Kitasato University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Kitasato University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Center for Liberal Arts

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Professor@ Seiko Hirai

Professor@ Seiko Hirai
Director of the Center for Liberal Arts


  The Center for Liberal Arts comprises three sections: the English Section, the Mathematics Section, and the Information Science Section. Within the English Section, faculty and support staff help students to gain a good grasp of communication skills through an understanding of comprehension, grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Within the Mathematics Section, calculus, linear algebra, and statistics are all taught. Finally, the Information Science Section involves instruction in information processing, which itself includes considerable overlap with both Mathematics, and with communication and language acquisition.

  In today’s globalized world, Japan must contend with highly internationalized and information-oriented activities that encompass virtually all aspects of society, including economic, technological, and socio-political fields and concerns. In today’s extremely modernized and hyper-connected societies, we are surrounded by and immersed within a never-ending stream of information. Personal and professional success in such a modern reality requires high levels of adaptability and intellectual curiosity. The Center for Liberal Arts is committed to helping Kitasato University undergraduates achieve the requisite skill sets, aptitudes, and mindsets necessary for successful professional lives in our globally interconnected modern world.

English Curriculum

Overview
It is highly desirable, and even essential that all students entering our university develop their English ability with the aim of using English as a tool for international communication in their major fields. Accordingly, our university’s English curriculum was designed with the goal of helping students acquire adequate proficiency to be comfortable using English for practical purposes in international settings. In order to achieve this goal, the curriculum consists of required credits in English A and English B. Both of these classes are 90 minutes and the size of classes is kept as small as possible.

In English A, students can improve their general English abilities, with emphasis on four skills: reading/writing/speaking/listening, related to topics close to their major field of study. In English B, students are exposed to practical skills, focusing on English for Academic Purposes from both Japanese and native English speaking teachers. As with most learning in life, motivation is key, so it’s imperative that students have a positive attitude when participating in classes.

While acknowledging the importance of learning English as a communication tool, another essential mission is to deepen and broaden students’ knowledge of their respective majors. Students majoring in the natural science will be challenged to keep up with the constant advances in their fields. They will be exposed to cutting-edge language and findings specific to their field as they read and write English theses on the latest topics. Moreover, we all hear so much about globalization in the news, and it is very true that there is an increasing number of opportunities for Kitasato students and graduates to participate in activities all around the world using English. To accommodate and assist students of all levels, some undergraduate schools have “basic” courses in both English A and English B, giving opportunities to the students who need to give more attention to fundamental skills in English.

Of course, the extent to which this highly original curriculum can be utilized depends primarily on students’ strong desire to learn. The three CALL rooms are equipped with computers for self-study. It is hoped that with the above resources at hand and principles in mind, students will be motivated and become as proficient as possible in English.


Message from the Director

Professor Masahiro Takatsu
Director of the English Section

In today’s globalized world, Japan must contend with highly internationalized and information-oriented activities that encompass virtually all aspects of society, including economic, technological, and socio-political fields and concerns. These same challenges are also common in educational settings, including those within Kitasato University. Communication, particularly via English, the de facto lingua franca, has already taken hold and will continue to be of paramount importance in this new reality.

Many non-English speaking societies can quickly find themselves at distinct disadvantages unless and until they make major efforts to inculcate and to develop strong English communication skills within their workforces. Japan faces similar challenges and Japanese universities must step into leadership roles in this regard. I believe that we at Kitasato university have, with our English curricula, and with our specialized teaching methods, begun the process of globalizing our educational approaches.

All first year students at Kitasato University are required to take two English@classes per week. In many ways, these classes are relatively standard in that they are designed to cultivate basic academic skills in English. However, beyond such typical English skill-building approaches, these classes are also designed to accommodate the specific requirements and challenges faced by students within their respective disciplines. Hence, all students are taught to write, at least at an introductory level, academic papers and to make academic presentations. However, because students attending the different Schools will also encounter specialized technical jargon and phraseologies, more specialized English preparation teaching methods are required to assist these students to navigate their respective fields. At this time, the different Schools each provide different levels of English teaching support beyond the first year English curriculum. The situation remains fluid and we, in the English section, are actively working closely with all the Schools to help them customize these more advanced and more specific English curricula.


Foreign Language Learning Facility: CALL Room (Building L1, 3F)

In the 2010 academic year, our university established three CALL rooms which launch language learning methods into the digital age.

As the name suggests, CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) is a foreign language learning support system which uses computers. The three CALL rooms can all be used for both regular English classes and self-study. The rooms are available for self-study anytime English classes are not being held until 6 p.m. each weekday. To acquire high levels of language proficiency, self study, in addition to regular class meetings, is required. According to his/her objective and proficiency level, each student can use the special language educational software materials on the computers in the CALL rooms. Furthermore, students can make use of a specialized CALL room library to borrow books for speed-reading and to study for certification examinations for English, German and other foreign languages As new freshmen looking at the horizon of their education at Kitasato University, students are encouraged to take full advantage of this opportunity to explore their world and its many cultures, in English.


Faculty of the English Section

Masahiro Takatsu
Professor
Masahiro Takatsu has been studying modernist writers in England, such as Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and Ford Madox Ford. He is also interested in contemporary English writers, such as John Bayley, Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan. He has written several articles about these writers and published Japanese translations of "The Fifth Queen" trilogy by Ford Madox Ford and John Bayley's "The Red Hat."


