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Teaching Japanese as a heritage language (JHL) is one of my main interests. I am engaged in activities to promote learning Japanese to children of Japanese descent who live in Toronto, Canada.

I'm also a member of MHB (Mother tongue, Heritage language, and Bilingual education) Research Association



What's Heritage Language?


Broadly speaking, heritage language refers to any  ancestral language such as indigenous, colonial, and  immigrant languages, and therefore, it may or may  not  be a language regularly used in the home and the  community (Fishman 2001).*

As such, there are many terms equivalent to heritage language (i.e., ancestral, aboriginal, indigenous, immigrant, minority, home, ethnic, community, international, modern, and non-official language) and these terms have been used at different times and in different countries. For example, the U.S. and Canada use heritage language; whereas in Australia,New Zealand, and England, the term “community language” has been used instead. 


     Links Related to Heritage Language


     Links Related to JHL 


     Recommended Books

  • Cummins, J. (2000). Language, power and pedagogy: Bilingual children in the crossfire. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters. 

  • Cummins, J. & Danesi, M. (1990). Heritage Languages: The Development and Denial of Canada’s linguistic Resources. Toronto: Our Schools/ourselves Education Foundation and Gadamond Press.

  • Danesi, M., McLeod, K., & Morris, S. (1993).Heritage languages and education: The Canadian experience. Oakville, Ontario: Moaic Press.

  • Nakajima, K. & Takagaki, T. (2005). Kanada no keishogo kyoiku: Tabunka/Tagengo-shugi wo mezasite [Heritage language education in Canada: Aiming at multiculturalism/multilingualism]. Tokyo, Japan: Akashi Shoten Co. Ltd.




Get to Know about Japanese Canadians!

I am involved in activities to promote and teach Japanese to children of Japanese descent in Toronto. If you want to know more about Japanese as a heritage language in Canada, Japanese Canadians, their community, history, and culture, please take some time to look through this portfolio.*



Portfolio: Exploration of Japanese Canadians

 by Kusuhara, S. & Nikaido, K. (2009)


   Links Related to Japanese Canadians 



<< Back to Interests  



  • Fishman, J. (2001). 300-plus years of heritage language education in the United States. In J. K. Peyton, D. A. Ranard, & S. McGinnis (Eds.), Heritage languages in America: Preserving a national resource (pp.81-89). Washington, DC & McHenry, IL: Center for Applied Linguistics & Delta Systems. 


  • The portfolio was created for the project of CTL3000 Foundation of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism.

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