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Yuko I. Jackson Senior Lecturer in East Asian Studies

Upon completing her undergraduate work in business administration, she worked in the securities, advertising and personnel fields, both in Tokyo and New York. She then decided to change her career path to education and began teaching Japanese language at Cornell University, while pursuing graduate studies in applied linguistics and anthropology. Yuko Jackson received a Master's degree in Japanese Linguistics in 1991, and went on to teach Japanese at MIT before coming to Brown University in 1993.

Yuko Jackson has taught all levels of Japanese. She has redesigned and directed 1st year, 2nd year and 4th year Japanese, and created the Business Japanese course (Spring 2006). She is also involved in the Study Abroad Program, serving as the director of Study Abroad Japan and as a faculty adviser for study abroad. She served as a governing board member for the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies from 1999 to 2005.

Brown Affiliations

research overview

Yuko Jackson's primary interests are social linguistics, pragmatics, and teaching methodology, including effective incorporation of computer assisted learning into the curriculum and intercultural communication strategies.

research statement

Current Project
One cannot truly master the Japanese language without understanding the intricate speech levels of the language and appropriately switching formal and informal registers. In fact, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Japanese Proficiency Guidelines require test takers to "participate fully and effectively in conversations in formal and informal settings..." in order to pass the Superior Level proficiency test. It is undoubtedly one of the most challenging areas of Japanese language learning. Traditionally, with sound pedagogical reasons, we have focused on formal speech, which includes complicated honorific and humble polite words and grammatical patterns. It is very common for students to have difficulties understanding and becoming proficient in using appropriate forms and degree of formality in given situations. Over the years, I have observed that students of Japanese develop a certain degree of anxiety over making mistakes that could result in socially awkward situations. This anxiety seems to grow stronger as students progress their proficiency level. My intent is to develop a reference text that explains both linguistic and context appropriateness in various social and business situations with examples.

funded research


  • 2005 Wriston and Curricular Development Grant for creating Business Japanese
    Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning - Campus-Based Grants
    Humanities Research Fund – EAS for research/professional enhancement
    BIT Grant for utilizing digital audio/video media as language learning tools

  • 2004 Curricular Development Grant for redesigning the 4th-year Japanese
    Humanities Research Fund – EAS for research/professional enhancement
  • 2003 Humanities Research Fund – EAS for research/professional enhancement

  • 2000 Henry Merritt Wriston Grant for redesigning the Basic Japanese courses

  • 1998 Henry Merritt Wriston Grant for hiring an undergraduate assistant to aid in
    constructing the course web page for Beginning Japanese

  • 1997 Henry Merritt Wriston Grant for course improvement for the Intermediate
    Japanese

  • 1996 Henry Merritt Wriston Grant for revising and improving the reading & writing
    text