Kitanakagusuku pupils receive e-learning delivered by Washington State University

Kitanakagusuku pupils receive e-learning delivered by Washington State University

On January 19, pupils learn English directly from instructors at Washington State University using the e-learning system at the Ayakari-no-Mori facility in Kitanakagusuku.


January 27, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Since last year, in conjunction with Washington State University, the Kitanakagusuku Municipal Office has been using a video-conference system to run a distance e-learning English program for elementary and junior high school pupils. The program is planned and operated by the NPO Incorporated Ryukyu America Historical Research Society. According to the society, this is the first ESL (English as a Second Language) program provided by the Washington State University in Japan. The municipal office wants to develop human resources within the village.

Currently ten elementary and junior high school pupils receive tuition in the program twice a week at the Ayakari-no-Mori facility in Kitanakagusuku. Two monitors are used, one showing the instructor and his or her assistant, and the other showing the lesson notes and other related materials to the class. A microphone relays the pupils’ voices in the classroom to the instructor at Washington State University.

Kitanakagusuku, the society and Washington State University concluded the agreement in April 2012, and the municipal office is using a grant from the central government to fund the program.

On January 16, Kitanakagusuku Mayor Kunio Arakaki visited the classroom and said, “Human resources are valuable for the village. We want to develop world-class human resources and to expand this program to include staff members in the municipal office and other people.” On the same day, Nanjo City Mayor Keishun Koja visited the program, and the Higashi Village Municipal Office is also interested in the e-learning English program.

(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato and Mark Ealey)

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