Company Interview: Kanagawa Sohgoh High School
Kanagawa Sohgoh High School is a public high school in Yokohama City, Japan. Interns' responsibilities include not only assisting teachers in English classes, but also participating in school events, organizing an English café and proofreading students' assignments.
- Company Name:
- Kanagawa Sohgoh High School
- No. Employee:
- 70 full-time teachers
- Kanagawa Sohgoh High School:
- Kiichi Sugawara (KS), English teacher
TUJ What made you want to start an internship program with Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ)?
KS TUJ and our high school already had some connections, but they were in a limited way and for a limited purpose. I wanted to expand this relationship and came to the idea of internships. I thought it would be a great opportunity for foreign students who want to be teachers or want to work in education in the future. Through coordination with TUJ, we have established the internship program, which is something we never had before. It is a great program for both our high school students and the interns. Student interns can get credits and a real teaching experience, while our students can have quality time and a productive experience by communicating with foreigners of a similar age.
TUJ What do you expect from the interns?
KS As they are still university students, we don't expect them to be professional teachers. However, we expect them to be willing to communicate with our students and enjoy being in our school. In addition, in Japan, schools have unique and different systems compared to companies or other organizations, so it is interesting for interns to experience the difference. After all, as long as they are socially skilled and like to spend time with high school students, they are welcome.
TUJ How is your students' feedback about our interns?
KS It's really positive. Our students are more motivated to learn English by communicating with them. It is challenging in a positive way for high school students to understand natural English. Especially, when they communicate with interns who have just come to Japan and speak English without adjusting their speed and vocabulary. It is good practice for them. It's also beneficial for our students to learn how TUJ interns see things differently from them.
TUJ Have you found any challenges in supervising interns?
KS No, not really. I happened to have spent some time with high school students in the U.S., so I can understand their mentality and how they see things. I tell them directly if they do something wrong or if I find something that needs to be improved.
TUJ Do you still keep in touch with former interns?
KS Some of them want to come back to Japan and teach English, and some ask me for recommendation letters or to be their reference. I believe we have been building good relationships.
TUJ Do you have any future projects that you want to do with our interns?
KS It needs to be class-centered activities, but I would want to incorporate some ideas from the interns, making use of the internship experience along with what they have learned in their major. For example, interns could launch a club at Temple University's main campus which our students could join. They could perform activities together using Skype on a regular basis. It might be a bit ambitious, but I don't think it's impossible.
TUJ That would be an exciting project. Thank you very much.
Interview date: Tuesday, July 15, 2014