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August 19, 2015

Japan

Oxford University Press was selected to partner with Otsu City on developing a teaching methodology

Oxford University Press commissioned by the Otsu City Board of Education in Shiga as partner in the “Research and Development of ICT-driven Foreign Language Teaching Methodology” project.

Oxford University Press (located in Minato-ku, Tokyo; represented by Managing Director Kiyokazu Nakamura) has been selected to partner with the Otsu City Board of Education in Shiga on a project to research and develop an ICT-based teaching methodology for elementary school Foreign Language Activities classes. The Otsu City government, led by Mayor Naomi Koshi, will establish a leading English education programme for 37 public elementary schools, using Oxford University Press materials, customised lesson plans and teacher training. The project is scheduled to run until the end of March 2018.

Overview The Japanese government introduced Foreign Language Activities to elementary school education for fifth and sixth graders in 2011, with plans to incorporate English language classes into the official curriculum of elementary education by 2020, urging educational institutions as well as local governments in Japan to focus more on English language education for children. Since 2014, the Otsu City government has introduced several schemes to enhance English language training at public schools as part of a wider educational plan for facilitating international understanding, including employing more assistant language teachers (ALT), exploring English teaching methods that harness information and communications technology (ICT), and experimenting with foreign language activities for children in early elementary school years. In October of the same year, the Board of Education held an open tender to find a partner for their “Research and Development of an ICT-driven Foreign Language Teaching Methodology” project with a total budget of \161 million. The applicants were required to provide a detailed proposal for materials, training and assessment before being approved to conduct a nine-week pilot programme in a city school. Oxford University Press was announced as the winning bid on June 6th.

The project consists of a syllabus designed to not only help children improve their English skills, but to nurture their “ability to live”, as stated in the Ministry national curriculum guidelines for elementary schools. This “ability” encompasses communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking skills. The project also requires an extensive teacher training programme, created to help elementary school teachers conduct English lessons confidently and consistently.

The programme will be further developed in 5 model schools from September 2015 before being rolled out to all 37 public elementary schools in the city at the start of the 2016 academic year.

Through collaborating with teachers, technology partners and academic researchers at the University of Oxford, Oxford University Press works to create the best possible environment for learning and teaching. With a history dating back to 1478 and over 50 years’ experience in Japan’s educational industry, Oxford University Press is most widely known as a book publisher, however it also provides a wide range of educational services, working with institutions and teachers to meet the changing needs of students at all ages and levels. Oxford University Press is driven by its mission and belief that education changes lives and it strives to create vibrant classrooms which prepare students and teachers for the global stage.

More Details http://www.oupjapan.co.jp/news/pr/media/oup_pr_20150820_E_otsu.pdf

[Contact] For more details, please contact us. Richard Attwood Business Development Manager, Japan Oxford University Press

· Related Link: http://www.oupjapan.co.jp/news/pr/index_en.shtml

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