SAFE Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Kinji Ito

Dr. Kinji Ito, Assistant Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund Recipient: Fall 2022

Project: "Repeated Study: Motivation as a Factor in Second Language Acquisition - Part 2"

Dr. Ito received a Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) grant to support his study "Motivation as a Factor in Second Language Acquisition - Part 2," a follow-up to a pilot study conducted in 2021. Ito, whose research interests include language pedagogy and translation, collected data from participants through focus group discussions to learn how to most effectively motivate his students to continue learning the subject.

With the funding, Ito was able to recruit 30 students to participate in the study. Ito explained how the SAFE grant benefited the participants: "The SAFE grant helped me provide my students with an environment in which they could freely express their learning experience and exchange their thoughts with their peers. Providing such an opportunity in uncertain times offered the students a sense of togetherness."

"The SAFE grant helped me reassure the importance of conducting action research in the classroom," shared Ito, who teaches several Japanese courses, including "Intermediate Japanese," "Advanced Japanese," and "Topics in Japanese." Ito plans to contribute to the broader educational community by disseminating the findings of the study through publications and presentations.


About the SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers courses that enhance students’ understanding of other cultures and languages as well as their own, making them prepared for lifelong learning in a multicultural world. Learn more at

Written by Lauren Andersen
October 31, 2023

Dr. Kinji Ito
Published: Oct 31, 2023 8:55am