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Showcase: Kanda University of International Studies

Writer(s): 
Damian Rivers

 

In this month’s Showcase, I’ll present an example of a successful language-learning environment by discussing life at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS).

Examples of successful teaching and language learning within Japan are always a pleasure to discuss and should be celebrated at every opportunity. Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Chiba is a model of successful EFL tuition and can be considered as being at the forefront of foreign language teaching and learning within Japan as well as the wider Asian region. One of the centerpieces of KUIS’s success is the Self-Access Learning Centre (SALC) <www.kandagaigo.ac.jp/kuis/salc/index.html> which fosters autonomous learning through aplethora of stimulating self-access materials and a variety of student support services. The adjacent English Language Institute (ELI), founded in 1989, currently employs over 55 native English-speaking teachers who provide students with a dynamic, immersion-like language learning experience. The ELI further offers students a number of communicative practice areas aesthetically designed to create a welcoming, pressure-free environment in which to develop their language abilities. Add to this a writing centre that also features an online review service <www.kuis.ac.jp/powc/salcwritingcentre.htm> and KUIS students are immersed within an impressive language learning environment. The success of the SALC and the ELI is reflected in the attitudes of the students who are highly motivated and well supported by their professionally-minded teachers. Furthermore, KUIS students are successful in their language learning because they have communicative classes which provide a high level of meaningful interaction in English.

Teachers at KUIS also enjoy a dynamic work environment which promotes professional development through a selection of structured committees. These committees provide the backbone for curriculum design and research (ELI members were involved in24 presentations at JALT 2008). Working within such a diverse and supportive environment is immensely rewarding and I would highly recommend the KUIS experience to any teacher seeking to better themselves and enjoy teaching some of the best language students in Japan!

As this is my last column as editor,I would like to thank all of the great contributors who I have worked with over the past 22 months. I would also like to be the first to welcome the incomingeditor, Jason Peppard, who I am sure will do a fantastic job.

Damian Rivers can be contacted at <damian-r@kanda.kuis.ac.jp>

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