Academic English

Kamakura Jogakuin prides itself on having a well-established and highly successfully English language program. With 14 Japanese-English teachers and 4 native English speaking teachers, it is by far the largest department in the school. The overall goal of the department is to ensure that students are fully competent in all four language skills; that they are capable and confident communicating with native and non-native English speakers; and that they are able to express themselves in both the spoken and written form of the language. English is actively used by teachers and students in both the core classes and in the oral communication classes (taught by native English speakers) in order to create a more engaging and immersive language program.

The Oral Communication Program

Junior High School Grade 1-3
High School Grade 1

CEFR Comparisons
(Common European Frame of Reference)
1. M1 Oral CommunicationA1Eiken 3
2. M2 Oral CommunicationA1 – A2Eiken 3 and Pre-2
3. M3 Oral CommunicationA2-B1Eiken Pre-2 and 24.0 Limited Ability
4. H1 Oral CommunicationB1Eiken 24.5-5.0 Limited Ability Moderate Ability

Global Studies

SHS Year 2 and Year 3
Elective Programs

This third aim plays an ever more important role on the elective courses as universities and the employers in the working world often demand that students and workers communicate and collaborate more efficiently and effectively; that they think more deeply; and that they become more involved in problem solving and decision making.


For this reason, the Global Studies courses integrate the following skills to better prepare our students for their future university and work experiences.


Each theme in the curriculum enhances, not just the students’ language ability, but also their ability to develop emotional intelligence and establish a clear set of values which will take them through life and support them to make better, logical and more reasoned choices.


Life skills integrated into the Global Studies Program include:

• Creativity and imagination
• Problem solving
• Decision making
• Self-knowledge
• Critical thinking
• Accessing and analysing information
• Communication
• Collaboration
• Time management
• Leading by influence
• Receiving and giving feedback
• Handling criticism
• Social responsibility
• Cultural awareness
• Respecting diversity


SHS Grade 2 Global Studies includes the following range of topics:

• Social Issues
• Technology
• University Applications
• The Environment


In each of these units, students have the opportunity to develop their ability to talk about societal issues; to expand vocabulary and collocations related to societal issues; to learn how to compare and contrast a range of social viewpoints from very conservative to very progressive; and to develop interview skills (relevant to speaking tests such as EIKEN and IELTS).


Students are also able to practise discussing the pros and cons of technology and SNS using their critical thinking skills, whilst also developing their confidence in sharing and presenting homework. The Global Studies courses don’t only focus on what is happening in the classroom, but also has as a goal the development of good study habits through regular manageable pretasks and preparation. Homework is an important course component and one which will prepare students for independent study at university and support them to develop a greater level of dependability and the ability to manage deadlines in the working world.


The University Application course was specifically developed to cater to the need for high school students to develop their ability to talk fluently about their high school experiences and achievements – often a requirement on paper and in interviews for entrance to university. Students are also encouraged to consider their personal traits and ambitions for the future and ‘sell’ themselves to prospective universities within an interview setting. The course also gives students the opportunity to compare and contrast a range of courses and universities; to role-play a university fair as both student and university promoter; and to write a university application form and develop interview skills (relevant to university, job and internship interviews).


With the Climate Crisis as a hot button topic, the Environmental Issues course is continually updated to engage students and develop their ability to talk about environmental problems and solutions. A secondary goal is, of course, to expand vocabulary and collocations related to the environment and so empower them to be able to compare and contrast a range of opinions and approaches to the environment.


SHS Grade 3 Global Studies includes the following range of topics:

• Meeting Skills
• Discussion Skills
• Speaking Test Skills
• Job Interview Skills


Global Studies in SHS Grade 3 continues to engage students in a wide range of social, cultural and environmental issues, whilst also focusing on developing those skills which will be useful not just for university life, but also in the working world.


The aim of the Meeting Skills unit is to familiarise students with how to play an active and meaningful role in a meeting with the goal of not only informing, but also persuading people to do something. Part of the meetings skills process is to study how to firstly research and analyse a topic, present and propose that topic at a meeting, discuss all the options and ultimately reach a group concensus and make a final decision. Students study specialist language used to compare and contrast ideas, express agreement and disagreement, ask for clarification and finally persuade people that their idea is the most suitable one for the group. Students have the opportunity to build their confidence in a meeting situation both as an attendee and a chairperson, thus developing their teamwork skills and their ability to lead and include people in the discussion.


The Discussion Skills unit gives students the opportunity to study and become familiar with three more social issues which hopefully encourage them to reflect upon the concept of respecting diversity. Through a range of classwork and homework activities, students are able to develop their ability to think critically; to improve their ability to think about all sides of an issue; to research one social issue in greater depth from both traditional and progressive perspectives; and to collaborate in small groups to plan and write a TV talk show which sees them taking on board the roles of host, guest and pro-active audience members.


