Instructors from the University of California, Berkeley toured the candidate sites for the field study of the PBL course (June 21st-22nd, 2012)
Dr. Keiko Yamanaka, Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley visited Akita International University on June 21st and 22nd to conduct preliminary research for the PBL course and toured sites in Yokote City and Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture with Dr. Takeshi Akiba, Assistant Professor (AIU).
This PBL course will examine various issues related to a depopulating society accompanied by an aging population and underpopulation in rural communities through conducting surveys on how immigrants from other Asian countries have been accepted into Akita Prefecture as well as the status of their eventual settlement here.
In Yokote City, we interviewed an immigrant from the Philippines, who was running an English language school. In addition, we conducted an additional interview with the staff of the Yokote City municipal office on the city’s acceptance of foreign immigrants and the current status of their settlement, after which we visited the Japanese language school being operated by the city.
In Yuzawa City, we interviewed the staff of the Yuzawa City board of education on the acceptance of foreign immigrants at their elementary schools and also conducted interviews with an individual who had vast experience in teaching Japanese to foreigners in Akita Prefecture and local NPO staff.
Taking the findings from these activities into account, the faculty members from both universities will have further discussion on the course content so that the course will be ready by the summer of 2014.