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What's FFLS?

The Faculty of Foreign Language Studies (FFLS) was launched as the 11th Faculty of Kansai University in April, 2009, with the aims of (1) seeking to further realize the educational principles encapsulated in its long-cherished school mottos – ‘the nurture of an international spirit’ and ‘the absolute necessity of foreign language mastery’; and (2) producing first-class ‘professionals’ adept in the use of foreign languages, who have a good command of cross-cultural communication skills and can be a solid bridge to different cultures and countries.

FFLS accepts a total of 150 freshman students a year; the main characteristics of the undergraduate education that it offers are: (a) practical and, at the same time, highly challenging instruction in use of either English or Chinese, provided through classes that are small in size; (b) flexible curricula that offer attractive specialist courses including foreign language learning & acquisition, linguistic analysis, area studies, intercultural communication, translation & interpretation, and business communication; (c) renowned teacher training courses for English, Chinese, and Japanese as a foreign language ; (d) a ‘Study Abroad’ program for every student, involving a whole year’s study and experiences at universities overseas; (e) internship programs made possible through ties with educational institutions, commercial enterprises, and organizations both domestic and foreign; (f) courses in at least one other foreign language, chosen from German, French, Russian, Spanish, and Korean; (g) media literacy and study skills courses that lay the foundation for the students’ further study; and (h) a ‘fast-track graduation path’, made possible through cooperation with the University’s Graduate School of Foreign Language Education and Research, which allows especially capable students to complete both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in just five years.

FFLS also boasts top-rated teaching-staff: each of them is an authority in his or her chosen research field related to foreign languages and cultures. They have been in charge of both the general foreign language education program offered at Kansai University and the MA/PhD programs offered at the University’s Graduate School, and have successfully made each of them one of the most prestigious programs in Japan. Their expertise, together with their long and broad experiences in education and research, provides strong supports for the students’ effective learning of foreign languages and cultures at FFLS.

It has been widely said that Japan’s younger generation nowadays find less interest in things abroad and show less willingness to go overseas. They are even said to be apathetic towards the global issues surrounding them. This is a tendency that causes grave concern because devising viable solutions to global issues depends on the younger generation. In devising these solutions, adhering only to a worn-out, parochial perspective should definitely be avoided. New perspectives and ways of thinking, the bases of innovation, need to be actively sought and created through interactions with people from all over the world. Out of these interactions will come breakthroughs for solving the various problems now tormenting the globe. To facilitate these interactions, educating the ‘professionals’ adept in the use of foreign languages and cross-cultural communication skills, with profound cultural understanding, is indispensable. Herein, we believe, lies the clear raison d’être of our Faculty.

Osamu Takeuchi, Ph.D.
Professor of Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Foreign Language Studies
Kansai University