Some Things Can Only be Learned as a Child.
During a child's first year, he will make every sound it is possible for
humans to make. We ignore most of these sounds as simply "babble", but
we respond to the ones that resemble our language. When the child makes
gurgling or grunting noises we don't respond because they don't sound like
words, but when we hear a "ma" or a "pa" we smile, repeat the noise and encourage
him to say it again. This is how babies all over the world learn their
During the first year, the baby's vocal chords are soft and flexible, allowing
them to make every human sound. By the end of his first year his vocal
chords begin to strengthen and harden as he learns to control his "babble"
and form words. As he learns which sounds are "words" and which
are not, he gradually stops making the the useless noises and concentrates
on the ones that enable him to communicate with his parents. By the
end of his second year, the child has a recognizable accent, and by the end
of the third year he is no longer able to make many of the sounds he made
as a baby because his vocal chords have hardened in such a way as to restrict
his utterances to the sounds that make up his native language.
Clearly, children who are exposed to more languages in their early years
are encouraged to make a wider variety of sounds and achieve meaningful communication
using sounds that are not restricted to their native language. These
childrens' vocal chords retain much more of their earlier flexibility, allowing
them to pronounce the sounds that make up foreign languages more accurately
as they get older.
Many teachers and head teachers are now beginning to realize the advantages
of exposing very young children to native speakers of foreign languages on
a regular basis. Besides the obvious advantage of improving pronunciation,
lessons with foreign nationals also provide an opportunity for children to
satisfy their curiosity about non-Japanese people, to realize that they can
communicate in languages other than Japanese, and to nurture an interest in
the world outside Japan.
Myer Japan dispatches native English teachers to kindergartens and preschools
in the Fukuoka City area. Through songs and games young learners can
hear the sounds of natural English and learn to imitate them while they are
still young enough to make a lifelong difference to their language ability.
Click here for more information on kindergarten
Elementary School Students(1st grade-3rd grade)
By the time children begin Elementary School they are already fluent in
their native language. Of course, their vocabulary is still immature,
and the content of their communication is still childish, but at six years
old a child can effectively communicate any thought or opinion using their
spoken language. At this age children begin to learn to write the language
in which they are already fluent: learning how the sounds they know can be
represented by marks on a page, and how they can communicate across distance
and time by writing their language down and allowing somebody else to read
As children learn the concept of reading and writing in their own language,
they naturally become curious about reading and writing in foreign languages,
especially whey the foriegn writing looks so different from their own.
At this stage of their education it is an easy transition for children to
learn to communicate using the Roman alphabet as well as their native alphabet.
Because they do not yet read or write fluently in their own language, they
do not depend on "Romanizing" their own written language, instead they learn
to associate English sounds directly with the English alphabet. Learning
to read and write a language without going through the process of transposing
words from one alphabet to another is both faster and more effective, since
they can learn the "rules" of spelling without being distracted by the rules
At Myer Japan we teach oral communication and written communication simultaneously.
While some time is spent on practicing the phonics that make up words, we
also encourage children to develop their word-recognition skills: recognizing
familiar words by scanning them instead of sounding out every letter.
Click here for more information on children classes.
Elementary School Students(4th grade-5th grade)
Junior High School Students
High School Students
High School in Japan is a time of high expectations and pressure to perform.
Gaining admittance to the best university possible is the driving force behind
punishing study schedules comprising regular school, Summer school and evening
classes in private exam preparation schools. Exhaustion is the normal
state for most Japanese High School students.
With this kind of pressure it's easy to understand that most High School
students don't waste their time with extra-curricular activities that aren't
beneficial to their university applications. English lessons in private
schools offering small classes and native English-speaking teachers are a
popular choice for High School students. Although the vast majority
of High Schools now hire native English teachers as Assistant Language Teachers
(ALTs), the oversized classes do not allow for a great deal of personal attention
or individual coaching. While High Schools generally teach the functions
of the English language to a very high level, the size of classes often restricts
activities to listening and reading exercises, with written homework.
Weekly conversation lessons with native speakers of English are genarally
considered to be a worthwhile investment by the parents of students who are
required to sit English tests as part of their university entrance applications.
At Myer Japan we offer two kinds of lessons for High School students.
Our group lessons follow a textbook-based curriculum that focuses on situational
English in dialogues and substitution drills. Alternatively, in our
private lessons students can focus on whatever aspect of English they most
need to work on. Many students choose this option when preparing for
speech contests, international qualifications such as TOEIC, STEP and TOEFL,
or overseas study visits where they will be expected to use English everyday.
Whatever English assistance the student needs to be successful in High School,
we can arrange lessons to accommodate them.
(Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English
Language Testing System) are internationally respected tests to measure the
English competency of speakers of other languages. Most universities
in English-speaking countries require a particular level of English competency
for foreign nationals wishing to enrol in courses. These two tests arguably
form the international standard for English as a second language and are
often accepted in lieu of a university's own entrance test.
Candidates for either qualification do not pass or fail, instead they are
issued a report/certificate stating their overall score, as well as individual
scores for listening and reading, etc. IELTS candidates are scored on
a scale of 1~9, while TOEFL candidates receive a score out of 677 points.
A particular university might, for example, set a minimum requirement of TOEFL
550 or IELTS 7 for overseas students wishing to enrol. While TOEIC
is statistically more popular than either of these tests, TOEFL and IELTS
are generally more acceptable abroad because of their writing and speaking
At Myer Japan students preparing to embark on overseas study visits can
receive individual tuition from a native English-speaking teacher.
We offer introductory courses for beginners as well as improvement courses
for students who have taken the test before. By isolating the different
skills required we can help students identify their own strengths and weaknesses,
and therefore adjust the lessons to accommodate the skills most in need of
Business English Class/TOEIC class
TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) is another internationally
acknowledged test of English as a Foreign Language, based on the older TOEFL
test and developed at the request of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade
and Industry (formerly the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, MITI).
Critics claim that this test has a stronger North American bias than the
other tests, despite efforts to include other native English accents in its
listening exercises, certainly spelling and selected vocabulary in the test
are distinctly North American.
In Japan, TOEIC forms a sort of national benchmark for English competency.
Like TOEFL and IELTS, candidates do not pass or fail the test, they are simply
awarded a score out of 990. Further Education Colleges and Universities
often specify a particular TOEIC
score as a condition of admittance, and recently some companies have begun
to incorporate TOEIC scores into their pay scales. With more and more
companies relying on Internet resources and e-mail communications, there is
a growing necessity for more of the workforce to have at least a basic competence
with written English. One of the reasons for TOEIC's popularity in
Japan is its lack of an oral communication test. There is a speaking
test available, but it is in addition to the "paper" test. Since the
necessity to speak English on the telephone takes second place to being able
to read web-pages and e-mails, many companies regard a respectable TOEIC score
as an adequate measure of English ability.
In addition to the optional speaking test, there is also an optional TOEIC
written test. The main test incorporates listening and reading exercises
using a variety of materials such as lectures, news reports, advertisements
and simulated business letters and e-mails. The entire test is made
up of multiple-choice questions that do not require candidates to speak or
write English at all. Despite these limitations, the questions addressing
grammar and comprehension are of a very high standard (many native speakers
of English would struggle to get a perfect score in the allotted time without
the aid of a dictionary) and the overriding philosophy is that it would be
impossible to learn to read and listen at that level without also being competent
in writing and speaking.
At Myer, TOEIC classes are taught in English by a native English speaker,
thus ensuring that the students' ability to converse in English is a reflection
of their actual TOEIC score. We offer two types of TOEIC classes: private
lessons for individual students who want 1~3 weekly lessons over an extended
period of time, and 3-week intensive courses (13.5 hours) just prior to the
TOEIC test dates. Private lessons can be tailored to the student's
particular level, while the intensive group lessons are organized according
to ability (for example a 700+ course in one month, followed by a 500+ course
the following month).
Click here for more information on business classes.
Conversation classes, or "eikaiwa" classes are the most sought after English
lessons in Japan. Classes may or may not follow a textbook (some eikaiwa
companies publish their own in-house materials for exclusive use in their
classrooms), and classes may be taught in classrooms, offices, homes or even
coffee shops. What they all have in common is the students' desire to
practice everyday conversation in English. The atmosphere can be anywhere
on the formal~casual scale, although most tend towards the casual.
While most Japanese people who graduate from High School have studied English
for six years or more, their access to a native English speaker has generally
been restricted by large classes and an overwhelming emphasis on reading and
grammar in the High School curriculum. Once the pressure of school is
off many adults are eager to try out their extensive theoretical knowledge
of the English language in real-life conversations with native speakers.
In the last 20 years the eikaiwa industry has grown to form a significant
part of the Japanese economy, and the demand for native English speakers has
been so high that the Japanese government even created a designated working
visa specifically for people entering Japan for the purpose of teaching
The Internet is awash with forums discussing the pros and cons of various
eikaiwa companies; some are scathing reports of the treatment of teachers,
others are fanatical defences of various eikaiwa companies; it's not really
surprising that the same companies tend to appear on both forums. All
eikaiwa companies have their good and bad points from the perspectives of
both students and teachers, although it's natural that the forum writers tend
to shout louder and longer about their complaints than about their compliments.
Click here for information on telephone
English (Skype) lessons or you can sign up with Skype for free and learn
more by going here.
Myer English School supports all kinds of students who want to learn
Interested in teaching English with us? Check out our teacher requirements.