Student Profile & Testimonials
A mix of students from diverse cultures brings a unique and beneficial environment to our program. More than half the students are non-Japanese, with about equal numbers of men and women.
Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.)
Mai Yoshimura, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (Summer 2018, Osaka Center)
- Language instructor and head teacher at AEON Language School
Having worked at a private English conversation school for 7 years, I was looking for an MA program where I could learn SLA practically. After talking with several professors and going over different programs both in and outside Japan, I finally came across the TESOL program at Temple University. It wasn’t long after I heard about TUJ’s TESOL program that I started taking classes there.
I found the program very beneficial in learning both the theories and practices of SLA. Many of the course assignments involved planning how we could apply theory in planning lessons, lesson materials, and class activities. Another great thing about the TUJ’s TESOL program is that there was a lot to learn from classmates. Many of them were currently teaching. Sharing ideas and experiences with other working professionals was very rewarding and broadened my perspective as an English teacher in Japan. Finally, taking weekend seminars conducted by top lecturers in SLA helped inform me of the latest developments in the field.
Attending the TESOL program at TUJ is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in pursuing my career as an English teacher. The program will not only help guide you in making your classes more effective, but will also aid in your growth as an educator.
Alyssa Chung, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (Summer 2018, Tokyo Center)
- English teacher at an elementary school
When I was there, I was one of the few students who majored in linguistics before entering the TESOL program. I can say that Temple covers all the necessary components relevant to actual language teaching, including relevant background information. Temple’s TESOL program is one geared for people who are not linguists but want to know more about linguistics and language teaching. The program was intensive and comprehensive. It provided both experienced and inexperienced teachers with opportunities to test out the latest research by doing teaching projects as part of the core courses.
The professors at Temple are also linguists and some are language teachers as well, so they are an excellent resource and often helped us when there were concepts we wanted to research and apply in our courses and in actual classrooms. Professors were also quite willing to listen to new ideas and help shape them. Students were exposed to a variety of research, articles, ideas, and practical applications that can prove useful to researchers and teachers alike. Many of the things I learned in class were quite interesting and I have applied it to my actual teaching. I have yet to measure the effects of the latest research in my lessons, but I am confident that Temple has prepared me as a researcher and as teacher.
Jade Gardner, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (Spring 2018, Tokyo Center)
- Private tutor
When I started the TESOL program, I did not know very much about the history of teaching, different styles of teaching, nor how teaching has changed over time. When I reflect on my two years at TUJ, I conclude that the experience has not only made me into a better teacher, but also has prepared me in unpredictable ways for my career. Progressing through courses with incredibly supportive classmates and professors who were role models, I was challenged to discover my own teaching style. That style has played a central role in how I teach and engage students.
Professors in this program provide so much helpful information to their students. They share their knowledge, which developed from their experience, and help put everything into perspective. And while it is not an easy journey, I believe that the hard work and dedication to complete the program was worth it. The TESOL program has opened my eyes to see that grammar, vocabulary, language background, and culture are all important to keep in mind when teaching. And with each course, I witnessed a positive change to my own teaching philosophy. It gives me great pleasure to say with pride that I have completed my Master of Science in Education at TUJ.
Robert Edick, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (Spring 2018, Tokyo Center)
- Instructor in the English Language Education Council, Inc. (ELEC)
Some years ago after teaching as an ALT at a junior high school for some time, I found it was time for me to go back to school. I had checked into online universities, but I didn’t think they would work for me because I’m very good at procrastinating and I need to interact directly with instructors. That is when an acquaintance who had finished the TESOL Master’s Program at Temple University told me about the program and suggested I go to one of the weekend seminars with him and talk to some people about the program. That is how I got started at Temple University.
The program was a great match for me. It allowed me to go at my own pace to meet my work, family and financial needs. There was no pressure to go any faster. The staff and instructors were very helpful. In addition, I met people who had the same desire to learn and develop their teaching abilities. Because of the very good interaction between everyone in the classes, I learned a lot from the instructors and my fellow students. The knowledge was both theoretical and practical. This allows me to apply this to the lessons I teach. That is a very strong point of the TESOL program for me.
