Izumi Matsuda-Kiami, teaching professor of Japanese, was recently awarded the 2021 Leslie Birkland Award by the Washington Association of Teachers of Japanese (WATJ). She teaches a variety of Japanese language classes in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature.
The Leslie Birkland Award, given annually, recognizes one teacher who has made lasting contributions to the Japanese teaching profession and teacher community in Washington. The award is named after WATJ's founding president and is the highest honor a Japanese teacher can receive in Washington State.
Professor Matsuda-Kiami was awarded the honor this year in recognition of her efforts to promote connections and communication amongst college, university, and public K-12 education teachers, and to foster community, unity, and continuity in Japanese education. She has organized workshops on Tadoku, or extensive reading, as well as giving a workshop on using Japanese TV dramas in language teaching at WATJ's recent virtual conference. Professor Matsuda-Kiami has long placed an emphasis on working with K-12 and community college teachers. She believes this is particularly important since so many students come to UW to study Japanese from either high school or local community colleges.
Kei Tsukamaki, WATJ President, said "Matsuda-sensei's contributions and participation in WATJ are incredibly valuable to our professional organization and to our close-knit teacher community. Additionally, as a Japanese Language major (University of Washington, 2008), it is my great personal pleasure to share with you this announcement of Matsuda-sensei's award."