We are guided by one simple principle: the best language teachers are those that have undergone extensive teacher training.
This was the principle that guided the nation’s preeminent scholars of Japanese pedagogy, who came together in 1988 to form Exchange:Japan, an organization designed to increase the number of professionally trained instructors in American classrooms by providing universities an economical means to establish or enhance Asian language programs. The founders were Dr. Eleanor Jorden, Professor of Linguistics at Cornell University and widely regarded as the founder of the field of Japanese language pedagogy; and Akio Terumasa, a visionary in international education and, as Director of the Minsai International Center, one of Japan’s leading philanthropists.
In 2003 Thomas Mason, Jr. (ALLEX Executive Director) and Kazunori Ueno (ALLEX Chairperson) founded the ALLEX Foundation to continue the important work of Exchange:Japan while expanding its scope and influence.
The vision of the founders has certainly been realized, as Exchange:Japan/ALLEX has been a transformational force in instituting East Asian language courses at American universities, and in recruiting and training bright young Japanese and Chinese students to become professional language teachers. Since the organization’s inception over 200 universities have used our teachers to start new language programs or to sustain and enhance established language offerings. More than 800 instructors have been trained and placed at North American universities, and a large percentage have completed Masters degrees while teaching. More than 75 former ALLEX instructors are still teaching in the field. Some of our most illustrious graduates have gone on to earn Ph.D.s, and have attained professorships and lectureships at institutions such as Harvard, M.I.T., Cornell, Wellesley College, Truman State University, and Hamilton College.
The flagship program of ALLEX, the Teaching Associate Program, is at the very heart of our mission: We enable universities to begin and maintain high quality Chinese and Japanese language programs by providing them with professionally trained language instructors who teach in exchange for the opportunity to study. We recruit the candidates, screen them, and send them for training through the ALLEX Chinese and Japanese Teacher Training Consortium, comprised of Cornell University, Ohio State University, Portland State University and Washington University in St. Louis. The nation’s preeminent experts in Chinese and Japanese pedagogy teach in the intensive teacher training program, the foundation for all of ALLEX’s academic exchanges.
The ALLEX Foundation (Alliance for Language Learning and Educational Exchange) was founded with the primary mission of advancing global understanding and intercultural exchange through education. We advance this mission with programs that encourage the establishment of high quality East Asian language programs at educational institutions in the United States and Canada. At the same time, our programs offer unique study abroad opportunities in the United States for Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese nationals.
We believe that learning a foreign language is the gateway to understanding and appreciating other cultures, and that training expert language teachers goes hand in hand with propagating foreign language study.