I’m excited that our students…
- Expand their Japanese vocabulary so that can talk with others in Japanese.
- Master hiragana, katakana, and kanji.
- Learn that language is a tool for communicating across cultures and that language should be used to serve God and others.
- Think about the relationship between language and culture.
- Work productively in groups.
- Give speeches on current events.
- Understand the differences between honorific expressions and extra modest expressions, which will help them when they start a job so they know how to communicate respectfully.
I’m also excited that OCSI teaches Japanese from the perspective of the Bible’s overarching story of creation-fall-redemption-restoration:
- Creation (What’s God’s purpose?): God created language for power (how He created the earth), connection (how He communicated with people and people with each other), and truth (Jesus is the Word—God’s clearest communication of His truth to humans). People, as His image bearers, continue to use language to develop the potential of God’s creation.
- Fall (What’s wrong?): After the fall people used language to assert human power over God’s power (Genesis 11), to separate people, and to deceive others.
- Redemption (What difference does Jesus make?): Jesus embodies how far God will go to re-establish communication. Jesus became human, sacrificed Himself to reconcile us to God, and rose from the dead so we could desire to be reconciled to others. He also sent His Spirit, and at Pentecost the Holy Spirit enabled all to hear the Gospel in their own language, thus showing us God’s vision of unity that will include people from every language praising Him in heaven.
- Restoration (What will you do?): The Japanese Language Department equips students to walk with God and impact the world for Him. To do this, we help students speak, read, and write Japanese language, and understand Japanese culture. We do this so that students will be gracious hosts and/or guests, appreciate the unity in diversity that people have developed as God’s image bearers, and appreciate the interconnection of language and culture. And we do this so that students can, in humility, love their neighbors and communicate the Gospel to them.