April 25, 2011
The Daily Yomiuri reports that J-SHINE (Japan Shogakko Instructors of English), a non-profit organization set up by educators and language schools up in 2003, continues to provide teacher training through member organizations such Aeon, the language school chain.
J-SHINE has 53 members including English conversation schools, vocational colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations. Its training curriculum focuses on practical teaching methods and specific themes, including "goals of English activities" and "viewpoints of international understanding."
In 2005, Aeon began teacher training courses nationwide based on the J-SHINE curriculum. The tuition for the once-a-week, yearlong courses is between about 200,000 yen and 400,000 yen, with classes for varying levels of English. Trainees who complete 50 hours of training are fully certified as an "Elementary English Instructor".
However, according to the results of a questionnaire J-SHINE sent out to certified instructors last year, less than 25% of (374 of the 1,927) respondents were involved in teaching English at public primary schools. Of that small percentage, 24.7% were unpaid volunteers, 23% were paid volunteers and 18.6% were part-time staff hired for a limited period.
According to the organization's website, board members of J-SHINE include the president of Matsuka Phonics Institute, the president of Aeon and the president of ALC. Let's Go author Ritsuko Nakata and Sophia University professor Kensaku Yoshida are also board members.
The English-language section of J-SHINE (set up in 2003) is "under construction".
Sources: Daily Yomiuri, J-SHINE
• What is J-SHINE? (Japanese)
• 68% of elementary school teachers lack confidence in teaching English
• New Japanese elementary school teachers need to pass English tests
• Source article from the Daily Yomiuri
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