be able to do.

<Latest News>
My recent publication was featured in the Global Education Digest 2018, and University College London
kindly invited me to become part of its network, ANGEL. ANGEL (Academic Network on Global Education
and Learning), established in 2017, is the first network which creates ties among academics and researchers
in the fields of Global Education, Global Citizenship Education, Development Education and Education
for Sustainable Development.

I participated in an intensive training program for Career in International Civil Service at the
United Nations Headquarters in New York City from August 26 to September 3, 2017.

<Research Interests>
(1) Global Citizenship Education
Building a sense of global citizenship in youth through foreign language education.

(2) Curriculum Development of English and American Sign Language
Creating a curriculum for Japanese hearing students learning English with implementation
of American Sign Language as a foreign language.

<The Department of World Liberal Arts>

Nagoya University of Foreign Studies launched a promising new school, The School of World
Liberal Arts
, in April, 2019, and our department is under the umbrella of the new school.

A new department, called The Department of World Liberal Arts, was launched in April 2015
at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies (NUFS). I was one of the department's founding members.

The goal of the new department is to cultivate globally competitive students and future leaders
who would drive Japan toward future advancement. These students, who will someday participate
in bilateral and multilateral negotiations with various people of diverse cultures from different
countries, are required to develop strategic communication skills to boostJapan's global presence.

In order to fulfill the department goal, NUFS has set up a language and culture study program in
New York City in cooperation with the City College of New York, whose founder was Townsend Harris,
the first United States ambassador to Japan. This program, catalyzed by my stay in NYC as a Fulbright
Visiting Scholar
, includes a visit to the United Nations Headquarters. We will have a private briefing
with a UN official, followed by an hour long guided tour of the building. We welcome highly motivated
students with a strong intellectual curiosity from around the world. We are also looking for overseas
institutions that could collaborate and exchange experiences and ideas of teacher training in Global
Citizenship Education.

We ended the 2015 New York City Study Program with a great success, promising to run it again.
Thousands of thanks to The City College of New York for making our long-awaited dream a reality.

<My Most Concern>
While studying in the United States as a 2011 Fulbright visiting scholar, I strongly felt that
there was an urgent need for Japan to create a new elementary school environment of
progressive education with skilled teachers
. As Japan's global presence has diminished,
"the nurturing of global human resources" has become a main concern for Japanese universities.

As a university English-language teacher, however, I want to stress that it is not at the university
level but rather at the elementary school level that the learning necessary for acquiring communication
skills should start. Japanese education reform has not been bold enough to substantially improve public
education, especially elementary schools. Are Japanese elementary school teachers trained well enough
to facilitate a student's effective, as well as cognitive, growth by connecting teaching and learning
meaningfully to the outside world? Are they trained to develop children who inevitably will be required
to get involved skillfully in negotiations with various people of diverse cultures?

The principal concern of Japanese education reform after 1984 was human resources. It seems the reform
has not been successful in taking the teacher into account as an agent of change. We must be bold enough
to break out of the traditional image of the Japanese teacher and school. Global human resources development
will never be possible without improving the quality of elementary school teachers and their school environment.
What Japan needs now is a progressive elementary school environment and skilled elementary school teachers
who are familiar with Socratic Dialogue Method and Critical Thinking. Now is the time for Japan to treat
elementary school teachers as true professionals. (Posted on The Japan Times, November 29, 2012)

<March 2013>

    One late March day in 2012, I was walking along the Tidal Basin under the cherry

blossoms in Washington, D.C. The year 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the planning

of the cherry trees from Japan to the United States.  As I was thinking of the people in my

home country who sent about 3,000 cherry trees to Washington as a gift of friendship, I could

not help appreciating the American people who had looked after the trees carefully and

thoughtfully for the past 100 years, while at the same time hoping that our friendship between

the two countries would continue in the years to come.


    Although the Japanese people are not familiar with this, the most well-known melody of

"Happy Birthday to You" comes from the song "Good Morning to All," which was written

and composed by American sisters Patty Hill and Mildred Hill in 1893. Patty was a

Teachers College faculty member for 30 years.