Chihiro Komiya, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (Spring 2018, Tokyo Center)
- Instructor at Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages
I had been interested in enrolling in a TESOL program for a couple of years before I eventually decided to take up the challenge. As an English teacher, I always wanted to become more confident. Initially I did not have the courage to enroll because I was not sure if I could keep up with classes. After discovering TUJ, I visited their office. An administrative director kindly explained about the program and encouraged me to attend an introductory class, and this is how I started.
There are reasons why I was able to continue this challenging program. Professors at TUJ are enthusiastic about teaching and are always willing to help students. My experience as a student made me realize how the concept of teacher/student interaction can be pivotal in motivating students. And I was greatly inspired by classmates. We were able to establish an effective community by sharing common goals, experiences, and encouragement. Studying at TUJ provided me with opportunities to meet many hard-working people. Finally, staff at TUJ is very supportive and helpful. A one-on-one meeting with the administrative director every semester helped me keep a positive attitude throughout the program. Without the above support I would not have been able to finish this master's program.
Adauto Diniz, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (August 2014, Tokyo Center)
- Instructor in the Academic English Program, Temple University, Japan Campus and Berlitz Japan, Inc (As of February 2015)
The main reason I chose to study at Temple was its reputation within the teaching community in Japan, an important consideration for me as this was the career path I have chosen to pursue. I can genuinely say that studying for a degree in TESOL at Temple University provided me with a fantastic foundation on which to build my career.
The practical relevance and the interesting theoretical structure of the program at Temple provide valuable insights into practical working life, which is a plus for the career start. I was able to take a range of useful, advanced seminars with several respected professors whom I appreciated for the high standards they maintained in class discussions and papers. Often my class papers became publications, and now I have a great roster of publications on my résumé as I enter the job market.
Lastly, Temple is characterized by diversity and a high degree of commitment of its faculty who, together with other graduate students, have proven themselves great collaborators and mentors. Although at first I felt somewhat intimidated when I joined the program without ever having attended an American university, the support not only from professors but also students quickly rectified the situation. During my years at Temple, I have developed valuable academic relationships, and look forward to developing them even further after leaving.
Nicholas Hogg, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (August 2013, Osaka Center)
- Language Instructor and International Exchange Liaison at Osaka Yuhigaoka Gakuen High School (As of February 2015)
Late in 2009 I became interested in TUJ's master's program when I heard high praise from two of my good friends who insisted that the program was a large factor in the rapid advancement of their careers. Thus intrigued, I attended the 2010 TUJ Applied Linguistics Colloquium, and was immediately convinced to enroll at TUJ.
Despite my enthusiasm, I was a little concerned when I entered the program because I had previously struggled with declining motivation toward the end of both my high school and undergraduate studies. This was not a problem for me at TUJ. The world-class professors, engaging course content, small class sizes, and interesting classmates helped me maintain a high level of motivation.
For those interested in pursuing a career in TESOL, the master's program is a fantastic opportunity to vastly increase your theoretical and practical knowledge, earn a recognized degree, and become involved in the academic community. Before finishing the program I had already found myself presenting at conferences, publishing journal articles, conducting educational research, and was offered rewarding long-term employment.
Robert Kerrigan, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (August 2013, Osaka Center)
- Instructor at Kinki University and International Buddhist University (As of February 2015)
Going into the program I was not quite sure what to expect, but I knew that it could provide me with an opportunity to continue my teaching career in Japan. Not only did it grant me greater access to employment in Japan, it also, more importantly, challenged my perceptions and principles of second language acquisition and foreign language instruction. It also encouraged me to independently discover more about the field. Having direct contact with experienced teachers who are leaders in this field at Temple really made the program all the more accessible and gratifying than any distance or correspondence program ever could. Many of the theories and concepts of SLA that were new and alien to me became clear and applicable to my teaching situation thanks to the teachers at Temple. Also, interacting with my cohorts challenged me further by exposing me to different perspectives on various pieces of research or theories, and now I have an extensive network of colleagues which is so important.
