College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

So wins Teaching Award

Modern and Classical Languages' Sufumi So Recognized by the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers


Sufumi So has won the 2010 National Council of Japanese Language Teachers (NCJLT) Teacher Award for the College Level.

NCJLT Teacher Awards are the only national awards for Japanese language teachers in the U.S., and recognize outstanding teachers of Japanese at the national level by looking at - among others - teaching excellence, innovative teaching styles, dedication and inspiration to students and colleagues as well as contributions to the local community.

The council was especially impressed with Dr. So’s “long-term dedication and contribution to Japanese language and culture education locally and nationally.”

Dr. So is assistant professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Director of the Japanese Studies Program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. As a language teacher and applied linguist, Dr. So advocates a holistic approach, which places relationships at the center of all endeavors. Students are encouraged to develop their whole being and foster a sense of connectedness within themselves and with others. On the level of foreign-language instruction, the holistic curriculum offers more than just vocabulary and grammar, and promotes a full integration of language, content, and culture.

Dr. So aims to extend opportunities for multilingual and multicultural experiences beyond the classroom and founded the university-wide annual theatrical event, entitled Polyglot Performances, in 2007.

In a similar vein, Dr. So has reached out to the professional world and proposed a Japanese Studies Award to CEPEX (Center for Professional Exchange), a Washington- and Tokyo-based non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating the U.S.-Japan relationship. The annual contest is open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University.  The winner is granted a two week internship in Washington, D.C., and a brief trip to Japan.

Dr. So will receive the Teacher Award at the NCJLT Awards Ceremony during the annual 2010 Convention of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in Boston, Massachusetts.

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