The Case-based approach to teaching, teaches the students not only Business Japanese but also how to deal with the problematic situations through discussion. In our report, we provide details of this approach to teaching we designed based on Case Method and also the information from our experience.
This report is a feedback on the experiences of introducing of Case-based approach based Business classes, in European countries and Japan, by participants in the 2016 workshop on "Human Resource Development & Business Communications in Alsace. Here we share our experience implementing the Case-based approach to teaching Business Communications that, we hope, will help in improving the delivery of such courses. The Case-based approach introduced to us at the workshop was based on work by Professors Kondoh and Kim who laid the foundation for Case-based approach in a Japanese work setting. Cases introduced were real life situations reflecting the misunderstandings arising out of cultural differences, incomplete information, time constraint pressures, conflicting goals and the like. The following 3 points were specially emphasized. 1) Learning Business Japanese vocabulary only is not enough. Focus needs to be on how to deal with problematic situations. 2) Immersing the students into real business situations. Use cases that teach students how to analyze situations in Japanese work place setting and let them work together to sort out the problems. 3) Case-based approach stimulate students' thinking and encourage discussion. The open ended discussion with no right or wrong answers, gives students the most relevant and practical way to learn problem handling skills. It helps in understanding other person's situation and the complex human relationships involved. However the process is exciting and fun. Presumably the Case-based approach to teaching, teaches the students not only Business Japanese but also how to deal with the problematic situations through discussion. By doing so, students listen to each other's opinions with/without Japanese language. The students learn Japanese business culture and find out how decision making differs across countries. In our report, we provide details of this approach to teaching we designed based on Case-based approach. We also provide information regarding what we learned from our efforts as well as commonality and difficulties in outcome. We would like to give some thought to the evaluation methodology.