The program helped me to prepare myself for my career both practically and theoretically. It has shown me how I can not only be an adept teacher, but also how to contribute to the academic community by engaging in research and providing quality instruction to my students. The decision to enter the TESOL program at Temple was one of the best decisions I have made; not only for career advancement, but also for personal growth.
Yuki Ota, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (August 2013, Tokyo Center)
- Instructor at Language Education Center, Seitoku University (As of February 2015)
I was a true beginner in the field of education. I had zero teaching experience with zero knowledge of second or foreign language education. I had a dream though, and that dream was to become an English teacher.
In my first semester at TUJ, I thought right away that all my classmates were experts in the teaching field and I felt out of place. However, as soon as I sat in lectures and talked to professors and colleagues, I realized I was wrong. Although I couldn't speak from an educator's point of view, I saw things from a learner's point of view and I learned that it was okay to be different.
The courses were all designed in a way that builds a strong foundation necessary for foreign language education. The professors taught theories and engaged us all in how to carry out practical lessons, make meaningful activities, and how to make second language learning interesting and interactive. Whenever I struggled to keep up with the class, professors and university staff always encouraged and supported me. Without them, I would be nothing and I would be nowhere. The program also offered intensive seminars with notable specialists in the field of linguistics which was truly a priceless experience.
TUJ's program not only helped me reach my goal of becoming a language teacher, but it made me realize the dire need to change the current English language teaching curriculum in schools and institutions. Thinking back, TUJ really helped me get ready for the real world.
Anna Motohashi, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (January 2010)
- Lecturer at English Department, Kawamura Gakuen Women's University (As of July 2012)
Deciding to enroll in the TUJ's master's program in TESOL was the best investment in my career that I have ever made. Not only did the program give me access to leading academics and experts in their field, but it also offered me the opportunity to build networks essential for a successful career in education. Before undertaking the program I had found myself in somewhat of a rut with no sense of progression in my work, but thanks to the variety of courses offered in the TESOL program I was able to expand my theoretical knowledge of second language acquisition whilst also broadening my pedagogical skills and techniques.
I have found that I enjoy teaching far more because the program has given me the competence and confidence to raise the bar and make far greater demands of myself and of my teaching. The rewards have been numerous. I've been able to get a great job and thanks to the encouragement and guidance of the TESOL faculty, I am also continuing to pursue personal goals and to keep up with the latest ideas and developments in education. I see the decision to take the master's program in TESOL as a pivotal moment in my life. Not only did it get me out of that rut but it also inspired me to be a better educator. I am now in a much better position to see the variety of challenges and opportunities that are available and, most importantly, to actively pursue them.
May Victoria Solis, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (August 2011)
- Language Center Teacher at Seitoku University (As of July 2012)
When I was an undergraduate student in the Philippines, I spent my summer breaks joining outreach programs. One time, I worked as a volunteer teacher for young kids and through that experience I learned something valuable. I learned that what I did for those children mattered a lot to them and at the same time I realized what I wanted to do in my life. I wanted to be a teacher; to be useful to others by being a teacher at a place or a community where there is a need for one. When I moved to California after graduating, I carried that dream with me and began pursuing my goal. I knew I had to go to graduate school to earn the proper training I need for teaching. I chose Temple University Japan Campus because it has a really good master's program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). TUJ's master's program in TESOL offers both the practical techniques of teaching English as a second or foreign language as well as the theoretical background relevant to it. For someone who has no proper training in teaching English, this was perfect for me. The lecturers and instructors are well-known in the field of TESOL, the schedule of classes is flexible enough for me to be able to work and study at the same time, and the staff are friendly and very helpful to boot!
Through TUJ's TESOL program I have had the kind of training that allows me to help my students become really good at English. It has opened a lot of doors and career opportunities for me and helped me achieve my goal of teaching at a university. I want to continue being a part of my students' lives, as someone who helps them achieve their learning goals. And I hope to someday look back at everything I accomplished and be proud of it. TUJ has been a huge help in making this dream a reality.
