FLANC Conference Fall 2013 – Languages: Key to the Future

EXIF_JPEG_T422 FLANC Fall Conference 2013
Chabot College in Hayward, CA

October 25 and 26, 2013

about Chabot College / Campus Map & Directions about the City of Hayward

 questions? contact us at we@fla-nc.org

President’s Message – Fall 2013

My schedule this year from spring through summer was different from that of the past several years. First, while I normally teach three courses at San Francisco State University, I spent my sabbatical semester on working on an edited volume entitled the “Handbook of Japanese Applied Linguistics,” one of the eleven handbooks on Japanese linguistics to be published in the next several years. Second, while I usually spend early June in Japan, I left San Francisco much later this year. This is in part because I continue to be a guest professor at the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL) in Tokyo. But more importantly, because I am planning to hold the Eighth International Conference on Practical Linguistics of Japanese (ICPLJ8) at NINJAL on March 22-23, 2014, I flew to Japan late July for attending preparation meetings for ICPLJ8. During my visit to Japan, I also gave a series of special intensive lectures at Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) located near Kobe, arguably one of the best private universities in Japan. My lectures at KGU were very productive and fruitful; because KGU and SF State University recently established a bilateral exchange program, I wanted to get a feel for KGU’s academic environment for future exchange students from SF State University.

To begin with, I would like to report that last year’s FLANC Workshops and Conference –– “Languages are the Golden Gate to Culture,” which was held at SF State University in late October, was a great success. 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. At the conference, we also enjoyed the opportunity to listen to the plenary lecture by Dr. H. Douglas Brown, Professor Emeritus at SF State University. The title of his lecture was “The Social Responsibility of Language Teachers.” To those who missed the chance to listen to this world-renowned scholar’s lecture, do not get disappointed. His lecture is included in Volume 6 of Connections, the official journal of FLANC, which is now available.

As you may be aware, FLANC, created at UC Berkeley in 1952, is the oldest foreign language organization in Northern California. Last year’s conference thus marked the sixtieth anniversary. Celebrating one’s sixtieth birthday is called “kan’reki” in Japanese, and it is an auspicious occasion because it is considered a time of rebirth in Japan. This explanation may sound perplexing, but when a person lives to see his or her sixtieth calendar year, that person has lived through the entire sixty-year cycle of the traditional eto calendar and returned to the same “year” in which he or she was born (that is, the Least Common Multiple of ten stems/signs and twelve branches [which are the Chinese twelve zodiac]). The celebration of this feat has been popular since the Edo period (1603 – 1868). Furthermore, the concept of kan’reki is connected to the idea of rebirth, and, in this sense, FLANC is reborn and beginning another sixty years. Therefore, this year’s FLANC Workshops and Conference –– “Languages: Key to the Future,” which will be held at Chabot College in Hayward on October 25 and 26, holds significant meaning.

Continue reading “President’s Message – Fall 2013”