Course Introduction

This course is designed for advanced junior high school students with a near-native level grasp of the English language.
Students are challenged to read and understand important English texts, discuss ideas and current events in English, and learn essential academic skills such as research, writing, oratory and presentations. Classroom discussion material will be drawn from a wide range of topics in literature, philosophy, the arts, technology, history and social issues. Independent thinking and work management are encouraged, and students will have the
opportunity to work on a self-guided learning project.

Course Details

School hours 3 hours per week
Tuition ¥33,000 + tax per month, materials fee

From the Lecturer

Tom McCormack

Education: Master of Arts in English Literature, Trinity College Dublin.
Master of Arts in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Lancaster University

This course is designed to provide a broad liberal arts curriculum for advanced junior high school students with a near-native level grasp of the English language. Many of the students in this class will
have spent significant time overseas or been raised in multicultural environments. Students will be taught how to read difficult works, think through difficult ideas, do their own research, and present their own ideas in English. A key component is building critical thinking skills- the ability to form connections between texts, the students’ prior knowledge and the students’ own experiences. Focus is placed on having students develop autonomy and manage their own learning outside the classroom while pair and group work are encouraged in class. Students will have the opportunity to work on a self-guided learning project supported and mentored by the instructor. This is not a test-preparation course, but it will provide solid grounding for longterm study overseas.

Student’s Voice

I am not a returnee, but I wanted to speak English fluently. However, I go to a Japanese school, and there is no opportunity to learn advanced English. That is why I entered J PREP. It is my second year in the Gifted Scholars. Unlike classes in Japanese schools, this class teaches us to discuss with classmates actively. Attending this class, I think voluntary remarks become important. It is difficult to follow without giving an idea, because the worksheets often include discussion questions.In reading, we study a wide range of literary forms.
For example, we read “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Bible”, and “The Buried Giant”. In writing, we also study many topics. When the task is to write a poem, we learn about rhetorical devices. When we make a story, the teacher gives us hints to write a better sentence. We also watch presentations and speeches, and even deliver our own speeches at the end of the term. The level of this class is high, but the improvement of my English skills makes it enjoyable to come to J PREP every week. In the future, I want to discuss with students attending foreign universities, using discussion skills I learned at J PREP.

(Public Junior High School in Shinjuku 1st Year)