Advancing education in Japanese language and culture

The Macquarie Japanese Studies Centre for Teaching Development (MJS Centre) offers grants and fellowships to support Japanese teaching and research in Australia.

MJS Centre

The MJS Centre was established in October 1995. It was funded by the Nippon Foundation Fund for Japanese Language Education (NF-JLEP), in cooperation with the Nippon Foundation (endowment donor of US$1.5 million) and the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research (NF-JLEP Association secretariat).

The endowment came to Macquarie in recognition of contributions and achievements in the field of teaching advancement in Japanese language and culture, and in Japanese teacher education. All grant recipients will be given a lifetime membership of NF-JLEP Fellows.

This grant is designated to support teachers’ professional development, enhancing their aptitudes as leading Japanese language teachers in Australia.

It may be used for their language/cultural immersion and/or field work in Japan, enrolment in a formal language course, a conference presentation and/or teaching relief for such activities. It may also be used collectively for the development/establishment of a workshop, website or resources for teachers’ professional development.

$3,000 will be available for up to seven applications.

Eligibility and conditions

To be eligible you:

  • must be a Japanese language teacher currently working in a primary or secondary school (full-time or part-time) in Australia
  • must clearly articulate the aim, significance, benefit(s), budget justification and details of the proposed activity in your application
  • must provide supporting documents - for example an acceptance of a conference presentation or Japanese language/culture course, approval from your supervisor and/or reference letter will be beneficial
  • must only have one person on your application, even in the case of the collective development of a workshop etc
  • must spend the grant in full by the end of 2020
  • must submit your report via MJS website by 1 Feb 2021
  • must submit your application online by 1st March 2020.

Online application for 2020 is closed.

These grants are offered to support the final year of training of outstanding students to further develop their Japanese language teaching talent to become competent, leading Japanese language teachers in Australian schools.

Each grant, of the two (2) available, will provide $3,500 to the successful applicant. The MJS Centre Committee will make the final decision regarding the allocation of each grant, and after the decision will not enter into any further correspondence or communication.

Eligibility and conditions

To be eligible you:

  • must be studying Japanese language at Macquarie University
  • must be undertaking your ‘prac’ teaching in 2020 to be qualified as a Japanese language teacher (for either primary or secondary school placement)
  • must have an excellent academic record
  • must articulate your desire/intention to become a Japanese language teacher, and your aptitude for becoming a leading exponent of Japanese language teaching in Australia
  • should provide a CV and internal transcript
  • should provide a Reference Report from your Japanese Studies or Department of Education lecturer. Your lecturer can access the Reference Report template via this link: Referee's Report for applicant for the Grant for prospective Japanese language teacher
  • may benefit from providing relevant supporting documents
  • must fully spend the grant by the end of 2020
  • must submit a completion report via the MJS website, by 1 Feb 2021
  • must submit an application online by 1st March 2020.

Online application for 2020 is closed.

This scholarship is designated to support a PhD candidate in Japanese Studies, Department of International Studies at Macquarie University, whose research focuses on Japanese language education. The scholarship will be provided for three years of candidature.

$27,596 (in 2019) annually (over three years) will be available for the most suitable applicant.

Eligibility and conditions

To be eligible you:

  • must be enrolled or have been accepted into in a full-time Doctorate (PhD) program in Japanese Studies at Macquarie University
  • your research must be on Japanese language education
  • your application needs to clearly articulate your research proposal, its aims and benefits for Japanese language education
  • you must have an excellent academic record.

Applicants who express an interest in making a long-term contribution to Japanese language education in Australia will be considered favourably.

Please email: for any inquiries.

2020 Grant for Teachers

  • Jennifer Biscoe (Encounter Lutheran College, SA) Japanese Language and Culture Course - Kanazawa
  • Sarah Ellison (Mt St Patrick College, NSW)The Japanese Story-Time Project
  • Graeme Kenny (Cairns school of Distance Education, QLD) Tohoku Fukushima Tsunami Research Project
  • Amy Nairn (Navigator College, SA)Taiko on the Eyre Peninsula
  • Yuji Okawa (SCECGS Redlands, NSW) Enhancing Japanese language learning through the Sociocultural Approach
  • Belinda Schmitt  (McLaren Vale Primary School, SA) Sister School Immersion
  • Mami Yoshino  (Foxwell State Secondary College, QLD) Irresistible Inquiry-Based Language Learning

2020 Grant for Prospective Japanese Teachers

  • Summer (Taian) Guo

2019 Grant for Teachers

  • Liberty Campbell (Maria Regina Catholic Primary, NSW) Central Coast Japanese teachers Language Maintenance workshop

      Japanese teachers constantly work to support their students and rarely allow themselves the luxury of focusing on their own language maintenance and progress. This workshop enabled Japanese teachers from kindergarten to Year 12 to spend the day together for the first time. They not only improved their skills but developed a sense of support and community with the other members. The experience levels ranged from those who had taught more than 20 years to those just completing their final teaching practicum. One teacher commented:

      "I was worried about being out of my depth but felt very involved and got a lot from it. Great planning and activities. The day seemed to fly. Everything was engaging, authentic and useful. It was also really good to meet the other teachers. Thank you!"

      Another benefit of the day was that the seed money from the MJS was then matched by the Broken Bay diocese to enable other teachers to also attend. The evidence gathered from the trial workshop will then be used to hopefully instigate more regular language maintenance days for these Central coast teachers now that data is available on the positive outcomes of the day.

