GenkiJACS 2010 Charity Donations

Posted on November 25, 2010 | evankirby

Each year GenkiJACS gives at least 5% of profits to charity, usually to UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. This year we were lucky enough to be able to expand our charitable giving program greatly, both in total funds donated and in where we donate to. After receiving suggestions from our staff, we gave money to the following organizations this year:

UNICEF (roughly 40% of total donation)
国境なき医師団 (Kokkyo naki ishidan, Doctors Without Borders) (30%)
世界の子どもにワクチンを (Sekai no kodomo ni wakuchin wo, Vaccines for the world's children) (20%)
母の家 (Haha no ie, Mother’s House) (10%)

The last of those, Mother’s House, is a home for abused or abandoned children in Kitakyushu. As family structures in Japan are so strong, in many cases abused children are taken in by other members of the same family. This means that there are fewer children in this kind of facility than in most other countries. But it also means that the funds provided to support this kind of home are very low. We visited Mother’s House recently, and were struck by the need for more clothes and toys, but also by how well-adjusted the children there seemed, proof of the great work that the staff there do.
We’re proud to be able to support all of these organizations not just morally, but financially too. Living in Japan, it’s easy to forget that there are parts of the world, and even parts of Japan, where people struggle every day with terrible burdens. We hope to be able to do more in the coming years to help.

Japanese teacher training course!

Posted on November 14, 2010 | evankirby

In partnership with Kyushu Gaigo College, GenkiJACS will offer a Japanese teacher training course from January 2011! We're very excited about this. Most teacher training courses focus on teaching to Asian students, but ours will of course focus on the needs of Western students. As we saw previously, the number of Japanese schools worldwide is always increasing, so Japanese language teachers are always needed. But why does this matter to you, the possible Japanese school student? Well:

- While we only employ qualified teachers for your Japanese classes, we regularly have volunteers visit the school for free conversation practice with students. Trainee teachers will participate in these conversation practices
- Trainee teachers will also run free extra classes for students on a variety of topics, as part of their training. This means more classes for you, for free!
- The best of the trainee teachers will stay on at GenkiJACS after graduating, as qualified teachers. This means the level of teachers at GenkiJACS will keep on improving!

This teacher training program is offered as part of the Japanese government's work training opportunities for unemployed people, part of the stimulus package to help Japan out of the recession. Only people approved by Hello Work, the Japanese Employment Service Center, are eligible to take the course. More details are in the leaflet here.

The state of Japanese language study abroad

Posted on November 04, 2010 | evankirby

Every three years, the wonderful Japan Foundation publishes the results of their survey of Japanese schools overseas (i.e. outside Japan). Their most recent survey was published in July this year, and provides the most up-to-date picture of Japanese schools and students abroad. Luckily, the report is published in both Japanese and English!
Some highlights:

- The total number of people studying Japanese worldwide is 3.65 million. This is an increase of more than 20% from the survey three years ago!
- More than 80% of Japanese students are in Asia.
- The three biggest countries by student numbers are Korea, China and Indonesia (displacing Australia this time).
- More than 50% of people studying Japanese are studying at university.

The full report is not available online, but the overview can be downloaded in English here, and Japanese here. Happy reading!

Genki In Film and Video

Posted on November 02, 2010 | genkijacs

A week and a half ago, students from a local film and media college came to Genki looking for students to act in a bilingual video about problems with communicating in Japanese English. The Japanese are very well known for their propensity to take English words and add often strange loan words to their own vocabulary. Frequently this results in attempts at English that confuse native speakers. Changing the foreign sounds into katakana-Japanese sounds doesn't help either. So, since students at Genki are probably well familiar with the problems in speaking a language not your own, we went to assist them. We filmed 4 scenes in and around the IMS building in Tenjin, and 3 of them are included here in the final video.

In addition, we've been taking quite a few old video clips from events and happening at Genki and turning them into video's viewable on youtube. Lastly, look for some short language learning video's of our own to appear soon.

Health Care at GenkiJACS

Posted on November 02, 2010 | evankirby

Genki Japanese School has always prided itself on being an ethical business – we donate a portion of our profits to charity each year, we aim to hire as many of our staff as full-time employees as possible, and we work to give back to the local community as well as increasing understanding of Japanese culture worldwide. From this year, we have added one new benefit for all teachers and staff.
Under the Japanese national health care system, health insurance pays for 70% of the costs of health care, with the individual responsible for the remaining 30%, up to a set yearly limit. GenkiJACS pays for extra insurance for our staff (including part-timers), to cover that 30% in cases of serious illness requiring hospitalization, or accidents. Standard health insurance also doesn’t cover experimental therapies, but the GenkiJACS supplemental insurance does! It also includes life insurance, but let’s hope we don’t ever have to use that part…