Section of Culture and Language


The Section of Culture and Language is an organization of faculty members that was established based on the Section of Language Education and the Section of Japanese Language Education in the former Center for the Advancement of Higher Education. It is composed of the faculty members in charge of “Foreign Language Subjects” and “Japanese Language Subjects” of liberal education and Japanese language education programs for the entire university (“Special Program for International Students,” “Japanese Language Training Course for International Students,” etc.).


Together with research and fact-finding studies on education methods concerning foreign-language education as part of general education during basic education in university, its main mission and goals involve making various proposals concerning the development of an education environment for foreign-language courses in liberal education, curriculum development, design, implementation, and support for self-learning by students using Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) laboratories. In foreign language subjects, it is in charge of English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, practicing education intended not just to improve ability in the four language skills of “listening, speaking, reading, and writing” but also to deepen inter-lingual and intercultural understanding through learning about the societies, cultures, and histories of the places where foreign languages are spoken. Japanese courses are intended not only to teach foreign-exchange students in individual university departments and foreign researchers the advanced Japanese-language usage skills required for specialized education in faculties, but also to promote the understanding of Japanese culture, both through classes where they can learn with Japanese students and other aspects.


Surveys and research activities (from April 1, 2012)

[1] “Extensive Reading Best Practice & Extensive Reading Program Development” (Research led by Senior Assistant Professor Ben Shearon and Daniel Eichhorst)

Best practices of extensive reading programs were developed by studying typical extensive reading programs in Japan. This research could be utilized by establishing extensive reading corners in the Tohoku University libraries as well as organizing seminars and workshops on the introduction of extensive reading methods for educators of Tohoku University and local communities.


[2] “Objectives and Goals of the University English Education in Tohoku University: Suggestions from the ESP Research” (Research led by Professor Yuka Tachibana)

Surveys and research were conducted on English curricula for specific teaching methods of Academic Reading Skills, Academic Writing Skills, Academic Listening Skills, and Examination Skills (English for external exams such as TOEFL, which takes into consideration overseas study for academic research purposes, and measures for certification exams).


[3] “Auxiliary Teaching Material Preparation for Spanish for Beginners: Introduction of Video Materials to Acquire Listening Skills and Activities based on the Cultures of Spanish-speaking Countries” (Research led by Senior Assistant Professor Cecilia Silva)

Video teaching materials for training Spanish communication skills were prepared. Learning activities based on the videos and activities designed to experience the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries and learn about cultural diversity were incorporated into handbooks.


[4] “Cooperation between Multiple Faculty Members and TA’s in Japanese Language Classes” (Research led by Associate Professor Natsue Sugaya)

Class records were collected and analyzed together with questionnaires for the enrolled students, TA activity records, and meeting records between faculty members and TA’s. The manner of cooperation between faculty members and TA’s was examined based on the gathered data, and the research results are expected to improve the education practices at our university in the future.


[5] “Development of International Joint Training Seminars with a Focus on the University Guide Video Production Project” (Research led by Professor Sekiko Sato)

A syllabus was developed for “International Joint Training Seminars” including the production of a video to accompany the Tohoku University Guide through the cooperation of Japanese and international students, and these classes have been implemented. A session to introduce life on campus with the produced video was held at open campus.


Educational activities

[1] Implementation of English and other foreign languages classes (German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Korea) with a focus on liberal education.


[2] Implementation of Japanese Language Subjects for International Students” of liberal education for 1st year international students.


[3] Implementation of Japanese language education programs for international students and foreign researchers across the entire university.



[English as Foreign Language]

Chair of Section Professor Yoshio Kitahara
(English Linguistics, English Education, 
Higher Education Theory)
  Appointed Professor Takeshi OKADA
(Corpus studies and their application to the EFL teaching)
  Associate Professor Shuichi Takebayashi
(English Education, American Studies)
  Associate Professor Shizuka Sakurai
(TESOL, Second Language Acquisition)
  Associate Professor Vincent Scura
  Associate Professor Ryan Spring
(English Linguistics, Second Language Learning)
  Associate Professor Richard Meres
(Communication, English Linguistics)
  Associate Professor Barry Kavanagh
(Sociolinguistic, English Linguistics, 
Applied Linguistics)
  Senior Assistant Professor



Senior Assistant Professor

Takayuki MIURA
(TEFL, Applied Linguistics, Psycholinguistics)


[Second Foreign Language] 



Zhao Xiumin
(Chinese Lnaguage Education, 
Education Technology, e-Learning)


Associate Professor

Minkyeong Kang
(Linguistics of German)


Assistant Professor

Susanne Endo
(German Language Education, 
Japanese Northern History)


Senior Assistant Professor

(Linguistics of German, Theoretical Linguistics)


Associate Professor

Youichi Tabayashi
(Spanish, Linguistics)


Associate Professor

Cecilia Silva
(Foreign Language Education in Spanish)


Associate Professor

Yosuke Fukai
(French literature, French)


Associate Professor

Hyeon-Cheol Kim
(Korean Performing Arts Theory, 
Japan-Korea Comparative Cultural Theory)


Senior Assistant Professor

(Gender history, French Language Education)


Senior Assistant Professor



Senior Assistant Professor

(Chinese Linguistics)


Senior Assistant Professor

(Chinese Linguistics, Japanese Linguistics)


Appointed Assistant Professor

(History of Japanese and Chinese relations, Teaching Chinese as a Second Language)


[Japanese as Foreign Language]


Satoshi Uehara
(Cognitive Linguistics)


Natsue Sugaya
(Japanese Language Education)

  Associate Professor

Wataru Nakamura
(Linguistic Typology)

  Associate Professor

Masako Hayashi
(Japanese Linguistics, Japanese Language Education)

  Associate Professor

(Japanese language education)

  Senior Assistant Professor

(Japanese Language Education, Sociolinguistics)



41, Kawauchi, Aobaku, Sendai, 980-8576, Japan

(Kawakita Joint Building)