Tomoko Katayama was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan. After she taught at a public school in Japan, she pursued her graduate studies in education and obtained a master’s degree in teaching in the U.S. Prior to coming to Arizona State University, she taught various levels of Japanese course at Boston University, Northeastern University and Brandeis University. She holds educator’s licenses of Massachusetts and she has taught Japanese at a secondary school too. Her areas of interest include Japanese pedagogy, students’ motivation in foreign language learning, and heritage language. She has been teaching heritage learners of Japanese at Saturday schools since she came to the U.S.