Yuka Kusanagi, Associate Professor
University Education Center, Liberal Arts, English
The Open University of Japan, Faculty of Liberal Arts/Master's and Doctoral Program at Temple University, Graduate College of Education/Rikkyo University Language Center (Part-time Instructor)/Akita Prefectural University, Research and Education Center for Comprehensive Science (Associate Professor)/Present post
Q1: Could you briefly describe your research?
A1: My specialties are English-language teaching and second-language acquisition. I am conducting research on how to teach English so that autonomous learning is facilitated, through the application of a technique called discourse analysis, with a focus on non-verbal communication, particularly body language. I am also conducting practical research aimed at developing materials and establishing teaching methods that integrate language education with literature, extensive reading in liberal arts, and expressive activities such as dramas, group recitations, and art that anyone can undertake, in order to cultivate autonomous learners.
Q2: What do you find most appealing about research?
A2: The most appealing thing about educational research is that you can observe what is actually happening in the classroom. That is, you can see how the teaching activities and learning are being performed. As a researcher and educator, it pleases me more than anything to apply the results of my research in the actual classroom.
Q3: What inspired you to pursue a career in research?
A3: First of all, I enjoyed the process of learning in and of itself. I also I felt I wanted to learn more in order to improve my teaching.
Q4: What makes you feel glad to be a researcher?
A4: Each time I write a paper, I learn something new and feel a sense of accomplishment. Also, I find it invaluable to meet, interact, and cooperate with like-minded researchers at events such as academic conferences and research symposiums. It is also wonderful that I get to travel to a wide range of places in Japan and abroad, for events like academic conferences.
Q5: How do you balance your research with your private life?
A5: It is an extremely difficult challenge to achieve a balance, but I cannot work well if I am not healthy, so I take care to eat and sleep well. Also, I unwind by taking short trips, going for walks, experiencing nature, and so on. I also enjoy being around children, so having fun with my nieces and nephews is another way for me to relax.
Q6: Do you have a book that changed your life, or any books that you have written?
A6: I am currently working on collecting materials for the joint English-Japanese edition of "Literature and Language Learning in the EFL Classroom".
Q7: Where has been your favorite place to travel?
A7: It is difficult to single out one in particular, but recently I have been traveling around Japan and making a lot of new discoveries.
Q8: What are your hobbies?
A8: Traveling, walking, visiting art museums, and going to hot springs.
Graduated from various schools↓
Earned bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctoral degree while working as English instructor↓
Assumed post at Gunma University↓
This photograph from the summer of 2012 was taken during a visit to Victoria, Canada, where I participated in the International Association of Performing Language Conference. I am standing in front of the oldest bookstore in town, Munro's Books, which has been described as the most magnificent bookstore in the world. I frequently visit bookstores overseas to purchase educational materials.