Some words from Yoko Matsuka/The mpi 9-year curriculum | mpi

Some words from Yoko Matsuka
Some words from Yoko Matsuka
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Profile: Yoko Matsuka
The mpi 9-year curriculum
An integrated program from elementary school to junior high

 The 9-year curriculum for pupils from the first year of elementary school to the 3rd year of junior high has been the aim of mpi since its inception, which has now been achieved. The product of our 25 years of trial and error has been compiled into a single book, the MPI 9-year curriculum, published in June 2003 (Omitted). My heartfelt wish is to make Japanese 15-year-olds into young people who can be sent without fear anywhere in the world, with the courage to seek to go out into the world, and I believe a 9-year integrated English program from elementary school to junior high is needed to do this.
>> 9-year curriculum overview


Significance of an integrated elementary to junior high program

 The significance of elementary to junior high integration is to reach the “Do you like sushi?” level by the 3rd year of elementary school, adding breadth and depth of expression in the 4th, 5th and 6th years to the point where, on progressing to junior high, they are able to pose questions in the form “How is this problem addressed in your country?” The basics are gained in elementary school, and the ability for self-expression in junior high school.
>> 9-year curriculum overview


How to raise English-speaking 15-year-olds

 My ideal 15-year-olds are independent, with a firm grasp of their own opinions, a sense of humor, breadth of heart, a spirit overflowing with concern for others, kindness, strength and intelligence. On top of this, they need to have acquired English as a tool for communicating with others who do not speak Japanese.
In order to raise such 15-year-olds, we must first, in elementary school:
(1) Teach the skill of listening to and catching spoken English;
(2) Develop a proactive sense of using the English that they already know.
However, the topics covered in elementary school speaking, reading and writing are extremely limited.
Hence, once they reach junior high, they must
(1) Become able to offer their own input in English;
(2) Gain a wide interest in both Japan and the world;
(3) Be able to exchange opinions by describing their own views whilst actively listening to those of others.
>> 9-year curriculum overview


The mpi 9-year curriculum for children's development

 Whilst it is essential at elementary school level to establish the spoken sounds, it is inadequate in terms of content, and years more study (up to the age of 15) are still needed.
The three key elements of language study are: form, meaning and use. These develop naturally with age and maturity.
Hence, however skillful at English elementary-school pupils become, memorizing advanced culture and speech is unsuitable. Likewise, it is strange for junior high school students to speak on excessively childish topics with child-like expressions.
The mpi 9-year curriculum focuses on content for the most natural development of the child possible.
>> 9-year curriculum overview


How to maintain motivation

 The concepts behind the mpi 9-year curriculum can be adopted in both schools and private life. However, the school is a place geared towards mass education, whereas private life is more about the individual. In terms of skills, school is well suited for teaching listening and reading, whilst private life is better suited for teaching speaking and writing.
In either school or private life, the important thing is not to neglect the link between elementary school and junior high, which can weaken the children's motivation to learn.
>> 9-year curriculum overview