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Students and a teacher chat at the English Salon.
Students and a teacher chat at the English Salon. | KYORIN UNIVERSITY

Creating smart, tough, trilingual students

Paul Snowden, Vice President of Kyorin University
Paul Snowden, Vice President of Kyorin University

Kyorin University’s Faculty of Foreign Studies has coined the slogan “Training students to be smart, tough and trilingual in Japanese, Chinese and English” in an effort to nurture human resources who can be successful in the global environment.

To realize the slogan, the school has set three action plans — strengthen language studies; have students study smart and tough negotiating skills; and actively encourage overseas study — which have been selected as programs under the Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development supported by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

Vice President Paul Snowden, a pioneer in English education in Japan who has been engaged in university education for the past 35 years, said: “I’m so glad Kyorin’s measures have received proper recognition, even though Kyorin is just a mid-size university. We’d like to take a position in the field of global education.”

Regarding language targets, the Department of English and the Department of Hospitality and Tourism have set a goal for students to score 800 or more on the Test Of English for International Communication, or TOEIC, and reach a daily conversation level of Chinese. The Department of Chinese Communication set a target of Level 2 of the Chinese Proficiency Test and daily conversational English.

In all three departments, students are aiming to obtain sufficient language skills to be able to take on positions of responsibility. They have programs to help students acquire practical language skills to negotiate well by understanding the backgrounds of their negotiating counterparts.

At least six months outside Japan necessary for rich cultural experience

“The important thing is to provide overseas study opportunities to encourage them to aim for high-level goals,” Snowden said. He has been engaged in finding partner universities that exchange students with Kyorin University since he took the position last year.

“I am concerned that the number of Japanese students studying abroad has been decreasing recent years. I would like to see students spend at least one semester at a foreign university to have academic and cultural experiences,” he said.

Kyorin University has various programs to reduce the financial burden on students studying abroad. It has programs exempting selected students from some or all tuition at partner universities.

Also, the university used government subsidies to establish facilities to support students’ language skills. For example, it has a studio to practice simultaneous interpretation and English and Chinese Salons where students can brush up their communication skills.

Kyorin University has decided to implement the so-called rubric method, which clarifies assessment criteria, to measure students’ academic achievements in areas such as negotiation and other areas that are difficult to assess only with test scores.

The students assess themselves with the rubric method annually so they can see their own progress for themselves.

The university will move from the current Hachioji Campus to the Inokashira Campus in fiscal 2016. That will make the university more convenient and increase the school’s popularity among Japanese and non-Japanese students.

With government support, the university is expected to be successful with its efforts toward global human resource development.

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Kyorin University
URL: http://www.kyorin-u.ac.jp/English/
Tel: 042-691-0011
Mitaka Campus: 6-20-2 Shinkawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, 181-8611
Hachioji Campus: 476 Miyashita-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, 192-8508



This special feature can also be found on http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/43872