Home > Research > Research Overview > 2018 > Faculty of Education, Art and Science

“How can we become proficient at English?”—English-language education at elementary schools

Associate Professor of English Language Education, Cross-Cultural Understanding, and British and American Literature

Jun Kaneko

How can we become proficient at English?

At my laboratory, I include my seminar students in research on how Japanese people can become proficient at English. Specifically, we cooperate with elementary schools, junior high schools, and high schools in Yamagata Prefecture in order to develop immediately useful and practical methods for English learning and methods for English education. My seminar students seek to acquire teacher’s licenses and become instructors.

English education at elementary schools

From 2020, English will become part of the curriculum at elementary schools. Accordingly, although I also cooperate with junior high schools and high schools, I recently focus on English-language education at elementary schools. In 2017, I engaged in joint development of learning achievement targets (Can-do Self-Evaluation List, etc.) with six elementary schools in Kawanishi Town, Yamagata City Dewa Elementary School, Yamagata City Meiji Elementary School, and Yamagata City Ohsato Elementary School. I also have opportunities to discuss foreign language studies and foreign culture for elementary schools. Furthermore, my seminar students also work with me by participating in elementary school classes. One elementary student expressed how much fun he had conducting activities with university students.

Valuing bonds between the community and university

I have worked to improve English-language education in Yamagata Prefecture by carrying out the intentions of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Yamagata Prefectural Education Committee, and education committees in each municipality. Furthermore, I have received commission from Yamagata Kyoiku Shinko Zaidan (the Foundation to Promote Education in Yamagata  Prefecture) , conducted surveys and research, and worked ceaselessly to skillfully implement in Yamagata Prefecture the reforms in English-language education promoted by the MEXT. I feel great joy in valuing the bonds between the community and university, and by interacting with residents and students during my work.