Hitomi Oketani-Lobbezoo




320 Alexander


[email protected]


Ph.D., Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of University of Toronto


Dr. Hitomi Oketani  completed her doctorate degree (Recipient of a Government of Canada Award for Graduate Studies in Canada) at Department of Curriculum (Multilingual Education) of Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of University of Toronto, Canada, supervised by Dr. Jim Cummins; M.A. (Teaching Japanese as a Foreign/Second Language) from Osaka University for Foreign Studies (current Osaka University, Japan) and M.Ed. (Heritage Language Education) from OISE/University of Toronto. Previously, she taught at various institutions including Himeji Vietnamese Refugee Center, Japan; University of Toronto, Canada; Kokugo Kyoushitsu Japanese Heritage School, Canada.

Dr. Oketani is the recipient of the 1997 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Competition Award from the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) in the U.S. (title: Subtractive to Additive Bilinguality: A study of relations among bilinguality, academic achievement and socio-psychological factors in post-war second-generation Japanese-Canadian youths).  


Her publications include Raising Children as Bilinguals - Bilingual Education from Age Zero (Ed. 2007, Akashishoten, Japan), Invitation for Multilingual Education (co-author, 2010, Hitsujishobo, Japan), and Raising Children as Bilinguals and Trilinguals - An Introductory Reader for Parents and Teachers (tentative title) (Ed. forthcoming, Akashishoten, Japan).


Dr. Oketani served as Board Member and Vice-President of the Canadian Association for Japanese Language Education for more than a decade. She also served as International Researcher of "Interdisciplinary Study on Learning Japanese and the Reality of Language Life of Foreign Permanent Residents in Japan" Project at National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (Kokuritsu Kokugo Kenkyujo) in Japan, during 2007-2012 including her residency as a research fellow at the Institute. She contributed as Academic Advisory Committee Chair to establish Hinoki International School (English-Japanese Two-way Immersion elementary school, Michigan), and Co-founder of Japanese Teachers Association of Michigan (JTAM). Currently she is Chief Editor of Japanese Heritage Language Journal of American Association for Teachers of Japanese (AATJ), Vice-President of Bilingual/Multilingual Child Net, Japan (BMCN), and Board Member of Michigan Japanese Heritage Center (MJHC).