JA Talks – Language Instruction For Us By Us: A Discussion with the Founders of Japanese For Nikkei

JA Talks – Language Instruction For Us By Us: A Discussion with the Founders of Japanese For Nikkei

Monday, July 11, 2022
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Connect via Zoom, login information provided upon registration
Free Admission; Advance Registration Required


Hear from the founders of the online Japanese language learning platform Japanese For Nikkei the challenges and common experiences of Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians when learning our heritage language, as well as advice for those looking to improve their Japanese!

Have you ever wished you grew up speaking Japanese to have a greater connection with your cultural heritage? With the passage of time and passing of older generations within the Japanese American community, our usage of the Japanese language, both spoken and written, has diminished significantly. Whether through natural cultural assimilation into the mainstream or due to discrimination in the past, learning our heritage language is a challenging experience for many of us whose direct family connection to Japan and native Japanese speakers lies in the distant past. In our next JA Talks program, we will have Mimi Okabe, PhD and Catherine Sachi Kikuchi, MA, TESL, Japanese Canadian co-founders of the online language learning program Japanese For Nikkei, speak to us on their experiences learning and teaching the Japanese language as Nikkei heritage speakers. They will discuss the unique challenges heritage language learners in our community face, as well as their own work through Japanese For Nikkei to create an online learning platform for us to reclaim and reconnect with our cultural heritage through language.

About Japanese For Nikkei:

From JapaneseForNikkei.com: We are an award-winning company, specializing in online teaching and learning, that provides Japanese language classes for Nikkei learners from around the globe. At Japanese for Nikkei, we believe in providing accessible and affordable lessons to help you achieve your language goals so that you become competent language users and cultural navigators. In our small, online classrooms of no more than 15, you will gain individualized attention and the opportunity to interact with us and your peers to help you achieve fluency in Japanese. Our courses are open to all Nikkei.

For more information on Japanese For Nikkei and how to enroll, go to www.japanesefornikkei.com

Japanese For Nikkei Discount for Center Members!

We are pleased to announce the Center’s newest partnership with Japanese For Nikkei! Members of the Center are eligible to receive a $50 discount off the earlybird enrollment price for Japanese For Nikkei’s Fall course beginning in September, and are now eligible for a $60-75 enrollment discount year-round. Please contact the Center’s Programs Department directly at programsevents@jccccnc.org to receive your discount code.

About Co-Founder Mimi Okabe, PhD (she/her): 

Mimi was born in Japan but immigrated to Canada when she was 11 months old. She attended Japanese school on Saturdays, where she met Sachi (when they were but four years old). Having been raised in a small, Anglophone community, Mimi struggled to accept her cultural heritage and language due to years of racism, and she struggled to navigate her identity as “Japanese” and “Canadian,” finding a footing in neither culture. She found solace in teaching Japanese at the University of Alberta from 2018-2021, as well as through her research on heritage language speakers, which she presents at academic conferences. After completing her Ph.D., she co-founded Japanese for Nikkei with Sachi in 2020 with the vision to support JA, JC and Nikkei from around the world wanting to reconnect with their heritage language.

About C0-Founder Catherine Sachi Kikuchi, MA, TESL (she/her):

Sachi grew up in a biracial, bicultural and bilingual household and attended Japanese school on Saturdays from the age of five, yet never felt comfortable studying the language during high school or university, and largely studied on her own. After completing her Master’s in Linguistics, she moved to Sendai, Miyagi where she taught English for four years, mostly at the Institute of Development, Aging, and Cancer (IDAC) at Tohoku University. Sachi also had extensive experience working as a translator, editor and proofreader of Japanese since her time in university and launched Kokoro Communications in 2019, which provides a variety of Japanese and English communications services.


Jul 11 2022


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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