Motomi Kajitani

Lecturer in Japanese language
MA, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
research interests:
  • Task-based and project-based language teaching and learning
  • Reflective practices
  • Japanese linguistics
  • Cognitive-pragmatics
  • Language diversity and similarities
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    • Washington University
    • MSC 1111-107-115
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130
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    Motomi Kajitani joined Washington University’s teaching faculty in the fall of 2023 and is currently completing her PhD in linguistics at the University of New Mexico. Before coming to WashU, she taught various Japanese-language courses and Introduction to Linguistics at UNM.

    In her language courses, Motomi perceives her role to be that of a facilitator who cultivates an environment in which language is acquired as a by-product of meaningful social interactions. Her teaching integrates a variety of engaging collaborative tasks and reflective practices that help her students develop skills such as empathy and a growth mindset.

    Her research interests include the cognitive-pragmatic analysis of linguistic constructions in Japanese and other languages, with a focus on how everyday interactions shape human language.

    In her free time, Motomi loves to draw and make picture books.

    Recent presentations and talks:

    • Partial listing, etc.: The case of the Japanese X toka construction (Theme session: The conceptualization and embodiment of list constructions across signed and spoken languages). International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Henrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany, Summer 2023.
    • Developing reflective teaching practice to make teaching and learning less stressful (Panel discussion with Peng Yu, Gulnara Kussainova, and Yu Zhen). UNM Spring Teaching Conference, Spring 2023.
    • On the focusing and topic-managing functions of the Japanese exemplification construction X toka (Poster). The 30th Japanese/Korean Linguistics Conference, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, Spring 2023.
    • Language acquisition in Zoom classroom: What worked, what didn’t, and now what? (Lightning talk). UNM Colloquium on Innovative Teaching: Post-pandemic pedagogy, Spring 2021.