    My journey will not be complete until I fulfill my dream of establishing an elementary

school in my hometown, which was totally devastated in March 2011 by an unprecedented

massive earthquake and tsunami, and still has not recovered. Deaf and hearing children

will study together in the school and Deaf and hearing teachers and staff members will

work together in the school. My journey will not be complete until I say "Happy Birthday"

to the new school standing on a hilltop over my reconstructing and reborn motherland.

With my motto in mind, my journey will go on: a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.

<September 2012>

I found that there was a possibility that Dr. Inazo Nitobe, widely renowned as the author of

"Bushido, The Soul of Japan", and Dr. Virginia O'Hanlon, who wrote her famous letter in 1897

at age 8 to The New York Sun about the existence of Santa Claus, may have met each other in

1911 on the campus of Columbia University.  Many of you may say, "Who cares?",  but this may

open a window for Japanese education reform to establish a new style of elementary school,

especially for children who experienced the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

I have a dream of establishing an elementary school for these Japanese children who lost their

parents and loved ones in the disaster. I want them to believe that tomorrow will be a better day.

<June 2012>

After completing nine months of research at Columbia University in New York City,

I came back to my office at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies.

<2011 Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Columbia University>

After a two-year rigorously competitive selection process for Japanese researchers wishing to

  study in the United States, I was officially designated as one of ten Fulbright Visiting Scholars

  in Japan by the Japan-United States Educational Commission. The aims of my project are

  threehold: First, to improve my ASL skills to become an ASL program coordinator, second, to

  develop a language teaching curriculum integrated with ASL in Japan, third, to develop a

  foundation of research that would support language policy reform to the Japanese Ministry of

  Education toward the recognition of signed language as a language in Japan. In response to my

  request, Columbia University in New York City has kindly offered me an opportunity to pursue

  my research interests in the area of signed language and applied linguistics.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Russell S. Rosen of Columbia University for

  accepting me in his program at Teachers College and providing me with a great opportunity

  to do research on highly interesting topics. I am particularly indebted to Dr. Robert J. Hoffmeister,

  affectionately known as Bob, of the Boston University Deaf Studies Program who has generously

  offered a number of resources that provided me considerable expertise to add to my work.

  Words can do little to express my appreciation and gratitude to Bob, who kindly sent a very

  enthusiastic letter of recommendation to the Fulbright Commission with a focus on my leadership

  potential in a new academic field in Japan. It is my hope that my project will lead to further

  university innovation and education reform in Japan while at the same time contributing to
  promoting better understanding between Japan's and the U.S.'s deaf and hearing communities.


<Latest Publications & Presentations>

・Global Citizenship Education through Study Abroad Programs with Service Learning Experiences.  (2018).

   Bulletin of Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, No. 2.  pp. 73-101.  pdf file

・Creating a School Where Butterflies Flitter

~ A 2011 Fulbright Visiting Scholar Report (2) ~ (2013) pp. 59-88 pdf file

  Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Journal of School of Foreign Languages, No. 45


・A Proposal for Education Reform in Japanese Elementary Schools

~ A 2011 Fulbright Visiting Scholar Report (1) ~   (2013)  pp. 95-122 pdf file

  Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Journal of School of Foreign Languages, No. 44.


・The Possibility of Teaching American Sign Language as a Foreign Language

in Japanese Universities  (2011) pdf file

   Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Journal of School of Foreign Languages, No. 40.


・The Impact of Teaching ASL to Japanese Hearing Students and

Their Attitude Change toward Deaf People  (2010) pdf.file

   Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Journal of School of Foreign Languages, No. 38. 49-76.

・Implications of Teaching ASL to Japanese Hearing Students  (2009) pdf.file

   Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Journal of School of Foreign Languages, No. 36.  1-27.

・The Potential of iTunesU and Second Life for Mobile Language Learning. (2008).

   Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Journal of School of Foreign Languages, No. 34. 37-61.

