2009 Tomida Kindergarten Graduation
Last Saturday morning was the graduation ceremony at Tomida Kindergarten and it marked my third year of teaching at the school. As I’ve written before, teaching English at the kindergarten is a very rewarding feeling knowing I’m probably their first English teacher and what they carry onto elementary school is from our lessons together. Tomida Kindergarten is a unique private school which incorporates regular English classes for its students, an important skill necessary earlier than ever before. Recently in Japan, the government has finally taken measures in order to adopt English language education more formally at the elementary school level. Beginning officially in April of 2011 and in Tokushima City this year, English will be officially recognized as a subject for 5th and 6th grade students, requiring schools to administer 35 periods a year. Previously, English was often incorporated into Integrated Studies periods as a component of “International Understanding,” but this relaxed education policy will soon change. The focus of the new English curriculum guidelines will focus on speaking and listening only, in order to ease the burden on junior high school teachers who previously had to teach all four components of the foreign language from a beginning foundation.
Note: (Video link) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV9litlfJOo