Alessandro Stanciu, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (May 2011)
- English Instructor at a private junior high/high school
Instructor in the Corporate Education Program, Temple University, Japan Campus (As of July 2012)
My teaching career in Japan began as a junior high school teacher in the JET Program. After having worked in Japan for approximately six years in various environments, I became aware that higher credentials were indispensable for advancing in the field. I researched various options, including online programs; talked to numerous colleagues who possessed the credentials I was aiming for, including alumni of Temple University and other well-known institutions, and could find no other institution or program which provided the proven return on investment of a Master of Science in Education degree in TESOL as that of Temple University, Japan Campus while also allowing me to accommodate a demanding schedule.
My requirements were specific and challenging. I needed to continue working full-time but also wanted to complete the program in the shortest period of time possible. I met with an advisor at the Osaka Center who mapped out a course of study for me which allowed me to complete the program in exactly fifteen months. Admittedly, I did nothing but work and study for those fifteen months, but I had a specific timeline to which I was adhering.
As a graduate student at TUJ, I was impressed that all classes are taught by professors who are proven experts in their respective areas. Students have the opportunity to learn under the guidance of world-renowned scholars, some actively teaching and researching in Japan and others from overseas.
An M.S. Ed. in TESOL from TUJ validated my years of teaching experience and provided me with the requisite credentials to advance in the field. Furthermore, it provided me with a dynamic network of fellow TUJ M.S.Ed. colleagues which I have found invaluable for continued professional development and career opportunities.
Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Concentration in Applied Linguistics (Ph.D.) / Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Yoshiaki Ehara, M.Ed., Ed.D.
Doctor of Education (Spring 2018, Tokyo Center)
Master of Education (Spring 2007, Tokyo Center)
- Professor at Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Language and Culture Studies
The time I spent at TUJ was a constant reminder of the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants.” During my time as a master’s student, I was thrilled just to learn new things. Gradually, this excitement grew into a sense of responsibility to use what I learned. The humbling experience has given me the confidence I need to face professional opportunities which were only made possible by my studying at TUJ.
I decided to pursue my doctoral work at TUJ for two main reasons: diversity in the curriculum, and face-to-face communication opportunities. TUJ offered a wide variety of courses that helped me strike a balance between theory (science) and practice (art). Professors at TUJ and scholars invited to the Distinguished Lecturer Series were my role models for both doing rigorous research and teaching engaging lessons. TUJ also provided opportunities to talk with advisors, professors, and classmates on a regular basis. Since I considered it crucial for me to have constant academic dialogues, TUJ was the best and only choice. I was enlightened, encouraged, and saved by conversations with my advisors while working on my dissertation. More than anything else, I felt that the faculty and office staff all wanted me to succeed.
I cheer for all of you who are about to embark on your journey at TUJ, where every minute of your effort and sacrifice will be rewarded.
Satoko Suzuki, M.Ed., Ed.D.
Doctor of Education (Spring 2017, Tokyo Center)
Master of Education (Fall 2006, Tokyo Center)
- Lecturer at Ibaraki University
Whether you are a language teacher or language learner, if you are interested in how people acquire a language, TUJ’s TESOL program is a great place to learn about second language acquisition and enhance your language teaching and learning skills. When I entered M.Ed. program at TUJ, I had no language teaching experience. But I was curious about how people become fluent in a second language. Since master’s courses at TUJ provided fairly balanced academic and practical contents, I could deepen my interest in second language acquisition, improved my academic English skills, and by the time I graduated I had useful ideas about teaching a second language.
The most important things that the doctoral program at TUJ taught me were to keep pursuing my own interests and be creative. While working on my dissertation, the most difficult thing for me was to combine various ideas and methods to make an original research study. I experienced a lot of trials and errors, but my advisor always respected my originality and led me in the right direction. Fortunately, I was also surrounded by supportive classmates and staff in the graduate office. In addition, since the doctoral course offered classes in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, we can try new research methodologies in the future.
Studying at TUJ promotes your strength and uniqueness, which are necessary in making your career worthwhile and your life experiences interesting.
Max Praver, Ed.D.
