Associate Professor and Director, School in Japan at Middlebury College
Professor Eda is an Associate Professor and Director of the School in Japan at Middlebury College. She received her first M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Puerto Rico (1994), and a second M.A. and a Ph.D. in Japanese Linguistics and Pedagogy from the Ohio State University (1997, 2004). She held a position as an Educational Exchange Program (EEP) Lecturer and taught Japanese at the University of Puerto Rico for three years, where she was the first teacher ever to teach Japanese.
Professor Eda taught at the Middlebury College Japanese Language School for eight summers between 1994 and 2004 and served as an assistant director of the Japanese School in 2004. She held a position as an Assistant Professor and taught Japanese and linguistics at University of Kansas from 2004 until the spring of 2010, before returning to Middlebury in 2010 as the director of the School in Japan.
Assistant Professor, Wofford College
Professor Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies at Wofford College. She earned her M.A. in Modern Chinese from Beijing Normal University, M.A. and Ph.D. in Chinese Pedagogy from Ohio State University. She was one of ten recipients of the Graduate Associate Teaching Award in 2006 at Ohio State University.
Prior to joining the faculty at Wofford College, Professor Zhang taught Chinese as a second/foreign language at Beijing Normal University, The Ohio State University, and University of Akron. Her research interests include Chinese language acquisition and pedagogy, teacher training, Chinese linguistics, technology in Chinese language education, and cross-cultural communication. She is a certified ACTFL OPI tester.
Visiting Lecturer, Williams College
Professor Liao, Visiting Lecturer in Chinese at Williams College, is a Ph.D. candidate in Chinese Language Pedagogy at Ohio State University. He received his M.A. from the Graduate Institute of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at National Taiwan Normal University.
Professor Liao has been teaching Chinese language since 1999 and has taught at Harvard, Williams College, Columbia-in-Beijing and Ohio State. At Harvard, where he taught for three years, he received three Certificate of Distinction in Teaching Awards and was nominated for the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize for undergraduate teaching.
Professor Liao has co-authored three Chinese language textbooks for advanced learners. His research interests are Chinese language pedagogy, Chinese linguistics, and cross-cultural communication.
Stanfield Professor of Asian Studies, Williams College
Professor Kubler, Stanfield Professor of Asian Studies at Williams College, received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in linguistics from Cornell University. He earned a second M.A. in Chinese literature from National Taiwan University.
From 1980-1991 he was employed at the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State, where he served as Language Training Supervisor in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, and Mongolian; as Principal of the advanced Chinese field school in Taiwan; and as Chair of the Department of Asian and African Languages. Since coming to Williams in 1991, he has chaired the former Department of Chinese and Asian Studies Program as well as, for a total of 14 years, the Department of Asian Studies, which he was instrumental in founding. He has also taught at Eisenhower College, Portland State University, Middlebury College, National Taiwan Normal University, and Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kubler, who is author or coauthor of 15 books and over 50 articles on Chinese language pedagogy and linguistics, frequently serves as reviewer or consultant for Chinese and Asian Studies programs in the U.S. and overseas. He has served as Chair of the Test Development Committee for the SAT Subject Test™ in Chinese and as member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages of the Modern Language Association.
Assistant Professor of Japanese, Linfield College
Masayuki Itomitsu, Assistant Professor of Japanese at Linfield College, received his Ph.D. in Japanese from Ohio State University. He also earned his M.A. in Japanese at The Ohio State; B.S. in English at Northeast Missouri State University (currently Truman State University); and B.A. in English Language and Literature at University of the Ryukyus, Japan. He also completed Exchange: Japan’s Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language program at Bryn Mawr College.
Professor Itomitsu’s research interests include Japanese language pedagogy, material development, Japanese linguistics, teacher training, and testing. His Ph.D. dissertation concerns measuring learners’ pragmatic knowledge by a Web-based standardized test. He is a certified ACTFL OPI tester, and serves as item writer/reviewer for AP Japanese and SAT II Subject Test in Japanese by ETS. Professor Itomitsu also serves as a board member for Association of Teachers of Japanese in Oregon (ATJO), and as Faculty Advisor for Linfield’s Japanese Club.
Professor of Japanese, Ohio State University
Mari Noda, Professor of Japanese in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Ohio State University, received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Cornell University. A specialist in East Asian language pedagogy, Professor Noda is primarily interested in curriculum, material development, and assessment.
She directs and teaches in SPEAC (Summer Programs East Asian Concentration), which offers training in teaching of Japanese and Chinese and intensive Japanese and Chinese languages. Her recent publications include A Performance-based Pedagogy for Communicating in Cultures (co-author, Matthew B. Christensen, National East Asian Language Resource Center at The Ohio State University, 2002), Acts of Reading (co-author, Hiroshi Nara, University of Hawaii Press, 2003), Interactive DVD Program Japanese: The Spoken Language Parts 2/3 (co-author, Masayuki Itomitsu, Yale University Press, 2008) and CD-ROM Program for Japanese: The Spoken Language Part 1 (Yale University Press, 1998). Professor Noda serves as the faculty advisor and coach for the OSU Aikido Club and advisor for the Nihongo Osyaberi-kai.
