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Silence is Golden? Classroom Silence in Universities in Japan and the UK new
Japan Foundation at Experience Japan Exhibition 2016 new

Silence is Golden? Classroom Silence in Universities in Japan and the UK   org

As Japan and the UK continue to make strides to globalise their university campuses, leading to increasingly culturally diverse classrooms, understanding factors which could lead to communication problems between teachers and students is of increasing importance.

In this seminar Dr Jim King, Lecturer in Education at the University of Leicester, will focus on one aspect of student behaviour which is considered to be particularly prevalent in the Japanese classroom - silence. Silence does not always merely represent an absence of noise, but can carry different meanings and have various functions, which, particularly in intercultural contexts, can often be misunderstood or misinterpreted. Dr King will discuss his recent Japan Foundation sponsored investigation into silence in second language and mainstream university settings in Japan and in the UK. While his research offers useful guidance for non-Japanese educators who would like to better navigate the silences of Japanese students, it also uncovers some surprising similarities in how UK and Japanese students react to classroom silence, providing important lessons in not making assumptions about student behaviour based purely on cultural trends.

Following his talk, Dr King will be joined in conversation by second language acquisition expert Dr Kazuya Saito (Birkbeck, University of London), to continue to explore other communication related challenges occurring within cross-cultural teaching in the UK and Japan, and to take a practical look at how to better meet the different learning and teaching needs of Japanese and other international students within culturally diverse university classrooms, particularly foreign language settings. 

Date: 16 November 2016 from 6.30pm

Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD (Close to Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston stations)


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please send an email to

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Japan Foundation at Experience Japan Exhibition 2016   JPsupported

The Experience Japan Exhibition will be back in London this November for the sixth time, bringing information on the growing range of exciting study, work and research opportunities available in Japan to a UK audience. 

The event which is hosted by Keio University and co-hosted by the British Council will allow participants to meet representatives of Japanese universities and receive information on the various programmes of study offered for international students. There will also be a chance to find out about the variety of scholarships and research funding available to enable students to take advantage of these learning opportunities.

The event will introduce other programmes that allow young people in the UK to experience Japan, such as the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET). Experts on working in Japan will also be taking part in the event to provide information on the job market and the opportunities available including internships.

The seminar line-up offers participants the chance to hear directly from people with experience of studying and working in Japan. Guest speakers will also be delivering sessions that will provide insight on Japanese language and popular culture.

This year’s seminar line-up includes a talk by the Japan Foundation’s own Chief Japanese Language Advisor Makoto Netsu who will be discussing ‘Insights into Japanese culture through language

Throughout the day the Japan Foundation will also be introducing our support programmes and resources for Japanese Studies and Japanese language learning at an information stand at the exhibition, so do come and visit us for advice on your Japanese studies!

Date: 19 November 2016 from 12.00pm

The Royal Society, Wellcome Trust Lecture Hall, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

Further details on pre-registration and more can be found on the Experience Japan Exhibition official website:

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