Tokyo, Japan: J-SER is a not-for-profit association devoted to English education for scientists and researchers in Japan. The society successfully hosted its first annual conference at the University of Tokyo and saw active participation of 150 researchers, professors, and students from Japan looking for answers to overcome the barriers of the English language.
J-SER’s aim is to help the scientific community in building their communication skills in English and enabling them to convey their research at an international level. Having known the issues faced by the academic community in Japan with writing and publishing in English, Enago realized the need for building a community that can address these issues. In August 2014, Enago along with 48 well-known researchers from Japan formed this association. Professor Tom Gally, University of Tokyo, is the current president of the society.
The program included fantastic keynotes, sessions, as well as networking opportunities for the participants.
- Prof. Shin-ichiro Ishikawa, Kobe University, presented the keynote session on “Science of Academic Writing: Possibilities Created by Corpus Linguists” and explained about using corpora in academic writing.
- A discussion among Prof. Masanori Hatakeyama (University of Tokyo), Emeritus Prof. Yutaka Yamamoto (Kyoto University), Associate Prof. Sayaka Matsumoto (Fukui Prefectural University), and Prof. Yasuyuki Matsuda (University of Tokyo) shed light on how the panelists have struggled with and overcome the challenges of using English in research. The multidisciplinary panel covering Medicine, History, Engineering, and Physics also touched upon discipline-specific challenges.
- Prof. Tom Gally, University of Tokyo, conducted a workshop on writing academic papers.
- Prof. Ken’ichi Kanaya, Okayama University, conducted a session on English writing in the Technical and Engineering disciplines.
The response of the participants was overwhelming. Sessions were packed and we ran out of chairs in some! Yuko Furuya, CEO, Crimson Interactive Japan, said, “We are extremely glad that the conference was a success. Our goal is to help the research community in Japan improve their writing, reading, as well as speaking abilities in English across all academic fields. We will continue to provide our on-going support to J-SER in achieving this goal.”
J-SER’s focus is not limited to students enrolled in PhD programs but also to improve undergraduate and graduate programs as well as support researchers affiliated with private companies, non-profit organizations, and public institutions. We at Enago consider this as a great initiative to help the scientific community in Japan.
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