Professor of Japanese and Director of the Institute for Asian Studies, Portland State University
Patricia Wetzel, Professor of Japanese and Director of the Institute for Asian Studies at Portland State University, received her Ph.D. in Japanese linguistics from Cornell University. Professor Wetzel directs the Japanese language program at PSU, recognized nationally for its excellence; she teaches courses in Japanese language, linguistics and pedagogy. Her longstanding focus has been keigo, or “polite language,” which she sees as a microcosm of Japanese society. She has been awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Japan in 2006.
Professor Wetzel’s resolve to build interest in south and southeast Asia on campus led to the Heritage Language Initiative. The HLI promotes literacy in a person’s first language as a means for preserving and enriching cultural traditions and promoting bilingual success. The HLI is an active and rich part of the foreign languages program at PSU.
Most recently the Japanese Language Program has established a cooperative relationship with ALLEX to provide teacher training in Japanese. The Japanese Teacher Training Institute through ALLEX is an intensive program both for training future Japanese language teachers and providing valuable program-strengthening tools to current teachers. A particular emphasis is given to methods for teaching Japanese to English-speaking North Americans rather than focusing on theoretical analysis of the Japanese language. Professor Wetzel is the director of the ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute that will conduct a summer intensive program at Portland State University beginning summer 2005.
Professor Wetzel’s dedication to quality teaching of foreign languages consistently receives high praise.
ALLEX Academic Director
Ginger Marcus is ALLEX Academic Director. She earned her M.A. in Japanese Literature at the University of Michigan and completed all of her Ph.D. coursework there. She has been teaching Japanese for twenty-five years at such institutions as University of Michigan, Middlebury College, and Washington University in St. Louis. At Washington University she has created a language program that produces life-long learners of Japanese who can interact comfortably in Japanese society after four years of undergraduate study.
She has been the Coordinator of the University of Michigan’s Summer Language Institute in Chinese and Japanese and the Co-Director of Language: Japan, an intensive summer program in Gifu Prefecture.
Since 1994 she has been involved in training future teachers of Japanese in the SPEAC Program at The Ohio State University, in Exchange: Japan’s Teacher Training Institute at Bryn Mawr College, and in the Alliance for Language Learning and Educational Exchange (ALLEX). In 2010, she was appointed Academic Director of the ALLEX Chinese and Japanese Teacher Training Institute. She is the Chair of the Governing Board of the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies and has been an elected member of the Executive Board of the Association of Teachers of Japanese.
She currently chairs the committee that develops the SAT II Subject Test in Japanese for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and The College Board. At Washington University, she has served as the President of the Association of Women Faculty, chaired the Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Committee, and has been the Japan Study Abroad Faculty Liaison and Advisor for the Department. In addition, she began the university’s Foreign Language Learning Colloquium Series, served as its chair for two years, and also chaired the Twelfth Annual Conference of the Central Association of Teachers of Japanese.
Her publications include commentary and literary translations of Japanese as well as reviews of pedagogical materials.
Tom Mason Jr.
President & Executive Director, ALLEX Foundation
Thomas Mason Jr. is President and Executive Director of the ALLEX Foundation. He is a specialist in international education, Chinese and Japanese language pedagogy, and social-entrepreneurship.
Mr. Mason earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Cornell University. As a graduate student his main interest was Chinese and Japanese pedagogy. His affiliation with Cornell’s Full-year Asian Language Concentration (FALCON) Program and their Teacher Training Workshop has been an essential element in his study of Asian language pedagogy.
Mr. Mason, who speaks Japanese and Chinese, taught high school in Massachusetts for several months before becoming a high school teacher in Japan where he was given his own class of Japanese students and made a homeroom teacher — a rare position for a foreigner to attain. He later went on to hold the rank of assistant professor at Bunsei University of Art where he taught before accepting a prestigious fellowship from the Taiwanese Ministry of Education to study at National Taiwan University. While at Bunsei University, Mr. Mason was a participant-observer in the intense campaign to re-elect Michiko Ueno, the only sitting LDP female in Tochigi, to her Senate seat. She won and is now a member of the national Diet in Tokyo. It is thought that Mr. Mason is the only foreigner in recent history to have been actively included in a key political figure’s center circle during an election.
Away from work Mr. Mason enjoys cycling, photography, and learning the names of NHK announcers (Japan’s national broadcasting network). When he is not in the air above the Pacific, he splits his time between Lunenburg, MA, and Shanghai, China.
Program Manager, ALLEX Foundation
Eriko Akamatsu is a Program Manager of the ALLEX Foundation. She also teaches Japanese language as a Teaching Associate at Cornell University.
Ms. Akamatsu graduated with a Master’s degree in Second Language Acquisition from University of Maryland. She has a second Master’s from Marshall University in Secondary Education. Akamatsu-sensei’s Bachelor’s degree is from Hiroshima University where she concentrated in English Education.
A graduate of the ALLEX program, she now serves as a Program Manager coordinating the summer program, working with new applicants, and assisting current students. She is a long-time Japanese teacher having taught at both Cornell University and the University of Maryland.