Surprise! A textbook!

I just got the cover for a new textbook based on my Japan Times columns: Surprising Japan . My co-author John Rucynski and I developed it with textbook publisher Shohakusha for Japanese university students learning English. Advance copies are available this month, and John and I will present about it on Saturday Oct. 13 at the JALT (Japan Association of Language Teachers) international conference in Hamamatsu.

Some of you might find it surprising that Japanese students need *me* to tell them about Japan, but there’s actually great demand for this sort of material. So many Japanese find it difficult to communicate about their country that the government has made it a mission to foster citizens who can talk intelligently about Japan in English.

This poses real challenges for both students and teachers: most Japanese students have never been abroad and lack perspective about what is interesting or different about their country, and few textbooks address the topic of cultural differences in a comprehensive manner and are rarely Japan-specific.

Well, you can’t get more Japan-specific than this:

We’ve got Smartphone apps, too! (Available only to instructors and students using the book.) Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can read the text.

If you teach English at a Japanese university (or to advanced students in high-school) and would like a sample copy, drop me a line.

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8 Responses to Surprise! A textbook!

  1. Allan Murphy says:

    Well done, Alice! You are absolutely right that Japanese students need textbooks they can relate to. Most take daily life in Japan for granted and can’t answer basic questions about shrines, festivals and other customs. Please put me down for a copy and I’ll give you feedback. Allan

  2. How very exciting! So many good things happening right now. I definitely want a signed copy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Alice! I am so pleased. I can’t wait to get a copy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A book!!! How exciting! And I knew you when~
    How could I buy a copy in the US? I know it will make a perfect gift to my oldest…
    Art Negrin

  5. Alice, this is great!
    I am not teaching English in Japan, but Japanese (plus culture) in Germany, and I certainly would like to have a copy! Is this possible? The German textbooks for teaching Japanese are not really good on this point – they are either “freak shows”, focussing on the most unlikely circumstances only (for example: all Japanese sleep on futon, use kotatsu and live in tatami rooms, eating sushi and tempura all day long), or they do not mention much at all because they focus on business vocabulary.
    As far as I understood, texts in your book are provided in English plus information in Japanese to help students understand what the texts are about? Would be perfect …
    Please, if it is possible … I would certainly give you feedback!


  6. Anonymous says:

    How could I buy a copy in Brazil?

  7. Diane says:

    I am interested in using this book in my classes this year. How can I get a copy?

  8. Pingback: Was zum Teufel ist das?! – Das uns rätselhafte Japan | Munich Media Watch

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