Super English Language Virtual High School
The Super English Language Virtual High School in Japan is funded by the National Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as part of their Super English language high school programme, which was initiated in 2002.
Kumamoto was selected as one of 16 Kens to be the host of a pilot program with the goal of improving English education for the entire country. The Virtual High School idea was home grown in Kumamoto.
The Super Virtual High School is a consortium of:
- Daiichi Senior High School
- Kita Senior High School
- Toryo Senior High School
For more details see http://www.higo.ed.jp
Each student signs up for World Culture Classes. These classes will focus on topics that interest students while also teaching them about English and the world outside of Japan. They will spend at least one class hour a week on these classes. Beyond this hour, they may access VHS in their free time, or during extra class hours to complete work or explore the site.
- Get students excited about English by teaching them in English about topics that interest them.
- Further facilitate internationalization by increasing student exposure to non-Japanese young people and give ALTs a greater opportunity to get to know other Japanese students.
- Give ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) the opportunity to teach a subject other than straight English thus increasing their job satisfaction. They will teach on their own, without a team-teaching partner, though Japanese Teachers of English will be involved in the project. In this way, we will also utilize Kumamoto's ALTs more effectively.
- Expose Japanese students to their role as world citizens and give them enough information to spark an interest in the world outside of our ken, thus further increasing internationalization.
- Give our students the confidence to communicate in English, both with native speakers and other non-native speakers alike.
- Revolutionize English education in Kumamoto while producing active learners who are unafraid to pursue their academic interests and goals.
Though the Base Schools may choose to present the day to day operations of Virtual High School in differing ways, they will all adhere to some basic operational criteria.
- Each participating school has a 1-hour class devoted to the Virtual High School class.
- Each student will study the World Culture classes. They use methods such as email, in person activities, web pages and the internet to accomplish class goals.
- ALTs will design the curriculum. Other ALTs will become Homeroom Teachers and communicate with the students via e-mail while also evaluating their performance. Classes can be from 1 to 4 weeks long.
The main operating JTEs are Mr. Etoh, Vice Principal of Daiichi High School, and Ms. Nakata of Daiichi High School.
Other key players of the administration are: Daiichi JTE - Mr. Hamasaki and Mr. Miyamoto, Daiichi ALT- Nancy Danuser, Kita JTEs- Mr. Toyoda, Mr. Nakamoto and Mr. Wada, Kita ALT- Chris Jameson, Toryo JTEs - Ms. Mori, Ms. Takagi and Ms. Iori, Toryo ALT- Sean Morrison, the Board of Education ALT - Allison Yoder and the Board of Education Teacher Consultant - Mr. Yoshinaga.