NTT Communications Launches Cloud Service For Japanese Language Education
TOKYO, JAPAN - NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), ICT solutions and international communications business within NTT (NYSE: NTT), announced this week the launch of a cloud-based Japanese-language educational service, "Visual Learning .Japanese," in cooperation with the Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute (SNG).
Visual Learning .Japanese (VLJ) is an innovative service based on the effective Japanese language teaching method designed by SNG Principal Takahide Ezoe. The method, which Ezoe has spent many years developing, focuses on visualizing and structuring Japanese grammar with original cards and gestures, and forms the core of NTT Com’s cloud-based e-learning study materials.
On October 29, SNG launched its "blended learning" course, combining VLJ (online) and in-class lessons (offline). NTT Com and SNG will continue to jointly promote the VLJ and blended learning course to educational institutions both in and outside of Japan.
In recent years, Japanese companies have continued to expand their business internationally, particularly in Southeast Asia. Last year, the number of local, non-Japanese employees reached a record high of 5.23 million, (an increase of 4.7% from last year) according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Furthermore, an increasing number of Japanese companies seek to hire non-Japanese employees domestically and internationally, thereby increasing the demand for Japanese language education. On the other hand, according to the Japan Foundation, it has come to light that there are issues related to learning the Japanese language, where many Japanese language schools in Japan and overseas face a shortage of teaching materials and learning facilities, while being hampered by ineffective teaching methods. To improve this, SNG, with its well-established teaching methods, and NTT Com, with its seamless global ICT services, have partnered to develop and provide an innovative cloud-based Japanese learning service.
2. Advantages of using VLJ
(1) Rich e-learning materials for tablet, pc and smartphone
Visual Learning Japanese is an e-learning study resource based on the SNG teaching method with grammar cards, a corresponding grammar chart, and gestures. This method enables students to better grasp and understand Japanese grammar, using the grammar cards representing words and their order in a sentence. Learners may also deepen their understanding through related gestures that illustrate, for instance, conjugation and honorific expression, with the guidance of an instructor. Where traditional paper-based learning rendered grammar cards, gestures or pronunciation training unfeasible, interactive smartphone apps and video clips (with English subtitles) presented by principal Ezoe allow students to learn with more flexibility.
(2) "Blended learning" course combining the positive aspects of online & offline learning
Visual Learning .Japanese is designed to realize effective self-managed blended learning by combining input (online) with comprehension of grammar, and output (offline) through role-playing and drills in class. The practically-structured blended learning cycle enables students to learn grammar and vocabulary conveniently by smartphone or pc, and allots the more challenging applied-learning to the classroom.
(3) Efficient study environment realized exclusively with Cloud services
As study sessions are recorded on the cloud, students can study at their own convenience, either at home on their PCs or on the go via their smartphones.
As all student progress recorded on the cloud is viewable by teachers, a highly efficient class operation is realized. This service also allows the latest educational contents to be delivered to students in a timely manner.
3. Initial Services
|Cloud-based multiple device service including 96 lessons of grammar explanations, conversations with follow-up corresponding grammar chart and video clips / progress-check quizzes||Oct 29, 2013|
|Smartphone & tablet app including 1,400 vocabulary / verb conjugations / honorific forms / pronunciation / including other valuable functions||Oct 29, 2013|
|Grammar App (*2)||App including 800 grammar quizzes / fun-learning touch-and-drag function (repeatable for practice) compatible with smartphone||Jan 2014
*Additional intermediate and business courses are expected to be offered
4. Future Services Developments
NTT Com and SNG will focus on marketing the blended learning course to related Japanese schools in Japan this year. Beginning in 2014, the services of this blended learning model will expand to intermediate and business courses, as well as to other markets, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. In addition, this model will also expand to serve Japanese companies abroad and Japanese teacher training courses.
*1 Beginner level includes the understanding of fundamentals of grammar and acquiring the ability to talk about oneself as well as a sufficient vocabulary base.
*2 Compatible with iOS device (e.g. iPhone, iPad) and Android device