Background to the Project






How much are we aware of the diversity of “Japanese speakers” in our daily lives? Japanese speakers are not necessarily Japanese. You may be surrounded by people who have roots in various languages and cultures, who are learning Japanese, who are working in Japan, or who are interested in Japan. In Japan, it is becoming increasingly recognized that society is becoming more multilingual and multicultural, and this will become even more pronounced in the future. On this website, we have collected narratives from people who speak Japanese as a foreign language and as their first language. What can we learn from their “voices”? For example, sharing information and differences in language and culture may allow us to learn different ways of thinking and perspectives. This project aims to reduce stress in communication and deepen mutual understanding by raising awareness of the diversity of “languages” and “people”. Let’s listen to their “voice” together.

Purposes and Goals

Fostering a flexible understanding of language, language proficiency, and communication by multilingual speakers who have Japanese as their repertoire in Japanese society

  • Cultivating the awareness of the diversity of the Japanese language
    • In order to accommodate the diversity of the Japanese language, it is necessary to focus on fostering tolerance for differences, rather than merely encouraging plain language forms.
    • Rather than presenting a single answer or method of communication, we provide an opportunity to understand diverse ideas and perspectives.
  • Practical activities to bridge Japanese language classroom and outside the classroom
    • In the field of Japanese language education, a wide variety of Japanese is accepted, and this diversity must be actively promoted to society.
    • We will create resources, discuss activity plans, and present implementation models to support the practices for better understanding and communication outside of the Japanese language education environment.
  • Enhancing understanding of diverse individual Japanese speakers
    • We collect individual experiences, thoughts, and actual language practices.

About Global Network for Japanese Language Education Project

This project is one of the Global Network for Japanese Language Education (GN) projects. The Global Network for Japanese Language Education consists of organizations from 12 countries and regions around the world with the aim of exchanging and promoting research and education related to Japanese language education. GN projects in which two or more of the member organizations participate are approved and implemented by the Global Network for Japanese Language Education.


  • Canadian Association for Japanese Language Education
    • Kazuhiro Yonemoto (Tokyo Medical and Dental University)
    • Tomoko Shibata (Princeton University)
    • Mayo Kawaguchi (University of Toronto)
    • Asami Tsuda (Sophia University)
    • Hisako Hayashi (Carleton University)
  • Association of Japanese Language Teachers in Europe
    • Noriko Iwasaki (Nanzan University)
    • Marcella Mariotti (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
  • Japanese Studies Association of Australia (2016-2017)
    • Emi Otsuji (University of Technology Sydney)
    • Ikuko Nakane (University of Melbourne)


A part of this project was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 16K21018 and Hakuhodo Foundation Research Grant for Child Education (2019).