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Patricia Wetzel

Patricia Wetzel, Professor of Japanese and Director of the Institute for Asian Studies at Portland State University, received her Ph.D. in Japanese linguistics from Cornell University. Professor Wetzel directs the Japanese language program at PSU, recognized nationally for its excellence; she teaches courses in Japanese language, linguistics and pedagogy. Her longstanding focus has been keigo, or “polite language,” which she sees as a microcosm of Japanese society. She has been awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Japan in 2006.

Professor Wetzel’s resolve to build interest in south and southeast Asia on campus led to the Heritage Language Initiative. The HLI promotes literacy in a person’s first language as a means for preserving and enriching cultural traditions and promoting bilingual success. The HLI is an active and rich part of the foreign languages program at PSU.

Most recently the Japanese Language Program has established a cooperative relationship with ALLEX to provide teacher training in Japanese. The Japanese Teacher Training Institute through ALLEX is an intensive program both for training future Japanese language teachers and providing valuable program-strengthening tools to current teachers. A particular emphasis is given to methods for teaching Japanese to English-speaking North Americans rather than focusing on theoretical analysis of the Japanese language. Professor Wetzel is the director of the ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute that will conduct a summer intensive program at Portland State University beginning summer 2005.

Professor Wetzel’s dedication to quality teaching of foreign languages consistently receives high praise.