Hiroko Yamashita Headshot

Hiroko Yamashita


Department of Modern Languages and Cultures
College of Liberal Arts

Office Location

Hiroko Yamashita


Department of Modern Languages and Cultures
College of Liberal Arts


BA, University of Southern Mississippi; MA, Ph.D., The Ohio State University


Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Invited Keynote/Presentation
Yamashita, Hiroko. "A Piece for Which Puzzle(s)? Human Language Processing and Production in Less-commonly Investigated Languages." Issues in Japanese Psycholinguistics from Comparative Perspectives. The National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL), Tohoku University. Sendai, Japan. 10 Sep. 2021. Keynote Speech.
Yamashita, Hiroko. "Artificial language learning for psycholinguistic studies." University of Tokyo linguistics colloquium. University of Tokyo. Tokyo, Japan. 7 Jun. 2017. Lecture.
Yamshita, Hiroko. "Length-Based Phrase-Ordering in Japanese and its Interaction with Canonicality." Cognitive Science Colloquium. University of Buffalo. Buffalo, NY. Apr. 2012. Address.
Published Conference Proceedings
Yamashita, Hiroko. "Toward Inclusive Modern Language Teaching and Learning: Integration of Cognitive Science and Pedagogy." Proceedings of the Symposium on Current Issues in East Asian Languages and Literatures. Ed. Nakayama, M., R. Torrance, Z. Xie, J. Bundschuh, J. Nunes, & L. Stirek. Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State University Knowledge Bank, 2021. Web.
Peer Reviewed/Juried Poster Presentation or Conference Paper
Yamashita, Hiroko and Franklin Chang. "Is Explicit Teaching of Second Languages Always Helpful? An Artificial Language Study." Proceedings of the Thirty-second Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing. Ed. Albert Kim. Boulder, CO: n.p..
Yamashita, Hiroko and Franklin Chang. "A multiple argument overlap boost in Japanese structural priming." Proceedings of the Twenty-seventh Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing. Ed. Shari Speer. Columbus, OH: n.p..
Full Length Book
Yamashita, Hiroko, Yuki Hirose, and Jerome L. Packard. Processing and Producing Head-final Structures. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2011. Print.
Book Chapter
Kondo, Tadahisa and Hiroko Yamashita. "Why speakers produce scrambled sentences: Analyses of spoken language corpus in Japanese." Processing and Producing Head-final Structures. Ed. Hiroko Yamashita, Yuki Hirose, and Jerome L. Packard. Dortrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2011. 195-215. Print.
Formal Presentation
Yamashita, Hiroko. “Teaching a Foreign Language to Deaf Students: Tools, Techniques, andChallenges.” Association for the Department of Foreign Languages/Modern Language Association, MLA. Rochester, NY. June 2010. Presentation.
Published Article
Yamashita, Hiroko and Tadahisa Kondo. “Contexual Frequency as a Predictor for Word-order in JapaneseSentence Production.” Technical Report of The Institute of Electronics, Information andCommunication Engineers, 2010. Print. *

Currently Teaching

0 Credits
Co-op in a field related to Liberal Arts (at least 80 hours). Students will apply the accumulated knowledge, theory, and methods of the discipline to problem solving outside of the classroom.
3 Credits
Special-topics seminars offer an in-depth examination of current events, issues and problems unique to management. Specific topics will vary depending upon student and faculty interest and on recent events in the business world. Seminar topics for a specific semester will be announced prior to the course offering. These seminars may be repeated for credit since topics normally vary from semester to semester. (topic-dependent)
4 Credits
This is the first course in the first year sequence designed for students with no prior exposure to Japanese. It provides a sound introduction to the language as it is spoken and written today. A strong emphasis is placed on oral proficiency and the appropriate use of language in Japanese society. Hiragana and Katakana syllabary is also taught for written communication. Not open to students with prior Japanese instruction. Students must take placement exam if this is their first RIT class in Japanese and they have some prior study of Japanese.
3 Credits
This course aims to cultivate basic skills that are essential for daily life in Japan. The main focus is on the development of reading skills and oral communication skills with the use of common phrases, expressions, and Kanji characters that are commonly used in the Japanese society today. This course gives students the opportunity to read various practical texts such as signs, advertisements, notes, instructions, notices, and e-mails. The course also provides students opportunities to strengthen practical communication skills through activities and daily life situations such as filling out forms, asking for information, explaining situations in detail, and giving thoughts on daily matters. This course reinforces the materials learned in the beginning level in Japanese. Students need to continue the sequential courses (Intermediate Japanese I and II) in order to advance in the intermediate level.
3 Credits
This course is designed to establish speaking proficiency at an advanced level by expanding students’ understanding of the socio-cultural knowledge necessary for communication. Readings concerning such topics as recent social developments and traditional culture in Japan will provide the basis for students’ discussions in class as well as writing assignments. Students will also master both formal and informal interactions in Japanese in various contexts by practicing dialogues and creating role-plays on situations associated with the topics and skills required for advanced speakers. Moreover, each student will conduct research on a topic related to Japan and give a presentation in Japanese in class. With these kinds of activities, students will not only improve such practical communication skills as expressing their thoughts and giving explanations, but also acquire vocabulary, expressions and kanji characters at a more advanced level, and deepen their understanding of Japan.
1 Credits
This one-credit course provides students opportunities to intensively practice and improve real-life speaking skills in the target language, beyond what is possible in regular language courses. Grammar relevant to each context and communicative goal may be reviewed as necessary. This course may also provide cultural information related to current events and daily life. Open to any students that meet the level required for each section or equivalent who desire extra practice.
3 Credits
This course aims to increase student understanding of basic characteristics of the Japanese language. Topics include the genetic affiliation of the Japanese language, sound system, word formation, syntactic structures, socio-cultural factors in language use, and historical development of the writing system. Students will become acquainted with the language from a linguistics perspective and develop analytical skills by solving linguistic problems pertinent to Japanese language.

In the News

  • November 15, 2023

    logo for the United States Department of Education, featuring a tree in the middle of the seal.

    Faculty receive new grant to expand foreign language education offerings with a focus on STEAM

    Faculty in RIT’s Modern Languages and Cultures department received an International Research and Studies grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the development of new materials and curricula for Chinese, Italian, and Spanish courses that focus on STEAM. Associate Professor Zhong Chen, Principal Lecturer Elisabetta D’Amanda, and Department Chair Sara Armengot will spend the next three years developing, testing, and implementing the new materials in the classroom.

  • April 26, 2021

    screenshot of a video game with a floating city.

    Cultural exchange goes virtual for international game prototyping course

    As part of a gameplay and prototyping class at RIT this spring, 25 game design and development students got to participate in a virtual cultural exchange with 30 students at a Japanese college. The teams learned about each other’s cultures and overcame language barriers and time zone differences to create projects for a global game jam.