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2013-R117

October 31, 2013

NTT Communications Launches Cloud Service
For Japanese Language Education

TOKYO, JAPAN - NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), ICT solutions and international communications business within NTT (NYSE: NTT), announced this week the launch of a cloud-based Japanese-language educational service, "Visual Learning .Japanese," in cooperation with the Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute (SNG).

Visual Learning .Japanese (VLJ) is an innovative service based on the effective Japanese language teaching method designed by SNG Principal Takahide Ezoe. The method, which Ezoe has spent many years developing, focuses on visualizing and structuring Japanese grammar with original cards and gestures, and forms the core of NTT Com’s cloud-based e-learning study materials.

On October 29, SNG launched its "blended learning" course, combining VLJ (online) and in-class lessons (offline). NTT Com and SNG will continue to jointly promote the VLJ and blended learning course to educational institutions both in and outside of Japan.

1. Background

In recent years, Japanese companies have continued to expand their business internationally, particularly in Southeast Asia. Last year, the number of local, non-Japanese employees reached a record high of 5.23 million, (an increase of 4.7% from last year) according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Furthermore, an increasing number of Japanese companies seek to hire non-Japanese employees domestically and internationally, thereby increasing the demand for Japanese language education. On the other hand, according to the Japan Foundation, it has come to light that there are issues related to learning the Japanese language, where many Japanese language schools in Japan and overseas face a shortage of teaching materials and learning facilities, while being hampered by ineffective teaching methods. To improve this, SNG, with its well-established teaching methods, and NTT Com, with its seamless global ICT services, have partnered to develop and provide an innovative cloud-based Japanese learning service.

2. Advantages of using VLJ

(1) Rich e-learning materials for tablet, pc and smartphone

Visual Learning Japanese is an e-learning study resource based on the SNG teaching method with grammar cards, a corresponding grammar chart, and gestures. This method enables students to better grasp and understand Japanese grammar, using the grammar cards representing words and their order in a sentence. Learners may also deepen their understanding through related gestures that illustrate, for instance, conjugation and honorific expression, with the guidance of an instructor. Where traditional paper-based learning rendered grammar cards, gestures or pronunciation training unfeasible, interactive smartphone apps and video clips (with English subtitles) presented by principal Ezoe allow students to learn with more flexibility.

(2) "Blended learning" course combining the positive aspects of online & offline learning

Visual Learning .Japanese is designed to realize effective self-managed blended learning by combining input (online) with comprehension of grammar, and output (offline) through role-playing and drills in class. The practically-structured blended learning cycle enables students to learn grammar and vocabulary conveniently by smartphone or pc, and allots the more challenging applied-learning to the classroom.

(3) Efficient study environment realized exclusively with Cloud services

As study sessions are recorded on the cloud, students can study at their own convenience, either at home on their PCs or on the go via their smartphones.

As all student progress recorded on the cloud is viewable by teachers, a highly efficient class operation is realized. This service also allows the latest educational contents to be delivered to students in a timely manner.

3. Initial Services

Course Contents Details Launch
VLJ
Beginner
(*1)
Japanese
Fundamentals
w/Cloud Services
Cloud-based multiple device service including 96 lessons of grammar explanations, conversations with follow-up corresponding grammar chart and video clips / progress-check quizzes Oct 29, 2013
Vocabulary
App (*2)
Smartphone & tablet app including 1,400 vocabulary / verb conjugations / honorific forms / pronunciation / including other valuable functions Oct 29, 2013
Grammar App (*2) App including 800 grammar quizzes / fun-learning touch-and-drag function (repeatable for practice) compatible with smartphone Jan 2014
Expected release

*Additional intermediate and business courses are expected to be offered

4. Future Services Developments

NTT Com and SNG will focus on marketing the blended learning course to related Japanese schools in Japan this year. Beginning in 2014, the services of this blended learning model will expand to intermediate and business courses, as well as to other markets, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. In addition, this model will also expand to serve Japanese companies abroad and Japanese teacher training courses.

*1 Beginner level includes the understanding of fundamentals of grammar and acquiring the ability to talk about oneself as well as a sufficient vocabulary base.

*2 Compatible with iOS device (e.g. iPhone, iPad) and Android device

About NTT Communications Corporation

NTT Communications provides consultancy, architecture, security and cloud services to optimize the information and communications technology (ICT) environments of enterprises. These offerings are backed by the company’s worldwide infrastructure, including leading global tier-1 IP network, Arcstar Universal One™ VPN network reaching 160 countries/regions, and over 150 secure data centers. NTT Communications’ solutions leverage the global resources of NTT Group companies including Dimension Data, NTT DOCOMO and NTT DATA.
www.ntt.com | Twitter@NTT Communications | Facebook@NTT Communications | LinkedIn@NTT

For more information

Mr. Hashino, Mr. Akimoto or Mr. Hattori
Application & Content Services Division
NTT Communications
Tel. +81 3 6733 9624

Contact Us


Principal Ezoe, Vice Principal Mori or Educational Coordinator, Mr. Sato
Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute
Tel. +81 3 5273 0044
Mail: vlj_sng_1975@sng.ac.jp
Website: www.sng.ac.jp/japanese/

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