Doctor of Education (May, 2014, Tokyo Center/Osaka Center)
Master of Science in Education (January, 2008, Osaka Center)
- Lecturer in the Department of Informatics at Shizuoka University (As of February 2015)
Choosing TUJ to pursue my Doctor of Education degree was a natural step for me. It was also the best decision I've ever made for both my professional and academic careers.
I had just completed the Temple M.S.Ed. Program and my experience had been excellent. The doctoral program proved to be no different. Allowing me to continue working full time while pursuing my degree was essential and the high quality of instruction and support from the faculty who are actively researching, publishing, and presenting their own work in a wide variety of fields, was second to none.
The classes fellow students and I took covered a wide range of subjects and the care and attention that were given to making sure we received an equal balance of knowledge about both theory and practice was perfect. So much attention was focused on sound research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, that I honestly left the program ready to begin and carry out my own projects with confidence.
Finally, the pleasure of sharing this journey with motivated and likeminded cohort mates both in Osaka and Tokyo was truly special. To work with your peers, brainstorm, provide and receive support, and network week in and week out at one of the world's top education research programs was downright incredible.
I can wholeheartedly and without hesitation highly recommend TUJ's doctoral program.
Reiko Yoshihara, M.Ed., Ed.D.
Doctor of Education (December, 2014, Tokyo Center)
Master of Education (January, 2007, Tokyo Center)
- Associate Professor at Nihon University (As of February 2015)
My time at TUJ was the most rewarding and fruitful of my academic and professional life. When I enrolled in TUJ's master's program in TESOL, I was very skeptical about the field of TESOL. I'd already earned a master's degree in women's studies at Mankato State University, Minnesota, published articles about the history of the U.S. women's movement, and taught English at several universities in Japan. However, I lacked confidence in teaching English because I hadn't learned how to teach English based on sound pedagogical and methodological principles. At the same time, I was skeptical about TESOL as an academic discipline.
Such anxiety and skepticism about TESOL led me to decide to go to TUJ. One course I took at Temple University on controversies in second language education taught by Dr. Christine Pearson Casanave was eye-opening for me. I learned that although TESOL has a short history as an academic discipline, a lot of controversies, debates, and unresolved theoretical issues in SLA remain in this field. This stimulated me to continue to study TESOL in TUJ's doctoral program.
Equally important, the TUJ community—comprising professors, classmates, the academic coordinator, the administrative director, and other assistants—is very friendly, supportive and professional. Without their support I wouldn't have finished my doctoral course. TUJ is an xcellent place to develop your professional life.
Sakae Onoda, Ed.D.
Doctor of Education (Fall 2011, Tokyo Center)
- Professor of English Education in the Faculty of International Liberal Arts, Juntendo University
My ten years at TUJ provided me with some of the fondest memories of my academic life. TUJ offers many advantages, but what truly inspired me was my five years working with my dissertation supervisor.
As my research stalled, despondency overshadowed my life. But the many hardships, which are common among doctoral candidates, were resolved when I attended my supervisor’s engaging, even captivating lectures, which piqued my academic and pedagogical curiosity. I learned not only about research methods and concepts in SLA but also about teaching techniques designed to inspire students, and in particular to engage them in autonomous learning. This gave me rich teaching ideas and invigorated me to keep working on my research, thus encouraging me both as a researcher and a teacher.
My supervisor’s humanistic approach was also seen in consultations with him as he devoted considerable time to discussing my research and driving me forward. This rekindled my spirits and resolved complexities in my data analysis and writing. I am indebted to his kindness for meeting with me and especially for caring about my personal loss when my mother passed away in the final stages of my research. I recall his kind words, which softened the shock; I felt hopeless and confused and lost all purpose in life beyond the need to complete my dissertation.
I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to my TUJ supervisor for his guidance and support. Without this, I would not have completed my research and obtained my doctoral degree. Recollecting my TUJ days, and in particular working with my supervisor, will nourish memories of precious times for many years to come, for me, and hopefully, for him too.
Masayasu Aotani, Ed.D.
