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 range of English language courses is as follows:

・Core English for all junior and senior high school grades.
・Oral Communication Program for JHS Grades 1-3 and SHS    Grade 1.
・Learning Skills Program for JHS Grades 1-2.
・After School Program (computer applcations) for JHS Grade 1.
・Elective Global Studies Program for SHS Grades 2-3.
・Returnee Program for JHS Grades 1-3
・Continuing Education Program for Parents

The Oral Communication Program

The Oral Communication (OC) English Program has been taught by native English speakers for more than 40 years. The long history of English teaching at our school is held in high esteem by parents and students alike. The four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing are taught in the OC classes, but particular emphasis is placed on spoken communication.

The basic aim of the OC class is to improve the English communication skills of junior and senior high school students, from JHS Grade 1 through until the end of SHS Grade 1. It is not intended to substitute the core English classes, but rather to compliment them. The focus of the core classes is on all four skills whereas the OC classes focus primarily on developing naturally spoken communication skills and confidence.

OC classes are interactive, purposeful, challenging and fun. They create a real desire for students to communicate in English and in doing so, encourage them to develop language learning skills and to communicate in real life.

Learning Skills Program

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.

After School Computer Program

JHS Grade 1 students are also required to participate in our after school computer program which is run twice a week.

The aim of this program is provide our students with an opportunity to study English outside of the conventional classroom environment.

Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL) gives students an opportunity to study English independently and at their own pace. They can experiment interactively with the computer which will, hopefully, aid their learning of English and assist them to explore personal interests.

SHS Elective Courses - Global Studies

Once students reach SHS Grade 2 and 3, the oral communication program becomes a two-period elective class. For those students who opt for the Global Studies Course, the aims are twofold:

  • ・to continue to support students to com-municate in English with confidence.
  • ・to expose students to a wider range of  social, cultural and environmental topics.

The course ensures that students are given realistic language models, personalised and motivating tasks and opportunities to communicate researched information and personal opinions.

The courses not only build upon their language skills, but also involve the students in improving skills which will prepare them for both university life and the working world. These include:

  • ・Presentation skills (computer-aided)
  • ・Presentation skills (with posters)
  • ・Meeting skills (including the role of the chairperson, agendas and minute taking)
  • ・Performance skills (confidence enhancing techniques through drama)
  • ・Debate skills (two and three-way debates)
  • ・Research and information exchange (including making proposals and persuasion)

Returnee Program

Although Kamakura Jogakuin is proud of the results of all its English language programs, it is perhaps the Returnee Program which sets our school apart from most others in the Kanagawa region. The returnee class consists solely of students who have experienced living overseas and whose second language is English.

The overall goal of the Returnee Program is to build upon the unique English abilities that students attained whilst living overseas. The abilities of the students in this program vary, but the goals remain the same. These are:

  • ・To maintain and build upon the original language abilities of the students
  • ・To develop communicative confidence in an authentic English-only classroom
  • ・To encourage active participation in class by sharing experiences and opinions
  • ・To improve students’ speaking, listening, reading and writing skills
  • ・To introduce additional skills through presentations, dramas, and debates

From JHS Grade 1 until JHS Grade 3, students follow a set text which provides them with the opportunity to maintain and enhance their grammar knowledge whilst studying a wide variety of mainstream educational topics such as:

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.

Special English Language Events

Cambodia Pen Pal Project

As part of their learning skills classes in JHS Grades 1 and 2, students develop a pen-pal relationship with junior high school students in Cambodia who are also studying English. This gives students the opportunity to develop their writing skills and learn about another culture.

White Horse Theatre

The White Horse Theatre group visits the school to perform classic British works followed by a workshop. The performance and workshops are conducted in English giving the students the opportunity to be exposed to not only British works, but the works in their original form.

Mutsu Annual Recitation and Speech Contest

In February, the English Department hosts an internal recitation and speech contest open to middle school students. Eight JHS Grade 1 students, eight JHS Grade 2 students and four returnee students participate in the recitations, while six JHS Grade 3 students deliver speeches, written by themselves with guidance from the Oral Communication teachers. Participants perform their recitations and speeches in the auditorium to the entire middle school and are judged by a panel of teachers including the school principal.

English Lectures and Guest Speakers

In both SHS Grade 1 and Grade 2, Kamakura Jogakuin hosts guest speakers from Asian countries such as the Philippines and Myanmar. These lectures are held in order to give our students some insight into those issues which are impacting developing nations in Asia.

Nashville Visit

In SHS Grade 2, Kamakura Jogakuin hosts a group of students from Nashville’s Herpeth Hall High School. This exchange provides our students with more opportunities to develop their English language skills, share information about their own lives and culture and find out about the lifestyle of the Tennessee visitors.