Our goal is simple. We want to transform the way English is being taught in elementary schools across Japan. Why? The results speak for themselves. Kids learn some vocabulary, but they don’t learn to communicate. Why? Because the classes are more-or-less an extension of what is taught in Jr. and Sr. High, which is ‘English for tests’. Communication, real communication, is hardly present. Studying English to take tests is no fun, at least to us. (Though not unnecessary.)
Hey, we’re parents with children in the Japanese school system. Four of them! So we are not just coming at this from the angle of educators. The bottom line is that we want our kids to receive an excellent education. Most schools try to provide a good ‘English experience’ for the kids, which is nice. But students do not only need an experience, they need to ‘communicate’. And they need a reason to communicate. Unfortunately, most Japanese children have no reason to communicate in English, other than the few minutes of instruction they receive at school.
So what do we want to do? First, we want to get parents involved. For those who really want their children to excel in English, the answer is not to rely on schools, nor to send them to a conversational English school. The answer is to speak English at home. Even if just a little, parents can have a powerful impact on their children if they, too, use English. So we are working on creating resources that parents can use both with their children and to better equip themselves. We believe with this method, most first graders can cover what usually is covered over six years in elementary school.
But why transform education? One reason is that Japan needs English if it is going to survive and compete in the global economy. Real English, not test English. Another is that communication means that people are talking. Talking is about relationships. We can strengthen relationships, and in turn families, companies and Japanese society. Relationships are more than just talking, so we now have the chance to go in all kinds of directions. Yes, including what we believe to be the ONE most important relationship, the love relationship with Jesus.