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Educational Perspectives, v43 n1-2 p52-55 2010

Murasakino High School is a municipal senior high school located in the northern part of Kyoto, an ancient capital city of Japan. With a little over one thousand students studying in three grades (from fifteen to eighteen years of age), Murasakino has a distinctive scholastic tradition that makes it different from other high schools in Kyoto. Over the fifty years of its existence, Murasakino has made a number of innovations that have entailed restructuring its curriculum. In 1993, Murasakino started a special English program called the advanced academic English Course in one of the nine classes it offers in each grade. The other eight classes remained unchanged, and the students continued with the regular academic coursework. Murasakino has provided the students in the special English course with a unique English education that combines computer and Internet-based programs with opportunities for international exchange. These programs have turned out to be very successful, and led to a three-year designation as a Super English Language High School (SELHi) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) from 2003 to 2005. In this article, the author outlines the main features of the approach to English education that Murasakino employs in its special English Course as these are quite distinct from the ways that English is normally taught in Japan.

Descriptors: Teaching Methods, High Schools, Foreign Countries, English (Second Language), Educational Innovation, Second Language Instruction, Advanced Courses, Computer Uses in Education, Internet, Educational Technology, Student Exchange Programs, Cultural Awareness, Blended Learning, Public Speaking

College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Wist Annex 2 Room 131, 1776 University Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96822. Tel: 808-956-8002; e-mail: coe[at]; Web site:

Autor: Minagawa, Haruo


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