Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute has been involved in teaching Japanese to international students for over forty years now and counting.
However, this Japanese language school takes it one step further. In addition to teaching international students in Tokyo, SNG devotes its time and resources into deaf education, with the goal of contributing to its development within Japan.
When a school teacher for deaf students in Kanagawa read Takahide Ezoe’s book, she took the opportunity to participate in an intensive course at our institute. This led to our cooperation with deaf schools in Japan.
After a series of practice evaluations, the Ezoe Method has been considered very effective for deaf students, which has attracted a lot of attention from professors in the field of deaf education.
Common Points between Learners of Deaf Schools and Foreign Students
Although it may seem there is nothing in common between students in deaf schools and students from abroad, Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute found that there are many similarities between them. Students from overseas have very little exposure to the language compared to native speakers in Japan, so they often make errors in Japanese particles. The same can be said of students with impaired hearing.
The Ezoe Teaching Method emphasizes Japanese particles and visualizes grammar using pictures (e.g. representative cards) and diagrams. Its simplicity has recently been gathering interest from deaf schools in Japan, with more and more deaf schools introducing the Ezoe Teaching Method in their teachings.
Contributions to Deaf Education
The Ezoe Teaching Method is put into practice in cooperation with Deaf Schools . Our school is invited regularly to study meetings and workshops where the effective application of our methods may be demonstrated to experts and anyone involved in the field of deaf education using jyubako cards, colored particles and "visualized grammar." In addition, we hold seminars, inviting parents and guardians of these schools to explain how to use jyubako cards and recording Japanese.
In recent years, Shinjuku Japanese Language School has received numerous invitations from deaf schools all over Japan such as Saga, Okinawa, Hokkaido, and Miyazaki to hold seminars and study meetings.
A professor at a deaf school participated in one of Shinjuku Japanese Language Institutes's study meetings, and then reported positively back to the Society for the Study of Education for the Deaf and the Impaired-Hearing. In July 2008, we gave a presentation on "visualized Japanese grammar" at the 31st Study of Education for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing Conference. Less than a year later in February 2009, we gave a lecture, "About Ezoe Teaching Method," at a joint retreat with the same society.
Textbooks for Deaf Children Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute also published an educational support textbook called Heisei 23 for primary schools. In addition to this, Nikkyo Co., Ltd. is now publishing a textbook set based on SNG's Ezoe Method. This textbook and DVD set, called "Nihongo bunpou no oshiekata" (How to Teach Japanese Grammar), will be specifically for deaf children.