The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles Newsletter
Director's Greeting

My name is Shimpei Ishii. It has been one month since I became the Acting Director of JFLA after our former Director Hideki Hara returned to Japan. The situation has been one of total turbulence. 
During the past few weeks, I have been asking myself ‘what on earth can we and I do now, being quarantined in my small apartment?’ and ‘how essential could our business be in this time of emergency?’, just like many of you might be doing as well. As the first step to answer the former question, we started live-streaming programs such as yoga, meditation and music concerts. This has just begun, and the first trials have gone very well so far thanks to the wonderful instructors, artists, and most importantly, viewers. We will keep doing these kinds of online projects more and more, so please stay tuned. As for the latter question, nothing but your voices are the answer. I appreciate the many of you who have kept contacting us even in this time of hardship to show your desire for Japanese language, arts and people. Although JFLA is neither able to fight in the medical frontline, nor has it been named an ‘essential business’, you, friends of JFLA, keep telling us that the joy of learning about and experiencing other cultures and languages is now even more crucial for our lives than ever. Some language teachers, artists and scholars have already shown speed and creativity in sharing positive messages through videos and other mediums online. We aim to follow their example and provide similarly positive and diverse content with you all. 
We’re all in this together. And at the same time, we are all different in this. Although every one of us is being affected by the same virus, the circumstances of the fight we are in differ depending on each of our own situations (Well, I read Lady Gaga said this in an interview). We would like to hear your story, ideas and thoughts so much to bridge these gaps and connect despite the differences. Please shout out anything anytime. JFLA is always here to listen to you.

Shimpei Ishii
Deputy Director
Getting to Know JAPANESE Language & Culture
Here are some new & fun YouTube videos for Japanese language learners, created by Prof. Yuko Kato (Austin Community College) in collaboration with other professors in the U.S., Yoshimoto Kogyo (Comedy Duo: Jaru Jaru), and the Japan Foundation.

“This is My Japan” Video Project
What is your Japan?

We have received over 100 videos from a wide range of people since the start of this campaign and we look forward to receiving more videos from all corners of the United States! This month, we will be featuring videos from the individuals below.

Shared Videos (New)

Thank you to everyone who shared your "Japan" with us!
You can view all the videos on our website and YouTube channel from the following links.

May 4 - May 25
12:30PM PT
We want to bring some cheer to your lives by music!  JFLA will be presenting live music performances via JFLA Facebook LIVE! Every Monday at 12:30pm, talented performers will play their repertoire dedicated specially to you. Just go to JFLA's Facebook page ( ). Let’s start a new week with some uplifting music at home

Wednesday, May 6 & 20
12:30PM PT (15 Min Session)
We would like to help during these trying times. Meditation with Japanese Singing Bowl will be offered via JFLA Facebook LIVE!

The singing bowl used for this program harmoniously combines the healing qualities of the Tibetan singing bowl and its Japanese traditional singing bowl. Relax and feel your stress dissipate into thin air as the sounds of the singing bowl lead you into a meditative state.

There will be one session starting at 12:30pm. Just go to JFLA's Facebook page ( ). Stretch and refresh yourself with us at home!

Wednesday, May 13 & 27
12:30PM PT (15 Minute Session)
We would like to help during these trying times. Bilingual Yoga will be offered via JFLA Facebook LIVE!

No need to change clothes or use a yoga mat; you will be seated in a chair at home and receive an instruction from our instructor in bilingual (English and Japanese). Easy and relaxed!

There will be one session starting at 12:30pm. Just go to JFLA's Facebook page ( ). Refresh and recharge yourself with us at home!

We are accepting applications for the following grant programs to support Japanese-Language Education in the United States.

Note: We understand that many schools are currently closed due to COVID-19, so we are accepting digital signatures in lieu of wet-ink signatures on application forms for the time being.
Please submit your application materials via email since our office is also temporarily closed. Thank you!

Grants for Nationwide/Statewide/Regional-level Events and Projects

Deadlines:  September 1, 2020

Deadline:  Two months prior to the project start date

Grants for Individual Japanese Language Programs

Deadlines:  September 15, 2020

Japanese Language Education Update 78
I hope everyone has been having a safe and healthy time at home! The weather is getting so much warmer in Los Angeles that I’ve been missing the great outdoors and the beach! But with the stay at home orders, those adventures will have to wait. Currently, as an advocacy coordinator, I keep in contact with Japanese teachers and assist those who need help in maintaining their Japanese learning. There has been an increase in requests on how to continue to learn Japanese and I try my best to provide resources. We are also working with American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) with projects involving Japanese language students! I’m looking forward for more projects that support not only teachers but students as well. Also, our staff members have been working hard to provide online events such as virtual yoga and meditation on Wednesdays and recently, we started Music Mondays at 12:30PM PST for Facebook Live! Musicians who perform Japanese instruments and songs related to Japan showcasing their music for 25 minutes. We had our grant specialist Mike Penny perform the shamisen for the first Music Monday and received a lot of positive feedback! Seeing how we’re connecting with so many individuals through technology, I feel that these changes will continue to alter our communication styles and ways of outreach. I hope to continue improving on the outreach part and if you ever need anything, please continue to reach out to us at . We look forward to hearing from you!
Advancing Our Teaching Practice: A Series of Coaching Videos with Yoshiko Saito-Abbott, PH.D & Lead District Instructional Coach, Yo Azama
This series of short videos (approximately 15 minutes each) offers a unique professional development opportunity for Japanese language teachers. In them, experienced mentor teachers demonstrate and explain research-based teaching practices, with lessons and tips for conducting interpersonal tasks in the classroom. 
Learn why Japanese language teachers are admired in the world language education community, and adopt some of their teaching practices in your own classroom!

Video 1: Designing and Conducting Oral Interpersonal Group Tasks

Video 2: Designing and Conducting Oral Interpersonal Pair Tasks

Video 3: Focusing on Form in a Dialogue Context Through PACE

Video 4: Focusing on Comprehensible Input

Video 5: Designing and Conducting Interpersonal Communication Tasks