SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Aiko Otsuka

BA (Meiji Gakuin) MA (SOAS)
  • Research


Aiko Otsuka
Aiko Otsuka
Email address:
Thesis title:
Pragmatic strategies in face-to-face interactions and emails by Japanese speakers and Japanese Sign Language users: Focus on Japanese Sign Language users' use of Japanese and their perceptions
Internal Supervisors


Aiko is a former qualified professional sign language interpreter with 10 years of experience working in Japan. Currently, she teaches Japanese in undergraduate and postgraduate courses at SOAS.

PhD Research

Aiko's PhD research focuses on the pragmatic strategies used by Japanese speakers and Japanese Sign Language (JSL) users, and JSL users' perceptions of their use of Japanese in its written form.


  • Otsuka, A. & Iwasaki, N. (2018). A Deaf person's life story: Mobility and language for the Deaf [Kokkyō-o koeta roosha - Aru rōsha-no raifu stōrī]. In Kawakami, I., Miyake, K. and Iwasaki, N. (Eds.) Idō to Kotoba (Mobility and language). Tokyo: Krosio Publishers.


  • [Single-authored]
    8/2018 'Japanese language learning from an American Deaf learner' s perspective'. Paper accepted for presentation at International Conference of Japanese Language Education, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy
  • [Co-authored]
    12/2016 'Deaf beyond the borders' (co-authored with Noriko Iwasaki). Paper presented at Ido to Kotoba conference (Language and Mobility conference), Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
  • 7/2015 'Refusals in Japanese and Japanese Sign Language' (co-authored with Noriko Iwasaki). Paper presented at 14th International Pragmatics Conference, University of Antwerp, Belgium. 


  • The Association of Japanese Language Teachers in Europe, AJE
  • The British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language, BATJ


  • Pragmatics
  • Sign languages
  • Second language users' linguistic identities
  • Language learning and teaching