・The Use of Mobile Phones in m-Learning. (2007). Nagoya University of Foreign Studies,

    Journal of School of Foreign Languages, No. 32. 55-85.


・Quality Assurance of Cross-border e-Learning. (2007). At the joint seminar between

    Foreign Language Teaching Association of the University of Tokyo and Tanabe Applied

    Linguistics Kenkyukai. Waseda University.

・Is iPod Really Effective in m-Learning? (2007). At Wireless Ready. Nagoya University of

    Commerce and Business.

・The Potential of Mobile Learning from the Perspective of University Management. (2007).

    At the Kanto Branch of the English Literary Society of Japan. Keio University.


<My Concerns>

・The ultimate goal of my work in the field of sign language would be the creation of a foundation of
  research in Japan focusing on the teaching and learning of ASL as a foreign language for Japanese
  hearing university students in the same way as other foreign languages such as French, Spanish,
  German, Chinese, etc., which has the potential to lead to further university innovation and
  education change in Japan.

・Other concerns are: Does a computer have a mind of its own like human beings? This question brings

   another thought to mind: What is the connection between language education and philosophy?

・You may laugh at me, but I wrote a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle

   Obama in March, 2009 encouraging them to enjoy the cherry blossoms along the banks of the Potomac
  for a break from their stressful daily work at the White House. I haven't received any reply from them

   yet. They must be very busy. In April, 2012, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate

   the 100-year anniversary of the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC., by the way.

<To NUFS Students>

Ask yourself again why you chose this university. Was it simply because you wanted to learn

English conversation? That may be part of the reasons, but it is not the main reason. After you

have improved your conversation skills in English, then, next, I want you to learn to use the

English language to get information from around the world, paying attention to global issues,

in order to know what is happening around you. I am here to help you. 

<Current Office Address>

Department of World Liberal Arts

Nagoya University of Foreign Studies

57 Takenoyama, Iwasaki, Nisshin City 470-0197 Japan

e-mail   kikuchi at nufs.ac.jp     Please replace "at" with "@".


<Position>  Professor


<Lecture Courses in Charge: 2018>

・Dept. of World Liberal Arts:Advanced Liberal Arts Reading A-1, A-2
・Dept. of World Liberal Arts:Liberal Arts Reading A-1, A-2
・Dept. of World Liberal Arts:3rd-year Seminar for World Liberal Arts Studies
・Dept. of World Liberal Arts:4th-year Seminar for World Liberal Arts Studies
・School of Foreign Languages: Introduction to American Sign Language
・School of Foreign Languages, School of Contemporary International Studies:
  Career Design ⅡC

<Study Field>

The Efficacy of Keyword Captions to Improve EFL Students’ Listening Comprehension


<Research Areas I Have Explored>

ASL as a Foreign Language for Japanese Hearing University Students

・Curriculum Development Study for Japanese Hearing Students Learning English

  with the Implementation of American Sign Language

・Quality Assurance of Cross-border e-Learning in Higher Education

・The Effective Use of Virtual Humans in English Teaching

・Educational Effects of Using Mobile Phones on English Learning

・The Use of iTunesU and Second Life in English Teaching



Ph.D.         The University of Tokyo (Language and Information Sciences)

                   "The Efficacy of Keyword Captions on the Improvement of EFL

                    Students' Listening Comprehension"


M.A.          The University of Tokyo (Language and Information Sciences)

           "The Potential of Closed-Captioned Movies in English Education"


B. A.          The University of Tsukuba (Education)



・The University of Tokyo (part-time)

・Numazu National College of Technology

・Tokyo Metropolitan High School


<Professional Training>
・2011-2012, 9 months: A Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York City, U.S.A.
・1999-2000, 10 months: A visiting researcher at the School of Education (ASL, TESOL), Boston University, MA, U.S.A.
・1992, 2 months: A visiting lecturer at CALS, The University of Reading, England
・1989-1990, 12 months: A researcher at the Tokyo Metropolitan Research Institution for Education