October 3, 2005

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ), recorded a new high in the number of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) doctoral cohort in the fall semester with 54 students in the total. The eighth Tokyo doctoral cohort and the fifth Osaka doctoral cohort each began on September 9, 2005.

The Master’s degree in TESOL is the oldest program at TUJ. It was introduced at the time of TUJ’s establishment in 1982. Since 1988, the program has offered a doctoral cohort, first at TUJ’s Tokyo campus and then, in 1995, at the Osaka campus. Graduates will earn the doctor of education (Ed.D.) degree with a specialization in TESOL.

The first, pilot doctoral cohort in Tokyo comprised 13 students. Its success led to the doctoral cohort at the Osaka campus in the mid-1990s. The year 2005 cohorts in Tokyo and Osaka boast 27 students each, which is the record high in the number of students. Most of the cohort students are actively teaching English at advanced educational institutions, and more than half of the students are non-Japanese. For the majority, the goal in obtaining a doctoral degree is to step up the career ladder.

Doctoral cohort classes are held on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon so that students can continue to work while they study. Students spend two-and-a-half years completing the course work and then proceed to writing their dissertation and may take four to seven years to obtain their doctoral degree. Each dissertation is supported by a sponsoring committee made up of five graduate professors.

The learning environment for TUJ’s doctoral cohorts offers many advantages. Foremost is the specialization and dedication of the faculty, the central figure of which is Dr. Kenneth G. Schaefer. His more than 20-year commitment to educating TESOL specialists is evident in his classroom and in the encouragement he provides to students as they work their way through the lengthy challenge of earning a doctorate. Students gain from faculty members eager to impart their expertise and from sharing their knowledge and experience with classmates through interaction in and out of the classroom.