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  • Masao Fukunaga (Acting Head of Linguistics Department)
INDEX :  Research Interests    Educational Features

Research Interests


Kei Shibata (Associate Professor) studies presentation and writing skills for medical students. Current trends in English education in Japan are communicative methods. He has a doubt if it is right to teach all college students basic daily conversational skills. It may be right to teach them more professional skills rather than teaching basic communication skills.

New directions in Kawasaki Medical School are those based upon content-based presentation and writing skill to develop students’ abilities in relation to their medical fields. He sets up a large class and small classes for each grader of the 1st to 4th with stuff members of five Japanese English teachers and nine foreign teachers from different nationalities. The underlying principle of those classes is the notion that language acquisition occurs when the learners use the target language for authentic needs. This program will be beneficial to Kawasaki medical students.


The Japanese Literacy field is considered to serve as the foundation of medical education. In our Medical School, emphases are placed on writing skill, communicative skill and enrichment of vocabularies. According to the research by National Center for University Entrance Examinations, they have already started to focus on these abilities and capabilities based on medical education.

Japanese education is given to the first and second grade students. Our aim is to improve in the reading, writing communicative skills and enrichment of vocabularies by collaborative learning.

The research fields of Associate Professor Mika Hashimoto are Japanese Literacy Education and Medieval Literature. In Japanese Literacy Education, she is researching the improvement of Japanese language basic skills for Japanese students. In Medieval Literature, she is researching traditional Japanese poetry (Waka) based on Saigyo Waka. As humanity and sympathy are important for excellent physicians, she is also trying to cultivate humanity and sympathy of medical students.

Educational Features

Designed specifically for medical students, these courses will expand students’ medical terminology and improve their English fluency, reading and writing skills.

English courses are given in both small and large classes. Small class lessons were developed by David H. Waterbury, Professor of Foreign Languages Department. He recognized students’ needs of individual attention in 2004 and began customized lessons to meet interests of all of the class members.

First- and second-year courses emphasize reading and vocabulary development, conversation and pronunciation. These courses also attempt to foster a better understanding of cultural backgrounds by reading short medical stories and articles. Students are required to give oral presentations on medical topics in second-year course.

Third-year course stresses on medical terminology. By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to interview English-speaking patients and explain symptoms and treatments.

Fourth-year course emphasizes on writing medical articles. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to write articles with intermediate grammatical accuracy.

Medical students with bilingual ability are beneficial to English-speaking patients and their families.