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Love of language spurs extra learning

Dr. Joyce Boss (center) and members of the Japanese language table at their weekly meeting at the Den. The group also learns about the Japanese culture.— Paul Bossua/TRUMPET
Dr. Joyce Boss (center) and members of the Japanese language table at their weekly meeting at the Den. The group also learns about the Japanese culture.— Paul Bossua/TRUMPET
Wartburg College has a new Japanese language table on campus.

The group, which meets once a week, is led by Dr. Joyce Boss.

Boss, who teaches Asian literature and film, said over the years students have asked her why there is no Japanese language class on campus.

“A lot of young people are interested in Japanese culture through anime and manga,” Boss said. “Because it’s not a class, we have space to discuss things that interest students.”

Students who are part of the Japanese language table are expected to attend meetings Wednesdays at 3:45 – 4:30 p.m. in the Den, and will be given homework as well.

However, the homework and the language table in general are not graded.

“The requirement is that anyone can participate but you do have to attend on a regular basis just like you would a class, and to do the work so we could all move together,” Boss said.

Boss said students are welcome to join even if the Japanese language table has started already.

Boss said students who join late will be assisted by her and other members to get up to speed with the rest of the group.

Daniel Chroust, who speaks Korean and Spanish, is a member of the Japanese language table.

“I’ve just always enjoyed learning languages so I saw this as a good opportunity,” Chroust said.

Chroust said his knowledge in Korean is helping him learn Japanese a little faster because of their similar pronunciations.

The Japanese language table was created to give students who are interested in Japanese as a language, or in Japanese culture, a chance to learn about their interests in a structured environment outside the
classroom, Boss said.

Boss encouraged students to learn more about other languages, not only by the required language classes, but on their own and from international students as well.

“Being familiar with languages around the world is a really important part of a well-rounded liberal arts education,” Boss said.

Interested students can contact Boss at joyce.boss@wartburg.edu. Students who contact Boss will receive information about required materials and how to get up to speed with the rest of the group in their study of the Japanese language and culture.

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