The JALT PanSIG 2017 conference kicked off on Friday, May 19th with a tour of Akita International University’s self-access center, the Language Development and Intercultural Studies Center (LDIC). The event was jointly organized by JASAL and AIU. The tour was led by Carlos Budding of AIU and he was joined by Asae HATADA and Hiroaki INOUE. Approximately 15 participants from universities all across Japan joined the tour. One visitor also came all the way from Mexico! Participants had plenty of time to explore the LDIC on their own and were encouraged to ask questions to the students who were using the center. Following that, Carlos led the group around the LDIC to introduce us to various areas and to answer any questions that we had.
One particularly interesting program in the LDIC is the foreign language conversation partner (FLCP) program. In the FLCP program, Japanese and international students voluntarily make themselves available for one or two hours a week to help other students who are learning a foreign language. International students help Japanese students with English, and Japanese students help international students with Japanese. As AIU has many international students on campus, a number of other languages are included in this program such as Spanish, Chinese, and Russian.
At the end of the event, all three members of the staff explained a little more about the LDIC and their role in it, and the participants had an opportunity to ask questions about the the center.