Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation Awarded to York University Professor Norio Ota
by Bev Ohashi, President of NEB
Norio Ota has been involved in university education focusing on Japanese Language and Culture instruction in Canada, Japan, United States, Australia, and Vietnam. In promoting post-secondary education through exchange programs, partnerships have been established with Meiji University, Dokkyo University, Keio University, Waseda University, Nagoya University and Hitotsubashi University. Furthermore, his work extended to supporting the Japanese Heritage Language Program and creating the Cross Cultural Communication Through Japanese with the former North York Board of Education.
The special ceremony in celebrating the commendation was held at the official residence of the Consul-General of Japan in Toronto on September 18, 2015. The Consul-General Yasunori Nakayama stated, “Professor Ota has devoted his career to making the Japanese language more accessible to Canadian university students. Among the innovations he brought to Japanese language education at York University is the method he describes as the communicative empathic approach.”
Ota has also spearheaded the development of on-line courses, interactive self-study materials and distance education courses through video-conferencing. All textbooks were abolished and replaced by materials developed by Professor Ota. The Japanese program at York University is the only one that offers all these resources free in an open learning environment. He receives emails from individuals around the world who have accessed these courses that wish to learn Japanese. Log in at http://buna.yorku.ca.
Recently, Norio Ota introduced the Honours Minor Degree Program at York University that incorporates history and experience of Japanese Canadians into the curriculum. Instructor Cary Takagaki is now teaching “The Japanese Immigration Experience in Canada” Course.
Congratulations to Ota Sensei!