Others | Japan
Westgate Corporation was founded in 1983 to provide English language instruction programs for corporations, residents, and public schools of Gotemba, Shizuoka, Japan. Westgate has since provided English language training for more than thirty major Japanese and international corporations. Special intensive programs were developed to improve the workplace-specific language competence of new corporate personnel. Based on this experience and the needs analyses conducted therein, the Extracurricular International Career English Program was then developed to bridge the gap between the entry-level communicative ability of newly graduated college students and the workplace language competency desired by employers. The Westgate Extracurricular International Career English Program is currently offered at more than fifty technical universities, liberal arts universities, and junior colleges primarily in the Kanto region (area around Tokyo) of Japan. Additionally, Westgate provides English-language programs to establishments affiliated with universities, where the Westgate English Program is offered. Westgate expects to continue increasing the number of accredited programs. In 2004, Westgate launched an E-learning program for university and corporate students who want to study English via the Internet. The course contents and curriculum have been developed so that students can enhance their English proficiency using media and resources such as Internet, email, and telephone. Students also have a personal tutor for one-on-one educational support. In addition to increasing learning opportunities for students, the ultimate goal of Westgate is to blend classroom teaching with E-learning to make English-language education the most efficient and convenient for each of our students. This "Blended-e" program is the next generation in language learning.
The Westgate curriculum has been designed so that, level by level, students gradually obtain more experience with the language functions, lexis and structures they will need for oral communication in the workplace. At the same time, Westgate students obtain experience using English to talk about topics and situations of current interest such as traveling, friends, and other daily activities.
The Westgate teaching methods are consistent with widely used approaches in the field of teaching conversational English as a Foreign Language. Instructors use communication-based lessons and a variety of methodologies in a comfortable, learner-centered classroom environment to give students ample practice in developing and develop their confidence in using the English language. The curriculum has been designed so that students are gradually given more practice in the language functions, vocabulary, and structures they will need for oral communication in the workplace. At the lower levels, students practice general conversation skills along with the vocabulary needed for their high-frequency workplace tasks. Research continues on the short-term and long-term needs of students in various fields and disciplines. Some of this seems to be repetitive.