In line with the consolidation of Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies (OUFS) in October 2007, Studies in Language and Society was established as a new graduate program in the Graduate School of Language and Culture (GSLC), replacing the Graduate School of Language and Society of OUFS. The principle aim of Studies in Language and Society is to conduct education and research on the languages and cultures of different regions of the world. This is achieved by applying both theory and practice, to extend the excellent work and tradition of the Department of Language and Society of OUFS.
Studies in Language and Society became the largest program, in terms of number of academic staff, in the graduate school in April 2012, due to the dismantling of the Research Institute for World Languages, which had been an educational partner organization, and its consolidation with the GSLC. The number of language categories also increased from three to eight, resulting in further enhancement of the research system. The languages included in each category are: Asia I: Chinese, Korean and Mongolian; Asia II: Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese and Burmese; Asia III: Hindu and Urdu; Asia/Africa: Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Swahili; Europe I: Russian, Hungarian and German; Europe II: Danish and Swedish; Europe/America I: English; and Europe/America II: French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Each language program has excellent researchers in languages, cultures and societies and they are committed to advanced research in their specialized areas.
Moreover, the master’s program of Studies in Language and Society is divided into two courses: “Regional Language and Culture Course” and “Highly-Specialized Professional Course.” The former contains “Asia/Africa Language and Culture Course” and “Europe/America Language and Culture Course” and aims to strengthen language skills across the 24 languages taught, and provide a diverse education on the language, culture and society of various regions of the world. This is the core course of Studies in Language and Society due to the diversity of the curriculum and wide range of options in terms of regions to study, as well as the number of academic staff. The latter provides a recurrent education to English and Chinese teachers in service. The doctoral program is not divided into courses and aims to foster researchers in global languages, cultures and societies, who have great future potential.
In April 2012, the GSLC was officially positioned as the graduate school of the School of Foreign Studies. We believe Studies in Language and Society is at the very core of graduate level education and language region research, and the only graduate program to offer such wide ranging language education options out of the all universities in Japan. We will continue to leverage from this position, and make efforts to further develop Studies in Language and Society, building on our role in Osaka University, as it seeks to become a more global university. We also hope to continue to attract internationally minded individuals with an eye on academic excellence.