The more languages we know, the more views of the world we get, and the better we understand ourselves. This paper discusses fundamental principles, overseas trends and domestic reforms of multi-foreign language education in Japan. The state of multi-foreign language education policy in Japan is not satisfactory at present in comparison with other countries. The writer’s stance toward this issue, however, is rather positive, because there are teachers and students who are dedicated to enhance a multi-foreign language education in Japan. With this standpoint, the possibilities of spreading a multi-foreign language education in Japan are explored in this paper.
Koen Elementary School has several sister schools all over the world. Recently we began an international exchange with “Colegio Vera-Cruz” at Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain. The novelty of this report is that this international exchange is conducted in English which is not the first language of either country.
The exchange with “Colegio Vera-Cruz” makes it easier for our students to communicate in English as the Spanish students are studying English as well. This report shows how students become active in establishing friendly relationships with children of our Spanish partner school. This partnership is unique to Koen Elementary School and is likely to become the first real test of the international exchange between Japan and Spain in private elementary schools.
In this article, collaborative learning of the English subject is suggested based on lessons at a senior high school. Also, as one method of Active Learning, the Jigsaw Method, which CoREF and Saitama Prefectural Education Center have promoted cooperatively, is introduced and its merits are pointed out. Moreover, the article makes suggestions for English teachers regarding their attitudes and ways of teaching, and discusses the future of the English education in Japan.
The purposes of this study are (1) to introduce our current project of developing a “Guideline for Teaching and Learning French as a Foreign Language,” and (2) to organize the key concepts essential to make our Guideline current in order to meet today’s needs. We first analyzed several major frameworks and standards for foreign language teaching and learning published up to the present time, e.g., Un niveau-seuil, CEFR, Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century, “Meyasu (Learning Targets)” for Foreign Language Learning, etc. We then extracted the characteristics from each framework and analyzed them from the view point of whether each of them is applicable to our Guideline or not. We believe such process would render our Guideline a theoretical perspective, making it even more comprehensible and practical in classrooms.
Kanagawa Prefectural Yokohama Senior High School of International Studies (YIS) sets its educational goal on fostering students’ communication skills and communication technology skills so that it empowers the students to be actively engaged in the global society. This Practice Report provides examples of foreign language teaching activities and especially those of German teaching activities at YIS, such as daily lessons, the open lesson day, preparation for the school festival and our school exchange program.
In this study, the author explores the effectiveness of active implementation of extracurricular events in language teaching practices with a particular focus on teaching Russian as a second foreign language at Kansai University, Japan. After presenting the positive results of three extracurricular events at the university, the author further reveals the spillover effects of the events, namely, the impact on regular classes and the potential influence of the products created by students during the events on future students.
In February 2009, UNESCO identified approximately 2500 languages as being endangered of becoming extinct. Among them eight languages of Japan were listed: Ainu language of Hokkaido, Hachijou language of Hajijyou-jima island, Ryukyuan languages of Amami, Kunigami, Okinawan, Miyako, Yaeyama, and Yonaguni. Including the Japanese language, which is not facing an extinction, there are nine languages altogether. Whereas Okinawan and Ainu languages are generally known as languages, the remaining six languages are not. The reason behind the fact that most people are not familiar with them is that, with the exception of the Ainu language, they have been addressed as ‘dialects’. This way of addressing our languages is hurting our pride as Okinawans and is becoming a factor causing discrimination.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the Republic of Belarus gained its independence. Since then Japanese literature scholars and linguists have been showing a growing interest towards the new country’s language and culture. Namely, direct translation of literature written in Belarusian into Japanese (instead of translating from Russian) and introduction of Belarusian language education into universities is taking place. This study analyzes the recent situation related to Belarusian literature and language in Japan.
Based on “Vision for Tokyo education” (April 2013) and “Plan for promoting reforms in Tokyo metropolitan high schools” (February 2016), which are aimed at strengthening policies for fostering human resources in a global society, our school has been focusing on teaching culture and languages of Asian countries. In order to deepen such educational activities of cooperation with China, Taiwan and South Korea, with the support and assistance of the school principal, it was decided to start implementing a compulsory education of Chinese and Korean languages. This is the first example of compulsory second language education in Tokyo metropolitan high schools. By strengthening second foreign language education, we aim to contribute to the enhancement of international understanding education required for hosting the Olympic/Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
Teachers of Kanagawa prefectural high schools who support multilingual education had their first voluntary meeting in May 2016. The aim of this meeting was to continue the development of a multilingual education in Kanagawa. Although at this stage we cannot organize meetings officially, our network has expanded and the 4th meeting is scheduled for February 2017. In my presentation, I would like to report on our activities and our beliefs about multilingual education. I hope that our modest activities will contribute to a wider recognition of a multilingual education, and that they will gradually lead to participation in projects initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which aims to strengthen foreign language education in schools.
As stated in last year reports, various requests for multilingual and plurilingual education policy promotion of JACTFL were submitted to the MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan). Previously, there were only requests regarding French language. However, this time we have received requests related to German, Korean, and Chinese language organizations. As a result, we were able to make a considerable progress on the multilingual and plurilingual education policy of the MEXT.