A belated Happy New Year to all FLANC members. My winter vacation was rather busy. I spent the end of last year and the beginning of the New Year in Japan. First of all, however, I would like to report that the FLANC Workshops and Conference 2012 – “Languages are the Golden Gate to Culture” was a great success. [Please be prepared. My essay here may, in a sense, be cyclic, and the concept that I will talk about here may be cyclic as well.] To those who attended the conference, I would like to express my sincere appreciation. To the presenters, I am very much appreciative of your efforts in making preparations for your presentations. We were very happy to have all of you at the conference.
I spend early June almost every year in Japan, but I left San Francisco a little early this year. Because I was appointed to be a Guest Professor at the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL) in Tokyo, I flew to Japan shortly after the commencement ceremony at SF State University. For the past two years I have been involved in NINJAL’s three research projects: (1) Universals and Cross-Linguistic Variations in the Semantic Structure of Predicates, (2) Study on Teaching and Learning Japanese as a Second Language (JSL) in a Multicultural Society, and (3) Compilation of a Japanese Basic Verb Usage Handbook for Japanese-as-a-Foreign-Language (JFL) Learners. I have been lucky to be involved in these three projects. But being appointed to the guest professorship is another matter. I am supposed to publish a book entitled the “Handbook of Japanese Applied Linguistics,” one of the eleven handbooks on Japanese linguistics to be published in the next several years. I am very honored to be selected as the editor of the applied linguistics volume, because the main editors of these eleven books are all leading scholars in various areas of linguistics. NINJAL is involved in this publication project, and I was thus appointed a Guest Professor there. Feeling that my work has been rewarded, while my assigned task is challenging or even daunting, I was determined to complete it.