Disabled seniors pass level 4 English Language Proficiency test at their first attempt

Disabled seniors pass level 4 English Language Proficiency test at their first attempt

Nobuko Yoza (left) and Tomoko Taira (right) who passed level 4 of the Eiken English Language Proficiency test this January with their teacher Jane Close (center). At Toyanosato center for the disabled in the Toya district of Yomitan on April 21.


May 4, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

Seventy-one-year-old Nobuko Yoza and 66-year-old Tomoko Taira, who are both members of a center for the disabled, have passed level four of the Eiken English Language Proficiency test. The Toyanosato facility is located in the Toya district of Yomitan. Yoza and Taira set up an English-speaking club at the home. Instructed by volunteer Jane Close, they worked hard and passed the exam on their first try.

They set up the club after Close offered to volunteer at the center. Currently, about 10 members who want to study English, belong to the club. Yoza said, “Jane sensei and the center staff encouraged me to study, which led to success in the examination. Everyone motivated me.” Taira said, “I was relieved when I saw the certificate because I was not confident. I did not imagine that I would take an English Language Proficiency test at this age.”

Yoza (right edge) and Taira (second from right) read a Japanese folk story in both English and Japanese. Close (third from right) taught them English. At Toyanosato center for the disabled in the Toya district of Yomitan on April 21.


Close started teaching English once a week about three years ago in 2012. She said her students asked her many questions and had studied hard, even when she had been absent. Close added that she was inspired by them.

The head of the center Shoei Nakasone said, “These older people put their heart into studying English and were enthusiastic. I think their success in the exam has made them more confident.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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