Rob Fritz

Postgraduate Research Student
Email: Rob Fritz

Previous studies and experience

皆さん、初めまして! I started on the path of teaching in Japan as an assistant language teacher on the JET Programe, where I taught English at the elementary and secondary level for four years. This experience led me to challenge myself further by taking a long distance M.A in Applied Linguistics with the University of Birmingham. Now after nine years in Japan, I find myself as an assistant professor at Nagasaki University. I have experience of teaching Japanese university students and also university students from other S.E Asian countries. Most of my classes are focused around themes related to intercultural communication and I am especially interested in finding different ways to develop the intercultural communicative competence (ICC) of my students.

Current research

For the last three years, I have been mainly researching how to develop the intercultural communicative competence of Japanese university students. This inspired me to undertake a doctorate within this field. My objective is try and construct an ICC framework that could be used in a Japanese university curriculum that looks at developing students with a global outlook. I am approaching my studies from a holistic point of view, by taking into account the many socio-cultural factors that influence the potential of a Japanese student gaining ICC. Presently, I am researching and considering the role of motivation in the development of ICC. Also, I have been developing a framework of mutual understanding to improve working relationships between assistant language teachers and Japanese teachers of English.

Papers and presentations

1. “Allowing Japanese students to understand socio-cultural diversity by teaching intercultural communication within Japanese English education” The Japan Association of College English Teachers (JACET) 53rd International Convention, Hiroshima, Japan, 28th August, 2014.

2. “Developing the intercultural communicative competence of Japanese university students” The 17th Cultnet Seminar, Durham, United Kingdom, 26th April, 2014.

3. “Make a start on understanding why differences occur between Assistant Language Teachers and Japanese Teachers of English (and what to do next)” The National Association of Japan Exchange and Teaching (AJET), Professional Development Call (webinar -, 15th January, 2014.

4. “Using the factors of intercultural communicative competence to understand and alleviate the problems within team teaching relationships in Japan” The International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC), Hong Kong, 30th November, 2013.

5. “Intercultural communication training: Allowing students to gain social responsibility on a global scale” The Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research (SIETAR), Tokyo, 28th September, 2013.


I would describe myself as a “guide-on-the-side, learner-centred, alternative, task based focused” kind of teacher! As I mentioned before, I focus on aspects of intercultural communication in my classes and I am always finding ways of bringing the outside world into the classroom (and vice versa) with new and interactive ways. I also enjoy using technology in a variety of ways and this semester I am focusing on using ipads as a way to promote learning via ethnographic tasks and reflexivity.

Other activities

Teaching and researching takes up most of my life… however on those rare occasions that I do find some free time, I enjoy playing and recording music in my home studio or with friends.