Doctor of Education (May 2011)
- Associate Professor at International Center, Kyoto University (As of July 2012)
There are at least three reasons for joining TUJ's Graduate TESOL program.
First and foremost, no other program in Japan teaches the theory and practice so thoroughly in a highly systematic and organized fashion.
Secondly, TUJ's staff is truly dedicated. With the faculty's guidance, you are sure to grow exponentially. Effectiveness and efficiency are their hallmarks. The administration always caters to individual needs. And thanks to their efforts, Temple Libraries are the best I know of for TESOL in Japan.
The third reason is the people you meet. Working classmates provide peer support. Visiting scholars from around the world teach seminars. And students and scholars from other institutions visit TUJ as it is a hub of TESOL in Japan. You will find many alumni at academic conferences.
When I enrolled in the program, I already had a Ph.D. in Mathematics from UC Berkeley. Ten years later, I am Dr. Dr. Aotani - just like NY, NY. A decade-long intense juggling of work and study was a truly arduous journey. But the Temple staff made every step exciting and worthwhile by taking my progress as seriously as I did.
Finally, I may add that they extend their expert service and support to the graduates as well. My adviser once said, "Once TUJ, always TUJ," which is exactly how I feel with full pride.
My TESOL universe, i.e. knowledge and human network, keeps expanding rapidly thanks to TUJ. It is your turn to come aboard and expand yours.
Matthew Apple, M.Ed., Ed.D.
Doctor of Education (May 2011), Master of Education (August 2005)
- Associate Professor at Department of Communication, Ritsumeikan University (As of July 2012)
When I entered the TUJ's doctoral program as a member of the Osaka Doctoral Cohort, I knew that the level of study would be high, but I had no idea how intense and in-depth the coursework would be. Although I came into the program thinking primarily of myself as a language teacher, I quickly came to consider myself not just a user of knowledge but also a potential creator of knowledge. Starting with exposure to the principles of qualitative and quantitative research, my cohort classmates and I delved deeply into advanced statistical methods of inquiry, psychological aspects of language learning, the use of technology, the means of language assessment, and ways to establish and improve language program curriculum. I felt constantly challenged – and inspired – by professors and classmates alike to think critically and analytically about all aspects of what it means to learn a language. By the time I had finished the coursework, I felt capable of engaging in my own dissertation research in order to add to and expand on the existing body of research knowledge in the field of second language acquisition.
The TUJ's doctoral program is one of the top SLA research programs worldwide, and its graduates have contributed to language learning and teaching more consistently than any other program of its kind. I feel extremely fortunate and privileged to have participated in a TUJ doctoral cohort and consider my time at TUJ the most rewarding and satisfying of my academic and professional career.
Catherine LeBlanc, M.S.Ed.
Master of Science in Education (August 2011)
- Instructor at School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University (As of July 2012)
While my decision to undertake graduate studies at Temple University was motivated by the need to obtain accreditation and increase my opportunities for future employment, I have gained much more than employable skills and the paper-printed proof. The decision to enter the M.S.Ed. program in TESOL has become the greatest investment for my career development, and the returns have been very fruitful.
I first heard of the program through a colleague who recommended that I attend the open section of a special lecture in the Distinguished Lecturer Series. I immediately understood that I had found a stimulating learning environment with a community of dedicated students and professors. Classes offer a balanced approach, introducing both theoretical and practical aspects of language education. I acquired the practical skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to develop sound curricula and create a motivating classroom environment and engaging materials. Equally as important, I was able to further my professional development to gain entry into the wider academic community by developing my own research interests in collaboration with peers and TUJ alumni, and by participating as both writer and editor for in-house publications. Elective courses and the Distinguished Lecturer Series allowed me to explore areas of interest related to language teaching and learning.
Thanks to my experience at Temple University, my web of resources and opportunities has only widened. Shortly after graduation from the master's course, I was able to secure employment at a well-established university and was selected to receive a research grant to pursue my research interests. Undoubtedly, effort put into this program will be greatly rewarded making it a worthwhile endeavor for anyone seeking to advance their career in language education and research.