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18 Mar, 2016

NTT Communications Launches Online Program to Teach Practical Japanese to Staff in Overseas Offices

Tokyo, Japan, 15 March 2016, (Bernama-Business Wire) — NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within NTT (NYSE:NTT), announced the launch of VLJ Online Japanese Conversation, a Japanese conversation learning service via video call, as a new product of Visual Learning Japanese (VLJ), its cloud-based Japanese-study service with learning website and smartphone applications.

Based on Japanese grammar knowledge taught by VLJ Basic e-learning course as a premise, VLJ Online Japanese Conversation adopts a “blended learning” style of study combining grammar knowledge study and online conversation lessons via practical role-playing. This service offers face-to-face lessons via video call, putting a certificated teacher of a noted Japanese language school collaborating with VLJ mainly the Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute (SNG). VLJ uses the Ezoe Method, an innovative teaching method that enables newcomers to the Japanese language to quickly understand difficult characteristics of the language. The Ezoe Method was designed by SNG Principal Takahide Ezoe.

(1) High-quality lessons even overseas, equivalent to language schools in Japan: Offering NTT Com’s high quality web conference service Arcstar Web Conferencing as a platform, the service connects remotely located students and native Japanese teachers in Japan. Students can improve their communication skills needed in business situations using lessons focused on practical speaking, equivalent to those held at SNG.

(2) Deployment of a 45-minute lesson at low cost, from 1,250 JPY: One course for the standard plan is designed to be completed when students take two 45-minute lessons (90 minutes in total) once a week for 6 months (24 times in total), so even busy businesspersons can learn Japanese at ease. The time and numbers of lessons can be adjusted according to each customer’s needs. In case of a class for six students overseas, the service offers a 45-minute lesson for 1,250 JPY, or approximately 11 USD, for each person.

(3) Regular lessons held to prevent student from giving up: Learning achievement of self-learning education materials including e-learning heavily depends on the motivation of students themselves, so the said completion rate tending to be low has been an issue by persons in charge of education. VLJ online Japanese conversation lesson is periodically held as a training which participants gather on a scheduled time, so learning completion rate will be higher through teacher’s appropriate follow-ups and collaborative efforts with colleagues.

Overview of VLJ Online Japanese Conversation:

  • Content: Conversation training via 96 classes based on VLJ Basic series and practical role-playing
  • * Currently equivalent to the level of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N5 only
  • Standard structure: Two 45-minute lesson parts (90 minutes in total) once a week
  • Standard learning period: Six months (24 times)
  • Participants: 4 to 6 persons per class
  • Education materials: VLJ self-learning education materials (textbook, learning website, smartphone apps)
  • Class style: Blended learning
  • Fee: For one course (48 lessons in total, for 1 person), From overseas: 60,000 JPY, or approx. 531 USD (excl. tax), From inside of Japan: 90,000 JPY, or approx. 796 USD (xcl. tax), *Applications for VLJ Basic is needed separately.

Along with expansion of the self-learning education materials including the beginner course, Japanese letter learning by tracing, upper courses equivalent to the level of JLPT N4 and N3, NTT Com will expand the range of lessons in VLJ Online Japanese Conversations. Also, NTT Com will expand the numbers of Japanese teachers along with the increase in the number of online conversation students. Leveraging the advantage that teachers also can participate in a lesson from various locations, NTT Com will also contribute to realize diversified working style including housewives and persons of advanced age as teachers of VLJ Online Japanese Conversation.

Background: NTT Com has been offering VLJ Basic, which enables non-Japanese businesspersons to effectively self-learn Japanese online, from July 2015. The service has been highly evaluated as a Japanese training program for non-Japanese employees of globally-expanded Japanese companies and institutions. NTT Com has also launched an optional schooling service to dispatch Japanese teachers and offer training for practical conversation. Many customers have requested the service to be available from remote or multiple locations. VLJ Online Japanese Conversation enables non-Japanese employees overseas or multiple remote offices to take lessons by native Japanese teachers in Japan, meeting further diversified needs in developing Japanese workforces.

Related webpage: Visual Learning .Japanese: http://www.ntt.com/vlj_e/