12th OECD Japan Seminar "Globalisation and Linguistic Competencies: Responding to diversity in language environments"


22-24 October, 2008 - Tokyo, Japan



  • Aoyama Gakuin University Research Institute
  • Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)



Developing linguistic competencies has become increasingly important by virtue of the process of globalisation, with its increased migration flows and its emphasis on cross-cultural communication across and within geographical boundaries. Learning languages is important for individual success, and linguistic competence levels are important for societies’ competitiveness and cohesion.

In recognition of the diverse demands for language proficiency at all levels, CERI launched its “Globalisation and Linguistic Competencies” (GLC) project in 2007 precisely in order to clarify the various language challenges that various groups of populations face, to explore the determinants of linguistic proficiencies, and to consider ways in which all stakeholders might tackle these issues in the future. Moreover, the GLC project is uniquely positioned to contribute to this topic since it follows directly from the 1999-2006 CERI project, “Learning Sciences and Brain Research”, which yielded critical insights into language acquisition, learning and literacy. The GLC project will build on these insights by addressing  how contextual factors affect motivation, how various learning innovations affect linguistic outcomes, and how linguistic competencies affect key economic and social outcomes.

The 12th OECD Japan Seminar on  “Globalisation and Linguistic Competencies: Responding to diversity in language environments” is the first event to bring together policy-makers, administrators, researchers, teachers and learners in order to discuss how we might respond to the growing linguistic and cultural diversity brought about by globalisation.



Specifically, the Seminar will provide the opportunity to present and discuss recent key findings in many areas regarding language acquisition, the particular language contexts and issues experienced by country, and to synthesise information on linguistic contexts, language policies and empirical research on the motivation to learn language. As well, this will be an excellent opportunity to learn from the great variety of experiences and initiatives with respect to language learning that participants from around the world will bring to the discussion.

The Seminar will commence with a discussion on “brain science” and learning, an important theme from CERI’s previous work exploring learning in the context of the neurosciences. The general discussions will be complemented by thematic breakout sessions on the following topics:

  • Status and function of English as a language of international/intercultural communication
  • Understanding language acquisition through brain science
  • Globalisation and linguistic challenges in Japan
  • Linguistic challenges for migrants and minorities
  • Responses to linguistic environment: visions of linguistic auditing
  • Informal language learning: the role of media and ICT



The seminar will be held at the Aoyama-Gakuin University located in central Tokyo.

The main language of the seminar will be English, and Japanese translations will be provided for plenary and selected breakout sessions.

Address and maps 


Aoyama Campus, Aoyama Gakuin University, 4-4-25 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8366 Japan


  • Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu
  • Shibuya Mark City Building, 1-12-2, Dogenzaka,
  • Shibuya-ku, Tokyo  150-0043
  • Tel (81) 3-5457-0109
  • Fax (81) 3-5457-0309




Countries are responsible for making their own accommodation and travel arrangements. For planning purposes it will be important to receive information regarding the numbers and composition of national delegations as soon as possible.  The deadline for receipt of this information is 22 September 2008. Nominations should be send to Therese Walsh (+33 1 45 24 96 89; therese.walsh@oecd.org).

For more information 


Bruno della-Chiesa bruno.della-chiesa@oecd.org
Koji Miyamoto koji.miyamoto@oecd.org
Therese Walsh therese.walsh@oecd.org




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