Educators gather to discuss new ways to teach English
Kristine B. Quintas/JMO (The Freeman) - November 8, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Hundreds of teachers and policy makers in Japan and the Philippines converged in a two-day conference to discuss ways to bridge the gap in language teaching to further improve English education in the two countries.

The gathering in Cebu on November 7 and 8 was the 111th higher education meeting on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL).

Professor Kazuo Sakai of Meiji University and Osamu Iemoto of Osaka University of Economics in Tokyo said the conference was a platform among educators, students, industry practitioners and research groups to study and discuss various educational issues like technology that enable active learning, application of workshop methodologies to a classroom, learning and educational strategies, and innovation, among others.

Sakai is the founder of the activity, which started on June 11, 2005 in Meiji University in Tokyo.

He said that with the increasing number of Japanese students in the Philippines, there is a need to enhance strategies towards low-cost but quality education, human development, creativity and innovation.

Professor Dr. Michiko Nakano of Waseda University in Shinjuku, Japan agreed that new methods and approaches are vital in helping perk up traditional education.

Nakano cited new developments like mobile or online education and information communications technology, which are being used in the teaching learning process; quality and accessibility education; or even learning motivation.

She said foreign students may no longer enroll in the Philippines to study English with the advancement of online education, which is quite inexpensive.

Dr. Natsumi Aratame, Takushoku University professor, said he sends his students to Cebu thrice every year to study and improve their English proficiency.

A foreign student has an option to take a three-week English course or three months to one year.

He said the Philippines is highly recommended for English education because of its "proximity, tourist attraction, and convenience" since it has direct flights to and from Japan.

The country, particularly Cebu City, has been a destination for international students seeking to acquire quality English education. The country's low prices, open culture, and quality schools are attracting foreign students, especially Japanese.

While it is not the native language of Filipinos, English is the second language here. Today, the Philippines markets itself as the world's third-largest English-speaking country.

Method

In yesterday's session, Dr. Makoto Shishido, a professor from Tokyo Denki University, said most of the institutions teaching English are using the Callan method, which is developed in the United Kingdom.

He said it is a fast and effective system for studying English, as it is suitable for all learners from total beginners to advanced students.

"It focuses on speaking and listening skills of students," he said.

He said teachers are also assessed by students and supervisors to determine the scale of their proficiency.

QQ English Director Yoshito Miyozawa, for his part, said they are investing for their teachers, particularly in enhancing their skills through seminars or trainings.

"We really train our teachers before they start teaching to ensure that student will get quality education," he said.

The quality and skills of Filipino teachers have a huge contribution in making Japanese more English-ready, said QQ English chief executive officer Raiko Fujioka.

"I believe in Filipino teachers especially my QQ English teachers because of their skills in teaching," he said.

QQ English, a Japanese-owned ESL (English as a second language) company, is a corporate sponsor of the conference. (FREEMAN)

 

 

 

 

CEBU CEBU CITY DR. MAKOTO SHISHIDO DR. MICHIKO NAKANO OF WASEDA UNIVERSITY DR. NATSUMI ARATAME EDUCATION ENGLISH ENGLISH DIRECTOR YOSHITO MIYOZAWA JAPAN AND THE PHILIPPINES QUOT STUDENTS
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