California Association of Japanese Language Schools (CAJLS) is a 501(c)(3) status non-profit organization that is comprised of Saturday-only Japanese language schools located in various parts of California, organizations based in Japanese American communities, and individual supporters. Through its activities, the CAJLS aims to promote the teaching of Japanese language and culture, and thereby ensure the preservation and improvement of the community-based Japanese language institutions and enhance the opportunities for all comers to acquire Japanese language capability and understanding of Japanese culture as well as the Japanese American heritage.
- to carry out activities aimed at promoting the Japanese language education standards as set forth by the State of California Department of Education;
- to carry out activities aimed at promoting the understanding of Japanese language and culture so as to preserve Japanese-American (Nikkei) culture and tradition;
- to carry out activities aimed at the development and publication of teaching materials for Japanese language instruction;
- to promote the exchange of information and research with other ethnic groups dedicated to preserving their respective culture and traditions; and teaching materials for Japanese language instruction;
- to carry out other educational activities associated with this goal as allowed by law.
- Took the initiative for legislative action to secure a stipulation in the California Department of Education Codes that would enable private school students to receive public high school foreign language credits (including Japanese), culminating in the Assembly Bill No. 202 (Elliott and Warren - in the 1965 Regular Session) that enacted the California Department of Education Codes Section 51243-51244-51245.
- Has been holding the assessment test annually for more than 50 years since 1967 to meet the requirements stipulated in the California Department of Education Codes Section 51243-51244-51245. It is estimated that easily more than ten thousand students registered at the CAJLS member schools have received foreign language credit from their attending public high school for their studies of Japanese at their respective nihongo gakko through the assessment test procedure since its inception year of 1967.
- Has compiled and published two textbook series in Watakushitachi-no-Nihongo (10 volumes) in the 970s, and Yasashii-Nihongo (4 volumes) / Tsuzukete-Manabo-Nihongo (1 volume), with accompanying workbooks and teachers manuals in the 1980s/1990s. For more details, see the "Instruction Materials" section in the CAJLS home page.
- Held the "National Heritage Japanese Language Education Conference" (@ JACCC and Japan-America Theatre (Los Angeles, CA) in May of 1999.
- VHS Video (4 volumes, unedited), CD (unedited), and DVD (unedited) of the conference proceedings are available for review and possible purchase. If interested in either reviewing or purchasing the conference proceedings, please write to: CAJLS, 3929 Middlebury Street, Los Angeles, CA 90004.
- Held the "National Children Calligraphy and Drawing Contest in Fall 2000. Exhibit was held at the Doizaki Gallery of JACCC with cooperation of JACCC.
CAJLS Information Booth during the annual Nisei Week
CAJLS sponsors an information booth annually in the JACCC Plaza on the annual Nisei Week Parade Day.
At this information booth, anyone interested can inquire about the CAJLS organization and its member schools - i.e., locations, types of instruction provided, target learners population, etc. Also, the festivity goers can obtain useful information from the people involved in operating those schools and providing instruction at various CAJLS members schools about general concerns and issues concerning the acquisition of the Nihongo knowledge at Saturday-only schools located in various parts of the Southern California area.
- Membership in CAJLS must meet four criteria as stipulated below and obtain the approval of the CAJLS Board of Directors.
- The entity applicant is duly registered in the State of California, either directly to the State or any municipality where it operates as a licensed business or as an incorporated body.
- The entity applicant must include the operating objective, in the bylaws of the incorporated body or written documents, the endeavor of teaching Japanese language and culture
- In case of individuals applying for CAJLS membership, they must submit two written recommendations prepared by
- the official representative of a CAJLS member school in good standing,
- the official representative of a CAJLS Community/ Organization in good standing,
- a CAJLS Individual Supporter in good standing,
- a Japanese language instruction professional who is with the faculty of a high school, a 2 or 4 year college level institution, or
- the official representative of an organization that is associated with the field of Japanese language instruction.
- In the case of community organizations applying for CAJLS membership, the entity must submit a written document bearing the signature of its official representative that clearly stipulates the reason for joining CAJLS.
- All CAJLS Members, whether they are schools, community-based organizations, Individuals, or be they newly joined or long-standing, shall send at least one representative to all CAJLS functions/activities in accordance with the CAJLS Bylaws. Also, all members shall abide by all rules and agreements of any CAJLS Council and/or Special Committee to which they belong. But, representation via Proxy may be permitted for a specific CAJLS event if and when a request for such is submitted and approved by the CAJLS President or the Council/Committee Chair prior to that specified event.
As of July 1, 2019, the annual fee is $150.00