Interviews with

Autonomous English Users

at Kyoto University



This project of interviewing autonomous English users at Kyoto University gathers the authentic voices of researchers and students who use English daily in various faculties and departments. The project is for students who are interested in raising awareness about learning and using English. It is also for teachers and administrators of English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP) who want to deepen their understanding of English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP). The interviews were conducted in Japanese or English. They were translated into the other language by DELE. The interviewees' affiliation information, such as school year, department, and job title, was provided at the time of the interview.

Please select the interview that interests you below.


Faculty of Integrated Human Studies (Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies)

Yuuki Kitagawa (Graduate Student)   [Synopsis]  [Transcript]

Faculty of Letters (Graduate School of Letters)

Please wait for a while.

Faculty of Education (Graduate School of Education)

Sachi Ando (Junior Associate Professor)  [Synopsis] [Transcript]

Faculty of Law (Graduate School of Law)

Please wait for a while.

Faculty of Economics (Graduate School of Economics)

Coming soon.

Faculty of Science (Graduate School of Science)

Kazutoshi Mori (Professor)  [Synopsis] [Transcript]

Hinako Murayama (Graduate Student)  [Synopsis] [Transcript]

Faculty of Medicine (Graduate School of Medicine)

Please wait for a while.

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences)

Haruka Furuta (Graduate Student) - coming soon

Faculty of Engineering (Graduate School of Engineering)

Miwa Tobita (Graduate Student)  [Synopsis] [Transcript]

Faculty of Agriculture (Graduate School of Agriculture)

A.K. (Graduate Student)  [Synopsis] [Transcript]

Mr. Yuuki Kitagawa, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, third year of the doctoral program (Conducted in Japanese on Sept. 16, 2021; about 2,700 words)

“Logical organization is critical in academic papers in English.”

Mr. Kitagawa is a doctoral student in the Department of Interdisciplinary Environment at the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies. He is also a postdoctoral fellow DC1 at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). He has published several papers in international journals. In this interview, he presents his tips for writing papers and presenting at conferences in English. Nevertheless, he did not expect that he would need to be proficient in English so much until he was assigned to a laboratory in his fourth year of the undergraduate program. Learn ideas from his stories

(Interview conducted in Japanese on Sep. 16, 2021)

Dr. Kazutoshi Mori, Professor, Graduate School of Science (Conducted on September 14, 2021; Video length: 33 minutes)

“Prestigious academic positions are only available to those who excel in presentation.”

Dr. Kazutoshi Mori is a professor at the Graduate School of Science. He is a renowned scientist who has been considered for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. As an undergraduate student, he switched from the Faculty of Engineering to the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences to study molecular biology. A decade later, Dr. Mori left his job as an assistant professor at a university in Japan to pursue the research in the United States. After receiving the poster presentation award three consecutive times at a prestigious conference, he began receiving invitations from various international conferences, establishing his global reputation. The video below presents Professor Mori's story, with subtitles.

(Interview conducted in Japanese on September 14, 2021)

[ Watch the video with English subtitles. ]

[ Watch the video with Japanese subtitles. ]

Ms. Hinako Murayama, Graduate School of Science, third year of the doctoral program (Conducted on August 26, 2021; about 4,600 words in translation)

"Language skills are only one aspect of communication skills."

Ms. Murayama is a brilliant young researcher who won Kyoto University’s Tachibana Award in 2021. She has also spent a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At the time of the interview, she was in her third year in the Department of Physics I at the Graduate School of Science. English is natural to her. However, she points out that technical knowledge and compassion for others are more important than English skills.

(Interview conducted in Japanese on August 26, 2021)

[ Read the English translation of the interview ]

[ Read the original interview in Japanese ]

Miwa Tobita (Graduate School of Engineering, second year of the Master’s program) (Interview conducted in Japanese on August 25, 2021; about 3,900 words in translation)

“English is a tool, not a goal.”

Ms. Tobita, a Master’s student (M2) in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Graduate School of Engineering, did not have any particular experience in studying or living abroad. Despite this, she has been actively participating in international conferences held in Japan since she was an undergraduate student. It was her choice to become familiar with English. Upon entering graduate school, she confined her reading style to books written in English, except for novels. During a poster presentation that she was giving in English, an American researcher showed interest in her presentation and suggested that she join his lab. This episode explains her charming personality and character. Please enjoy her story.

(Interview conducted in Japanese on August 25, 2021)

[ Read the English translation of the interview ]

[ Read the original interview in Japanese ]

A. K., Student at Graduate School of Agriculture (Conducted on August 6, 2021. About 3,000 words)

“Speaking English itself is not so important. Communicating in English is more important.”

A.K., an MA student at the Graduate School of Agriculture, talks about her laboratory life with international students and her plan to study in Taiwan. She also shares her episode of joining a laboratory of an English-speaking ILAS faculty member as a first-year undergraduate student. She suggests that trying to speak perfect English might be counter-productive.

(Interview conducted in Japanese on August 26, 2021)

[ Read the original interview in English ]

[ Read the Japanese translation of the interview ]

Sachi Ando, Junior Associate Professor at Graduate School of Education (Conducted on July 16, 2021. About 8,600 words)

"English is a tool.  Use it first."

Dr. Ando spent 16 years in the U.S. She went there first as a double-degree program undergraduate student, earned a master's degree and a doctorate, and took a position at university.  In this interview, Dr. Ando shares her cross-cultural experiences and thoughts on English.

(Interview conducted on July 16, 2021)

 [ Read the English translation of the interview  ]

[ Read the original interview in Japanese ]