CORVALLIS - Oregon State University and Linn-Benton Community College are pooling resources to offer the mid-Willamette Valley a first-year Japanese language course broadcast from OSU starting Sept. 29.

The lecture section of Japanese 111 will be sent live to the Linn-Benton campus and will be broadcast to the community over TCI Cablevision Channel 18, said Setsuko Nakajima, OSU senior instructor of Japanese who teaches the class.

The 50-minute lectures are set at 11 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays through Dec. 5, but students unable to make the class can borrow tapes of the lectures or tape the sessions themselves, Nakajima said. Fifty-minute Japanese-only drill sessions are set at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Linn-Benton's Albany campus and at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Linn-Benton's Corvallis center. Other drill sections are also available at OSU.

Students can earn either Linn-Benton or OSU foreign language credits for the class. To register, contact OSU at 541-737-2527 or Linn-Benton Community College at 541-917-4812.

While Nakajima will hold lectures at OSU, LBCC students won't be shortchanged, she said.

"I'll be able to hear and see the students at LBCC, just as they'll be able to hear and see me."

In addition to giving students practice in Japanese, the drill sessions will cover aspects of Japanese culture, Nakajima said.

The pilot program is giving Linn-Benton an opportunity to offer Japanese without hiring a Japanese language instructor. Instead, the college is paying only the costs for graduate teaching assistants who are supervising the drill sessions, Nakajima said.

As the technology advances, Nakajima and other educators say they expect to see more distance learning courses offered.

A study by the U.S. congressional Office of Technology Assessment reports that distance learning appears to be as effective as on-site, face-to-face learning.

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Setsuko Nakajima, 541-737-3951