Professor Marcella Mariotti (Venezia Ca'Foscari University)

Professor Marcella Mariotti holds an MA in Media Sociology from the University of Osaka (2000) and a PhD in Glottodidactics of Japanese grammar from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (2007). She has conducted research in Japan as a JSPS Postdoc Fellow on hypermedia application and critical pedagogy of Japanese language learning at the International Christian University and Waseda University (2008-10). Since 2010, she is a Tenured Assistant Professor at Ca’ Foscari where she designed and directed research, teaching and placement projects with Japanese companies in Italy and with Italian companies in Japan. She is involved in international collaborative research projects in the fields of glottodidactics, E-learning, critical pedagogy and translation studies with the University of Kyoto, Waseda University, Kobe University, UTS (Sydney). Since 2014, she is the first non native Japanese speaker acting as President of the Association of Japanese Language Teachers in Europe (AJE) and is the Representative Delegate of Europe, Near and Middle East and Africa block for the The Society for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (Nihongo kyōiku gakkai). At the International Conference on Japanese Language Education (ICJLE 2018) held in Europe for the first time at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, she has been entitled Representative for the Global Network for Japanese Language Education (2018-2020).

Selected publications include La lingua giapponese [Japanese Language] (2014); Shiminsei keisei to kotoba no kyōiku. Bogo, daini gengo, gaikokugo o koete [Citizenship Formation and Language Education: Beyond Native, Second, and Foreign Language] (with Hosokawa and Otsuji eds., 2016); New Steps in Japanese Studies - Kobe University Joint Research (with Nobuo KAZASHI ed., 2017); Contemporary Japan. The Challenge of a World Economic Power during a Period of Transition (with Calvetti ed., 2015); Rethinking Nature in Contemporary Japan: Science, Economics, Politics (with Miyake and Revelant eds. 2014). She also translates from Japanese into Italian of contemporary literature and manga (e.g. Gen di Hiroshima [Hadashi no Gen], by Nakazawa K., 2014; Gridare amore dal centro del mondo [Sekai no chūshin de ai o sakebu] by Katayama K., 2006).

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Including ‘whom’? Icluding ‘in where’? Foreign Language Teaching as deboxing system

Words are one of the means through which we communicate. If we try to live in a civil society and respect people who have different values than ours, dialogue is essential. This is why the teaching of foreign languages has become increasingly vital in both pedagogical and ‘intercultural’ terms. This applies not only in a global perspective, but also in a local or national one. Unfortunately, we live in a historical period when non-violent interaction with those near to us who seem/are told different from us seems to having become difficult.

Dialogue cannot be built only on a technical or theoretical knowledge of foreign words, sounds or grammars. Rather, it presupposes the formation of a personality able to exert at the same time emotional participation and critical awareness which is built on "knowing ourselves": “we” as a product of the historical and personal processes that left on ourselves an infinite number of traces, accepted without the benefit of inventory (Gramsci). Foreign Language Teachers can contribute through the teaching and learning of the Japanese language, to the growth of more conscious, empathic and therefore dialogic relations between ourselves and others, for the purpose of a citizenship global and peaceful, because “inclusive”. Through re-positioning our Foreign Language Teaching perspectives (e.g. questioning how we ‘read/select’ teaching materials and examinations, how we ‘see’ FL learners, how we ‘perceive’ our and others multi-layers individualities) we might become able to creatively “find oneself within the cultural lives of others” (Holliday 2017), beyond any artificial/political construction of simplistic border-lines that would otherwise reduce our complex contemporary society to an un-real monolithic one, denying and hiding reality itself, and the very aim of pedagogy.