A new Japanese language minor will be offered starting in fall 2012 at the University of La Verne.
ULV currently only offers German, French and Spanish majors within its modern languages department.
However, instructor Gloria Montebruno has worked to finally fulfill what many ULV students have been requesting.
“Our students kept asking about a minor in Japanese,” Montebruno said, “I proposed it to our department chair, and both associate deans were extremely supportive.”
To fulfil the new minor, students must complete a minimum of 20 semester hours of upper division courses or 24 minimum semester hours, 16 of which must be higher division courses.
“If you can be exposed to and immersed in another language, it does more for understanding your own major,” said Felicia Beardsley, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
“Your brain has to work a completely different way so you’re expanding the breadth of possibilities,” Beardsley said.
For now, the minor is in a trial period.
“The department chair and I have a long-term goal to possibly pursue a Japanese or Asian studies major,” Montebruno said.
Montebruno will be adding courses not only for students to learn the language, but to understand Japanese culture, and to become culturally aware and sensitive.
The courses are open to all La Verne students and can be simply taken as electives
Montebruno has a diverse background.
She grew up in Italy and attended the University of Southern California for her doctorate in East Asian Languages.
“I didn’t know her before I took the Japanese course, but I’m glad that she’s our professor now that I do know her,” said Kimberly Navarro, a freshmen business administration major. “I don’t think anyone could do a better job.”
Montebruno was awarded a the 2012-2013 Training for foreign teacher of Japanese grant by the Japan Foundation.
This grant is given to teachers with at least two-years experience of teaching the Japanese language.
She will be visiting the Japan Foundation language institute for two months in Japan to learn modern approaches to teaching the Japanese language.
“(The class) makes it diverse,” said Erika Lozano, a junior international business major.
“It gives students an opportunity to open up their critical thinking skills and look beyond their own culture.”
Lozano will be one of the first students to graduate with a Japanese minor next spring.
Although the Japanese minor is just beginning, classes fill up quickly.
There are many students that are now going to be able to satisfy their desires for a language minor in Japanese.
Shelby Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.