Language Village is a facility that is located at the foot of Mt. Fuji and where speaking Japanese is strictly prohibited.
The students live here while using English as their only verbal communication tool; not only in lessons but also during their free time and at meals.
Using this method, we compel them to strengthen their listening and speaking abilities, which we consider to be the most relevant tools in business in a very short period averaging 1~2 weeks.
Moreover, in order to improve their ability with English, we think that it is necessary to adjust the examination to a way which assesses their communication ability properly as well. We have created the SEACT test (*Refer to this page), a new type of test which can visualize the effectiveness of the training session at Language Village. Because of this exam, Language Village is able to accurately assess the improvement of its students.
We believe that 1~2-weeks is a long enough term for people to be able to experience almost all patterns of communication that are necessary for the human life cycle. While staying at Language Village, students can experience an environment in which native English speakers interact with them from breakfast until dinner every day.
People who have experienced studying abroad may understand that even then it is very difficult to have this kind of environment . Furthermore, our native speakers are well trained to be familiar with the weak points of Japanese English students. Therefore, we offer this service with strong confidence in our skills to improve our students` abilities.
How do we do this? We concentrate on offering an environment where our students can use English as much as possible. As a disclaimer, we make sure to inform that our focus is noiton providing knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary; only because most Japanese business people have already been equipped with such knowledge in their school [so called Jukenbenkyo]. The point is this – It takes a long time to learn grammar and vocabulary, possibly 6 years or more, and they have already done the groundwork. What they really need to become a fluent English speaker is an environment to use it in and it does not take long. 1~2 weeks is enough to build their confidence to do so. We just take advantage of the legacy of the Japanese education system, which most people mistakenly regard as useless.
It is often heard that many people in Europe as well as other countries, can speak more than two languages easily, but in Japan few people can even speak English. However, if we consider the concept of Language Village, we come to the conclusion that this is not a matter of capability but rather a matter of environment. In the case of Japan, the country used to be geographically and culturally isolated from others and therefore it was difficult to create this kind of environment. Therefore, Language Village concentrates on creating and maintaining such an environment.
To transform book knowledge of English into a practical communication tool, we believe that our dormitory style is the best style for a language school.
Here, there are no one -hour per week lessons. If you take only a one hour lesson per week, you have to go home as soon as you begin to understand a concept.
Unfortunately, this is what is happening in many English schools all over Japan. At Language Village, the whole day is an English lesson. Students are prohibited from speaking Japanese and have to speak English to everyone, even the Japanese staff. This policy makes them accept speaking English as a normal routine of the day.
We achieve a reasonable price by cutting any wasteful cost that does not enhance the English speaking environment. This price includes tuition, the cost of meals, and accommodation, so we never charge students any additional fees. Please refer to the price-list on the website or the leaflet.
One class consists of 8 students at the most. This enables us to give students an intensive environment with frequent personal contact with the teachers.
I believe that this business can help change the future of English education in Japan. English education in Japan has tended toward the assumption that English is a subject to be studied in the same way as math or science.
Just imagine what could happen if we give junior high or high school students appropriate time to learn English as a communication tool. Doing so would expand their potential range and improve the possibility of effective information transmission. We do not have to change the whole system ; just a little modification to our daily lives can have a meaningful impact.
Language Village has been created on the basis of my personal experience. As a university student, I stayed in Boston at a boarding house which was run by an American family. 5~6 students from all over the world were staying in the same house. All languages except English were prohibited. We were required to have dinner together every day. During and after dinner, each person would report what had happened during the day. I discovered how fun it was to use English to communicate and stopped viewing it as an academic subject. Even if you go abroad, you may not get many chances to use English. Experiencing this kind of environment has to be intentional. The family knew this fact from their many years of experience as hosts.
If the intention is strong enough, we can create this without traveling abroad. The idea of Language Village was born from this concept.
Here, we create an environment that provides a better effect than going abroad. This can be especially useful to business people who do not have time for extended study-abroad programs.It is my desire that as many people as possible will get this experience. They can witness for themselves how this business can change the future of English education in Japan.