人文学部 国際英語学科 ニュース

I personally think that one of the strengths of the curriculum at the Department of International English is the range of different classes available. There are so many different classes about language, culture, and beyond. This means that students can always find things to interest them. Moreover, in the 'Independent Study' course, students are able to plan, propose and then undertake a course of learning in an academic area that they are interested in, which adds flexibility and self-determination to an already rich range of choices.


In my own 'Independent Study' course, three students have been exploring challenging topics connected to social sustainability. Since each student has a very different course of study, I asked each of them to talk a little about what they are doing, and what motivated them to choose this area.


First, we hear from MM, who has been researching and writing about the issue of tobacco.


I have been studying the relationship between poverty and smoking from a variety of perspectives. I wondered why poorer people tend to smoke, and so I decided to investigate this topic. Despite high taxes on tobacco, and recent price increases, the smoking rate has not decreased. In addition, I have also learned that smoking rates in developing countrie are also high, and understanding this was another motivation for choosing this area of study. An advantage of the Independent Study course is the opportunity to study a subject that personally interests you. Also, you actually learn the skills of research and organization, resource selection, and note-taking.


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MM hard at work: "you... learn the skills of research and organization, resource selection, and note-taking".

Next, we hear from SN.(次に、SNさんに聞いてみましょう。)

I have been studying animal ethics. In this learning, I focus on the rights not only for pets and companion animals but also animals such as livestock and fish. I am researching many aspects such as the historical background of animal ethics and philosophical views, so that I can understand the real situation deeply. The reason why I chose to study animal ethics is that I personally like animals very much and so I'm interested in their rights. I once volunteered at an animal shelter, which is when I started becoming more deeply interested. As a result I came to want to learn about the relationships between animals and human society. By taking the Independent Study course, I have been required to read long passages in quite difficult academic English every week. I think it will help me prepare for writing my graduation thesis. Also, getting accustomed to long sentences is important to develop better reading comprehension. You can take an active and positive approach to research when you have decided your own interest area. In the final class, I will make a presentation about how we can better protect animal rights in our society.



SN has developed an interest in animals.

Finally, we hear from RS.(最後にRSさんの学修の様子です。)

I have been studying women's rights, with a focus on sexual harassment and abuse. In the Independent Study course, I have been examining measures taken against these problems, and have worked to understand the reality of this situation. Last year, in a different class, I learned about these issues for the first time. At that time, I learned about the case of Shiori Ito, who is a journalist in Japan, and I have been interested in women's rights since then. In the Independent Study course, students can plan out and undertake their own learning. Also, since we engage directly with many academic articles, our English skills will increase. In addition, since later on during our third year, we will start to write for our graduation thesis, we are learning important skills. In the final class, through the sexual harassment issue, I will give a presentation about how to better protect women's rights in Japan, with a focus on sexual abuse.



RS researching women's rights.

Well, thank you so much to these students for sharing their experiences, motivations, and for giving us all some ideas about what the benefits of Independent Study are. As I said, I think HJU, in offering students the chance to plan and pursue their own learning, adds flexibility, and student empowerment to an already rich and varied range of classes. I have been impressed with the progress of these three students, and they deserve much credit. Maybe you will be interested in Independent Study in the future!


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In this article, we hear from 4th year GSE student NM. She took part in the August 6th Peace Memorial Ceremony. Of course, this is a very important and challenging time for many people in and beyond Hiroshima. As I am certain many of you saw, either live or by video, the speakers had some important and thoughtful words to help us reflect.


The event was held in a hall, as a result of the current circumstances. It was, of course, held in a safe environment, with strict social distancing. The prayer ceremony was held to commemorate those who died in the atomic bomb and their bereaved families, as well as to convey an understanding and respect to all hibakusha (those affected by the atomic bombing of Japan). As the ceremony began, a farewell hymn was played; we did not sing, but rather, etched the song into our hearts. Following this, Rev. Sawamura offered heartfelt prayers, with biblical extracts to help us reflect. Then, President Minato offered, as a ceremonial address, a powerful message in memory of those who lost their lives. This message contained a solemn reminder of our strong wish to abolish nuclear weapons from our world, and I deeply agreed with her words and ideas. President Minato also explained what happened when the bomb was dropped, which was, while painful to hear, the unavoidable truth. After this, the alumni ceremony was held. Then, as a representative of current students at Hiroshima Jogakuin University, I gave my speech. After I finished, there were other hymns and songs, which further added to the atmosphere of profound thoughtfulness and reflection. Rev. Sawamura then reaffirmed the themes of his speech and prayers, after which we moved tot he graves of the victims off the bombings, and offered flowers in respect and remembrance.


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Rev. Sawamura Delivers Prayers

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Flowers are Offered in Respect and Remembrance.

In my speech, I talked about how the world thinks of nuclear weapons, and about Setsuko Thurlow, a graduate of Hiroshima Jogakuin University who was a victim of the atomic bombing. I also reflected on what is being done about this issue now, about how there are fewer people who were affected by the bombing, as well as the impact of the coronavirus in the world right now and the importance of our surviving it.


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NM Gives Her Speech.

The following is an extract from NM's speech(NMさんの追悼のことばを紹介します。実際には日本語でスピーチを行いましたが、英語訳も併記します。):


(Three years ago the United Nations adopted The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and now 39 countries have ratified the treaty, with 11 more countries' ratification needed to bring it into effect. Isn't this because of the words about world peace of Setsuko Thurlow? [...] The recent coronavirus, which threatens the world, is widespread this year, but doesn't this also teach us about the importance of working together, of cooperating?)

I think it is crucial to think about what actions we can take to prevent the reoccurrence of the tragic event that took place 75 years ago. As I mentioned, that each year we see fewer of those people touched by those events is sad. The reality is that there will be not as many people in the future to talk about the misery of atomic bombs. In order to prevent their stories from being forgotten, I think the young people of Hiroshima should stand up, take action, and create change.


A Solemn moment of Thought and Reflection.

I am sure everyone will join me in thanking NM for her efforts, as well as to everyone else involved in this important event.

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