Ikuko Yoshida teaches Japanese language and culture, and her research interest areas are second language acquisition, pedagogy, critical thinking in foreign language learning, technology, and Japanese aesthetics. She is a certified instructor of ikebana—traditional Japanese flower arrangement.
Yoshida has been teaching Japanese language and culture at Bennington College since 1998. Her research interest areas include second language acquisition, pedagogy, critical thinking, technology in language learning, and Japanese aesthetics. Her Japanese courses are designed for students to develop not only their linguistic skills, but also their cognitive skills, especially critical thinking skills, through their learning of Japanese literature, art, history, and religion. In 2007, her intermediate Japanese course called What Do Japanese Students Learn About WWII? was selected as one of the top 10 courses in the National Study of Japanese Courses, which was conducted by the Educational Policy Improvement Center/ College Board Advanced Placement® World Language Best Practice Course Study.
She has presented her work at various conferences such as Teacher vs. Student: The Perspectives on Cognitive Skills in Foreign Language Learning at the Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of the Northeastern Region of the United States; A Suggestion for Online Collaboration: Schools and Communities at Princeton Japanese Pedagogy Forum; and Linking Films with Textbooks to Teach Japanese Language and Culture at the Annual Convention of American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Yoshida also hosts the Annual Vermont Online Japanese language Contest. The contest is designed to provide Japanese learners in Vermont 1) with a motive to utilize Japanese outside of the classroom; 2) a sense of belonging to a Japanese-speaking community; and 3) a wider audience to demonstrate their Japanese language and cultural knowledge. This program has been very successful.
In addition, Yoshida is a certified instructor of ikebana—Japanese flower arrangement. She received Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grants from the Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, Vermont and studied ikebana. She has offered a course on ikebana at Bennington College and has given workshops at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
Since 2012, Yoshida has been serving as a principle at the Albany Japanese Language School (AJLS) in Schenectady, New York. Her students at Bennington College collaborate with the students at AJLS to deepen their knowledge in Japanese language and culture.
MA in TESOL, Saint Michael’s College; BA, Kanazawa Women’s College in Japan. Yoshida joined the Bennington faculty of the Isabelle Kaplan Center for Languages and Cultures in 1998.