The 21st Century COE Program "Usage-Based Linguistic Informatics"(2002-2006)

Goals for and Necessity of the Center of Excellence Program

It is a well-known fact that language theory has long had a profound impact on language education. One example of this is the influence structuralism had on the audiolingual method in the 1960s. Similarly, the development of computer science has also made immense contributions to linguistic research, as epitomized by speech recognition and natural language processing. Although the close ties among linguistics, language education and computer science have long been recognized, this does not necessarily mean that cooperation among these three disciplines has achieved in new academic results.

The graduate courses of TUFS meet all of the necessary conditions for sufficient achievement of collaboration among these three academic fields. Rather than merely pursuing linguistic theory in the foreign language research conducted thus far in our university’s graduate courses, we have advocated the importance of reconsidering linguistic theory through the language education programs actually being carried out at our university. It can be said that this type of bidirectional feedback between linguistic research and language education is one of the unique scholastic characteristics of TUFS and that it cannot be seen at other universities. In addition, TUFS is incorporating the field of computer science to increase the efficiency and further the advancement of foreign language education.

At this Center of Excellence (COE), we have collected linguistic usage data for various languages spoken around the world, used computer science to analyze this data and established Linguistic Informatics. Our objective is to create a COE through which it is possible to make social contributions by applying these accomplishments to pragmatic language education.