In Job Interview Skills, students engage in researching and disucssing slum community and environmental issues and discuss possible solutions to local problems. This 2-part course leads into students making an application for a job with UN-Habitat to become an Urban Profiler whose job it is to upgrade slums in the developing world. Students are not only encouraged to brainstorm, discuss, analyse and then problem solve a range of social and environmental problems in order to improve living conditions in townships in developing countries, but also to understand how to read job applications, write effective resumes and cover letters, and apply for a job. Students ultimately participate in a job interview in rotating roles as interviewer, interviewee and selection panelists.

Returnee Program

Kamakura Jogakuin is justifiably proud of the content and quality of all of its English language programs, but it is perhaps the Returnee Program which sets the school apart from most others in the Kanagawa region. This program consists of students who have either lived and studied abroad for a period of time, who come from multi-cultural households, or who have had the opportunity to study in international schools in Japan.


From Junior High School Year 1 until Junior High School Year 3, students participate in bi-weekly classes – one weekly class with their peers, and one weekly mixed class which includes students from all three grades. The program uses a wide range of in-house materials as well as highly engaging National Geographic Readers to enhance their grammatical knowledge and maintain their confidence and ability in communicating in English to a very high level. Materials are frequently updated to reflect the changing times, technology plays a significant role in the classroom, and materials are also easily adjusted to attend to the needs of each new group’s interests and/or abilities.


Throughout the Returnee Program, course content aims to give students the opportunity to initially learn how to develop healthy relationships in their school and with each other by discussing the most important qualities of friendship. Students also get the chance to discuss individual and common values and learn about the need to respect diversity going forward in Kamakura Jogakuin.


Further topics expose students to a range of content and activities which encourage them to develop their ability to express their opinions, show agreement and disagreement, understand how to problem solve and make considered decisions, with the overal goal being to assist students to develop their ability to analyse, reason and to make logical individual and group decisions.


As the program progresses, students are challenged to use a wider range of lexis, with a particular focus on idiomatic & figurative expressions, thus enabling them to communicate using a much more sophisticated grammatical range. This has the knock on effect of improving spoken fluency and interactive ability whilst also demonstrating to students what is required of them in order to exhibit a higher level of English ability in future speaking tests and/or professional situations.


The range of content and activities in each of the three years provide many opportunities for students to express degrees of certainty and probability, to speculate about the future, to draw conclusions, to justify, predict, explain and summarise thoughts and ideas in English. Creativity is encouraged throughout the program and students are challenged to bring the most they can to each lesson.


As well as improving their language ability, students can build their confidence and teamwork skills by engaging in activities such as:
• Pair discussions
• Group discussions and debates
• Show and tell presentations
• Keynote presentations
• Role playing performances
• Problem solving case studies
• Decision making activities
• Teacher-Student interviews and information exchanges
• Project work (including research and analysis)


Underlying all course content are life skills. The Returnee Program makes every effort to give students meaningful opportunities to practise and expand their language ability whilst at the same time incorporating activities which can support students to evolve and become:


• More organised and cooperative students
• More caring and compassionate people
• Independent and critical thinkers
• More research ready and analytical university students
• More employable and professional employees


In most of the Oral Communication courses, life skills are developed implicitly. In Returnee and Global Studies classes, however, these skills are taught more explicitly and students are required to show themselves capable of the exhibiting these life skills by means of group projects, discussions, presentations, role plays and interviews.

Learning Skills

In additional to their regular classes, JHS Grade 1 and 2 also take part in monthly learning skills classes taught jointly by the Japanese-English and native English teachers. The Learning Skills Program is designed to help our students become better language learners, more aware, creative and co-operative in their English studies.

This program is taught in conjunction with a Japanese-English teacher and has proved to be highly popular with the students who enjoy being given the opportunity to do more dynamic activities through the medium of English.

Typical skills include showing students how to use the language of clarification to ensure smoother communication; how to paraphrase in situations where you are unable to recall specific words or structures; reading skills such as skimming and scanning; note-taking; and presentation skills to develop both oral and physical expression.

Continuing Education Program

The Continuing Education Program (CEP) has been developed to provide parents with the same experience their daughters get in the OC classes.

It also gives them the unique opportunity to be exposed to the different teaching styles of the native English speaking teachers and to, hopefully, empower them to be more involved in and supportive of their daughters’ English studies.

Whilst the activities tend to be adapted to the appropriate level of the CEP class, they do retain the original objectives of the OC class.