Seiko Hirai
Professor

Seiko Hirai has been a faculty member since 1998. Her research interests center on English education and include cognitive perspectives of bilingualism, as well as language attrition and transfer between two languages. She is currently a member of the Japan Association of College English Teachers (JACET), the Japanese Association for Asian Englishes (JAFAE), and TESOL International Association.


D.L.Brooks
Associate Professor


Yoshiharu Wajimoto
Associate Professor
Yoshihiro Wajimoto has been a faculty member since 1999. His research is focused on medieval English drama, especially morality plays. He is currently a member of the English Literary Society of Japan, the Japan Society for Medieval English Studies, the Shakespeare Society of Japan, the Society for Emblem Studies, and SociÉtÉ Internationale pour l'Étude du ThÉÂtre MÉdiÉval(SITM).


James Goddard
Associate Professor
James (Jim) Goddard has been a faculty member at Kitasato since 2003. His research interests regarding English education include the use of CALL in the classroom, sociolinguistics, student motivation and WTC (willingness to communicate). He is currently a member of JALT (Japan Association of Language Teachers).


Terue Nakato
Associate Professor
Terue Nakato has been a faculty member since 2012. Her main research interest is in first language acquisition, including theoretical approaches to human language faculty in general. In recent work, she has been investigating the acquisition of syntactic and semantic properties of nominal phrases, especially focusing on English and Japanese.


Asami Kurosawa
Junior Associate Professor
Asami Kurosawa has been a faculty member since 2005. As a student, she majored in linguistics (especially cognitive semantics). Her recent interests are in the field of psychology and translation skills. She has been a co-translator of several books on personality disorders, acceptance and commitment therapy, and mood disorders. She intends to work on the area of dyslexia studies in the future.


Fuminori Nakamura
Junior Associate Professor


Hiromi Noguchi
Junior Associate Professor


The Mathematics Section offers mathematics and statistics courses in Group 1 Subjects . Mathematics and statistics develop key analytic skills in science.

For the first year students in P(School of Pharmacy), A(School of Allied Health Sciences), MB(School of Marine Biosciences) and V(School of Veterinary Medicine), we have courses at three different levels (advanced, standard, basic) since they arrive with a variety of backgrounds. Students are encouraged to take advanced courses if they have taken high school calculus (Mathematics III or Mathematics C) .


Course Descriptions

Mathematics(1-year course)
This is an elective course for the students in N (School of Nursing) and V(especially, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Animal Sciences) and a compulsory course for the students in all other Schools.

Our goal is to provide a solid introduction to differential and integral calculus in one variable. Topics include limits, continuity, derivatives, differential calculus and integration through the fundamental theorem of calculus.
Other topics (e.g., partial derivatives, extrema problem, multiple integrals and power series) may be introduced as time permits.

The courses on linear algebra such as vector and matrix theory are also offered to the students in N(School of Nursing) and V(especially, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Animal Sciences). These will be also very useful in science.

Statistics A(1-year course)
This is a compulsory course for the students in M (School of Medicine) and
A(School of Allied Health Sciences except Department of Medical Engineering and Technology) and an elective course for the students in all other Schools.

In the life sciences, a variety of data is obtained through experiments and investigations. Statistics is a mathematical tool for quantitative analysis of data, and as such it serves as the means by which we extract useful information from data. This course introduces students to the basic concepts and logic of statistical reasoning. Topics include sampling and experimentation, descriptive statistics, probability, binomial and normal distributions, and estimation and statistical hypothesis test. This course does not assume any prior knowledge in statistics.

Statistics BI(First term course)
This is a compulsory course for students in the Department of Medical Engineering and Technology.

Goals are the same as in the Statistics course described above. Topics include part of sampling and experimentation, descriptive statistics, probability, binomial and normal distributions and estimation.

Statistics BI(Second term course)
This is a compulsory course for students in the Department of Medical Engineering and Technology.

Goals are the same as in the Statistics course described above. Topics include estimation and statistical hypothesis test.

Basic Mathematics<Elementary>, <Intermediate>(First term course, Second term course)
This is an elective course.

Students who have taken only high school basic calculus (Mathematics I or Mathematics A) are encouraged to take the <elementary>course. This course helps them develop proficiency in fundamental basic skills. Especially, for the MB students who will take the Basic Mathematics course, this is a compulsory course. Topics include elementary functions such as polynomial, trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions.
The <Intermediate> course offers differential and integral calculus in one variable.

Advanced Mathematics A (First term course)
This is an elective course.

This course is intended for students with special interests in advanced mathematics. Topics include differential and integral calculus in one variable, partial derivatives, Taylor expansion, extrema problem, multiple integrals and differential equations.

Advanced Mathematics B (Second term course)
This is an elective course.

This course is intended for students with special interests in advanced mathematics. Topics include vector and multi-variable calculus. The theory of vector calculus is essential for mechanics, electromagnetics and gauge theory.


Faculty of the Mathematics Section

Professor Suehiro Kato
Professor Shingo Ito
Associate Professor Tadashi Miyazaki
Junior Associate Professor Yukiko Sakai
Junior Associate Professor Takuya Okamoto
Junior Associate Professor Michitaka Furuya

  1. English AI/AII
  2. English BI/BII
  1. Mathematics
  2. Statistics A
  3. Statistics BI/BII
  4. Basic Mathematics
  5. Advanced Mathematics A/B
  1. Information Science A/B/C
  1. Liberal Arts and Sciences Seminar
  2. First-year seminar

Center for Natural Sciences

Center for Human and Social Sciences

Center for Liberal Arts