Our curriculum coordinators are nationally-recognized experts in the field of teaching language to “heritage learners.” Heritage learners occupy the middle ground between native Japanese children being raised in Japan, and American students who have no background or exposure to the language. The vast majority of OCG students, in both JHL and JFL classes, are heritage learners.
Our advisors have extensive experience in designing teaching methods and materials for Japanese learners from all backgrounds and at all levels. The three advisors form a very impressive team that has already revamped our curriculum and teaching approach, making our curriculum one of the most innovative and effective in the area.
Professor Kataoka is an internationally renowned leader and innovator in the field of Japanese language education and pedagogy. She has taught Japanese language courses for some 35 years, and teacher training courses for over 20 years.
Among her numerous activities, Professor Kataoka has served as the Chief Academic Specialist for the Japan Foundation, has chaired the Japanese National Standards Task Force, and has been involved with the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) test on Japanese Language and Culture. She has received numerous awards, including a citation for Leadership from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. In addition, Professor Kataoka is also a part of the OCG family: her son graduated from OCG in June 2010.
Professor Douglas is an expert on language acquisition by young heritage learners, including oral development and acquisition of bi-literacy skills. She has experience in creating and implementing curriculum programs for JHL learners of all ages, from kindergarten through college. She is a founder and current coordinator of the JHL Special Interest Group of the Association of Teachers of Japanese, and a founder of the JHL Journal: Japanese Heritage Language Education.
Professor Chinen is a specialist on Second Language Acquisition. Her main research interests include heritage language, social psychology, and immersion programs. She is on the editorial board of JHL Journal: Japanese Heritage Language Education.
Iwami sensei has been trained at CSU Long Beach. Since 2011 she has helped to oversee each portion of the OCG curriculum, as needed. She is currently working with the JFL elementary school classes.
Our Long Beach advisors are at our school every week, spending many hours observing our teachers and offering critiques and pointers. They serve as an invaluable resource, ensuring that our teachers thoroughly understand our curricular approach.
OCG also supports extra training for our teachers. All of our teachers attend the annual teacher training workshop sponsored by the California Association of Japanese Language Schools. Our teachers also participatedin regional and national workshops, including some workshops hosted by OCG and led by our advisors.
We know of no other school that pays this much attention to continual teacher training.