Philosophy of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures
The Faculty of Languages and Cultures, Kyushu University, consists of academics conducting research on various countries and areas in the world. The accomplishments of the institute are applied to education of students at graduate and undergraduate level.
The 21st century has rendered the world a single information network with the development of multimedia and the Internet. An understanding of these developments is therefore essential for the study of languages and culture in the modern world. Our faculty has devoted itself to interdisciplinary and international investigation of the contemporary community. To this end, the faculty utilizes highly advanced information technology as well as more traditional research methods.
The faculty has long been able to provide graduates with the necessary skills to guide Japan towards a leading role in the world community. Such graduates complement their expertise in whatever else they study with a profound understanding of culture and proficient language ability. The Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University Business School, the Graduate School of Human-Environment Studies, etc. have traditionally been highly successful in this respect.
Though the faculty operates at a graduate level, we are responsible for general language education at Kyushu University and its great contribution to Japan’s development of a harmonized multicultural society is widely recognized.
The Internal Structure of the Faculty
The Faculty changed its internal structure on October 1, 2006 and now consists of two departments: the Department of Linguistic Environment and the Department of Multicultural Society.
(1) Department of Linguistic Environment
This department studies languages, language use, and linguistic environment in a scientific and interdisciplinary manner. The research covers not only language itself (i.e. linguistics in a narrow sense) but also its use and its relationship with society and culture in such areas as language acquisition, communication, media etc.
This department is made up of two subdivisions:
a) Language Education
This subdivision investigates language and the linguistic environment from the viewpoint of language education and aims at applying whatever is drawn from the research to actual education practice. In addition to second language acquisition and language education, it attempts to make a contribution to the improvement of education and the development of teaching programs and materials.
b) Linguistic Information
This subdivision explores linguistic information in a broad sense. In so doing, it conducts a comprehensive study of the modes of information and the influence of information technology upon communication. This subdivision also inquires into the effects of language contact brought about by intercultural exchange.
(2) Department of Multicultural Society
The main objective of this department lies in investigating and nurturing cultural symbiosis via a critical investigation into the cultural and linguistic aspects of international cooperation. It also conducts research into various cultural regions and attempts to devise a framework for such investigation and for the development of cultural cohabitation.
This department consists of two subdivisions:
a) International Symbiosis
This subdivision analyzes problems inherent to international cooperation with a view to formulating solutions and the practical means to realize them. This implies rejecting narrow economic or technological cooperation in favor of a new emphasis on the cultural and linguistic aspects of educational development, health and medicine, the environment etc.
b) International Culture
This subdivision pursues in-depth studies of individual cultural areas. As such, it pays particular attention to dynamic and pluralistic aspects and identities. It also scrutinizes traditional methodologies and attempts to nurture the development of new viewpoints and insights towards the goal of constructing prosperous multicultural societies all over the world.