Chapter Online Event - February 12, 2023


Register here (open until Friday, Feb. 10)
Cost: Free 

Morning Session

10:00 - 12:00

Presenter: Prof. Masatoshi Shoji, Shokei Gakuin University

Part 1: Talking About Death

Part 2: Death Café


In Part 1, I will talk about how important it is to talk about death. In Part 2, I will organize and facilitate Death Café to talk about death with all participants. At a Death Café, people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The objective is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives' according to Death Café.



Masatoshi Shoji is a language teacher of both English and Japanese. He is also a technical and medical translator, licensed acupuncturist, and aspiring medical writer. He is a doctoral student at the Graduate School of Dentistry, Tohoku University with a focus on bone tissue development. His major interests are health communication, health literacy, and end-of-life communication. He earned a BA in English Linguistics with a minor in English Literature at Yamagata University, an MA in Education at Carthage College, and an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham. He has successfully completed a 140-hour TESOL certificate at the International Teacher Development Institute, an Essential Skills Certificate at the American Medical Writers Association, a Master of Clinical Science Course at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University, Critical Healthcare Interpreters’ Training Program at National Association for Medical Interpreters in Japan, and the Integrative Health and Lifestyle Program at Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, the University of Arizona.

His recent article: How I Started a Café to Discuss Death <>

Lunch Break

12:00 - 13:30

Afternoon Session

13:30 - 15:30

Title: Katakana pronunciation: Can we make it go away?

Presenter: Dr. Najma Janjua, Kawasaki Medical School


Katakana pronunciation, a manifestation of L1 interference in Japanese speakers of English, affects their intelligibility in the international community. This presentation looks at the scientific basis of the underlying mechanism of interference and introduces tools that can train the learners to avoid pronouncing English words in katakana, thereby improving their intelligibility. Experimental trials using the tools show a remarkable increase in the number of students who do not manifest the katakana pronunciation of English words, thus providing a promising approach in efforts to make katakana go away. The methodology is of relevance when teaching Japanese learners of English in any walk of life but is particularly useful in the contexts of medicine and allied disciplines where intelligible pronunciation is indispensable for safe and reliable care and can even be a matter of life and death.


Dr. Najma Janjua holds a PhD in human genetics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and is currently a professor at Kawasaki Medical School in Kurashiki. She is a recipient of the Quebec Ministry of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Japan Ministry of Education Research Scientist Fellowship, the JSPS Special Researcher Fellowship, the Best of JALT Award, TESOL’s Award for Teacher as Classroom Action Researcher, TESOL’s Mary Finocchiaro Award, and Japan’s National Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research. Dr. Janjua’s research interests in language education include English for medical purposes, language transfer, and EFL education in Asia. She is the past-chair of TESOL’s English for Specific Purposes Interest Section (ESP-IS) and presently serves as a Councilor on the executive board of the Japan Society for Medical English Education.