The British Council have just issued a press release about how Genki English has not only been distributed to every primary school in Thailand, but that from this year Genki English is now part of the official teaching materials for all primary schools in the country. It’s been quite an amazing ride getting this far!
If you have your own school you might be able to get some press coverage for yourself by printing out the press release and giving it to your local newspapers or TV and saying how you also use the same system in your classes!
Made in Japan English Systems Go into Every School in Thailand
The British Council, the UK’s public organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations, jointly with GenkiEnglish.com provides elementary English learning systems to every school in Thailand.
The British Council is working on a regional project called Access English, a three year programme designed to provide partnership and support in agenda setting, institutional change and capacity building for English language teaching in East Asia including Japan and Thailand.
In many countries English has been a compulsory subject for many years but teachers have often found the traditional textbook approach focused more on reading and writing than speaking and listening. Hence, the Thailand Government asked the British Council to recommend a new method to revitalise and re-energise the English teaching in their schools.
The materials the British Council decided to introduce were from Ehime based GenkiEnglish.com, a provider of teaching materials and training based on the Japanese concept of “Genki” – getting children engaged and excited about learning and communication.
The introduction to 30,000 schools was so successful that from this academic year the made in Japan “Genki English” is now part of the official teaching materials for all primary schools in Thailand.
Genki English is in fact now used in over 180 countries as well as schools in Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa. In all countries it is called “Genki” English.
Founder Richard Graham developed the materials whilst teaching in Ehime prefecture, basing them on the MEXT guidelines of confidence, speaking first and getting students to love expressing themselves in English.
Genki English and the British Council in Tokyo are also planning to work together to help Japanese teachers feel more confident about teaching English, and help Japanese children communicate with friends all over the world. The British Council and Genki English are planning to hold several elementary teacher training workshops in the near future, as well as collaborating on new online materials for students and teachers.
For more information or requests for interviews with Richard Graham [Genki English] and/or Steve Bates [Director of English Language Services, British Council] please contact Yukiko Sekikawa.
Enquiries and requests for interviews should be addressed to:
Yukiko Sekikawa, British Council
TEL: 03-3235-8005 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Genki English
Richard Graham founded GenkiEnglish.com, a provider of teaching materials and training based on the Japanese concept of “Genki”. He is now working with the University of Newcastle in the UK to bring this “Genkiness” to schools for low income families in India, China and Africa as well as working with the British Council in Japan.
The Genki approach to learning English works by engaging all of the learners senses and appealing to a wide range of learning styles. Children are engaged visually through the simple but striking graphics, aurally/orally through the simple chants and songs and limited amounts of graded vocabulary input and kinaesthetically through the actions and games. Because all of the learning tasks are organised as game-like activities, children are immediately motivated to take part. Tasks are achievable and learners receive positive feedback throughout the learning process. It is important that teachers realise that just using the materials is not enough, the way the materials are used are just as important to fully engage learners and maximise learning.
About the British Council
The British Council is the UK’s public organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Established by the UK government in 1934, the Council operates in over 100 countries worldwide, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Burma. We build trust, engagement and opportunities, reaching over 128 million people worldwide each year. In Japan, the Council has centres in Tokyo and Osaka and runs English courses, provides information on studying in the UK and introduces the latest of contemporary UK in the fields of Arts, Science and education. In Thailand, the Council has been working with Ministry of Education in raising the standards of English language teaching and learning for more than 20 years.