  • Emily Cooper (Sacred Heart College, VIC) Language/culture immersion

      I markedly improved my Japanese speaking and listening capabilities. Hearing and using spoken Japanese with native speakers, making requests such as purchasing items in shops and restaurants, navigating to and from points of interest, reading and seeking clarification on menus and street signs. This was very beneficial to me as I teach in an isolated school without available Japanese speakers. I feel much more confident as a Junior secondary Japanese speaker and it has inspired me to further improve my Japanese language abilities. Which will thus enhance my students learning outcomes.

  • Kay Gilles (Sydney Catholic Schools Head Office, NSW) A digital platform shows promise for students learning languages online. A case study using Japanese online (Research)

      As the sole Japanese Language Subject Matter Expert for Sydney Catholic Schools creating the content and supporting an online Japanese course for stage 2, 3, and 4 students I needed to create collegial links with other similar teachers around Australia. To prove online language learning was working I researched and wrote a paper to present at the "Breaking through Walls" Australian Federation of Modern Languages conference in Hobart. The grant gave me the benefit of enabling me to make links with Japanese teachers working in a similar online space that would be fruitful and collaborative while at the conference. The spinoff has been so useful with my being able to fund through the grant, attendance at professional development opportunities in Catholic Education Victoria where I learnt about speaking assessment through an online tool that we are looking into tweaking for our online course now. I was invited to present the paper for the South Australian Distance Education Access College teachers and the links I made with the Japanese teachers there have been so useful in having someone to reach out to when I need support with new ideas. The access I now have to cross sectoral collegial advice in the online Japanese language learning space has been most fruitful for our courses as I have been able to fill the speaking assessment gaps with building on the work that I have learnt through making the links with other teachers. I am most grateful for the grant as it has been beneficial for the over 3000 students we reach and for the journey I am on with the co learner teachers of our course to help me support them with many new ideas I have learnt through my fruitful collaboration with other Japanese online teachers. I thank MJS for their support of my venture.

  • Deborah Mueller (NSW School of Languages, NSW) Development of a new online Stage 6 Continuers Japanese course

      The updated Stage 6 Beginners course is contemporary, student-oriented and incorporates opportunities for students to interact and engage with their teacher and fellow students. The self-correcting quizzes ensure students receive instant feedback as they learn, improving students' ability to succeed as they progress towards their HSC. The Stage 6 Beginners course always has high enrolment numbers. In 2019, 139 students are enrolled in the Stage 6 Beginners Japanese course. This is approximately one third of all Japanese enrolments across Stages 5 and 6 at our school. The students are from both government and non-government schools which are not able to provide the Japanese Beginners course . As our largest cohort, we have made it a priority to ensure the course is up-to-date and incorporates pedagogically cutting-edge learning materials. The course will be shared with the other NSW distance education schools that offer Japanese language. These institutions also tend to have large numbers of students enrolled to study the Stage 6 Beginners course.

      The professional learning gained has also been shared in a train-the-trainer model within the Japanese faculty of 20 teachers at NSW School of Languages who work collaboratively to teach Japanese via distance education.

      The MJS Scholarship funding has contributed greatly to the planning and early stages of the creation of new online Canvas learning materials at our school, and in turn, the promotion of Japanese language across NSW.

  • Linden O'Brien (Dungog High School, NSW) Bringing Kyoto to the Classroom: Engaging rural and remote students through cultural activities in an immersive Japanese language environment
  • Sue Palmer (Balgowlah Heights Primary School, NSW) JTAN Primary Japanese Teacher's Professional Development Workshop Term 3
  • Jo Ridgers (All Saints Anglican School, QLD) Japanese Language Intensive Study (plus study of Ainu culture)

      As a teacher of middle school Japanese, my passion is to consistently strive to engage the imaginations and curiosity of young students of Japanese. The International Year of Indigenous Languages is a United Nations observance in 2019 that aims to raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of Indigenous languages across the world.  The Indigenous 'Ainu' culture is rarely, if ever, acknowledged in Japanese Teaching Pedagogy and I felt it was an opportune time to include it in my own teaching practice.  Thanks to the MJS Centre Grant, I was given an amazing opportunity to gain first hand knowledge of the Ainu Culture, and collect valuable experience and teaching resources to enable me to introduce Ainu Culture to my students.  I can now teach simple language and culture topics which can stand alongside and complement the 'standard' curriculum regarding Japanese language and culture.  With further research I hope to develop a 'comparative culture' unit in which students can observe the many important similarities between Ainu culture and our own Australian Indigenous languages and culture.

2019 Grant for Prospective Japanese Teachers

  • Edmund Tan

      The grant was very beneficial as it helped me pay my fees for session 2, 2019. This meant that I was able to prioritise and concentrate on my studies and prac experience, rather than working more hours in my part-time job. During my prac experience, I did not have to worry about not having any income to pay for my studies, so that significantly lessened the stress on me. This in turn helped me keep up with the Japanese units I was concurrently undertaking at university at that time. I am thankful for MJS Centre for helping me grow as a Japanese teacher, and hope that future recipients of this grant can benefit from it as well.

  • Georgia Slager

      This grant has been amazingly beneficial to me to ease me into the start of my career as a Japanese teacher. It has significantly relieved the financial burden for me to have completed my practicum and degree with less stress and helped to me build my collection of teaching resources!

      Having this grant available has really allowed me to set myself up for classroom teaching and has already started to make language learning even more enjoyable for my students of Japanese and allowed me to support them better. I feel so lucky to have been given this great first step into teaching Japanese from the NF-JLEP Association and I can’t wait to use everything that’s been given to me through this grant for the rest of my career and life. Thank you so much!

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Last updated: 08 May 2020