Interview
We interviewed teachers and business managers to find out how
they are using WordEngine to enhance their English education programs.

Ms. Yukari Nakatsuji

Deputy General Manager of GIO Club Study Aboard Dept., Globe-Trotter T&E Inc.

Globe-Trotter T&E Inc. publishes the most popular overseas travel guide book series "Chikyu no Aruki Kata." "Seikousuru Ryugaku," its study abroad department, helps people grow, learn and reach their goals through studying abroad. We interviewed Yukari Nakatsuji, the Deputy General Manager of GIO Club Study Aboard Dept. to find out the latest information on the study abroad industry and what people are looking for to work in a global society. (2011/09/12)

Content-oriented. Study something that will help you in the future.

- Please tell us briefly about your business and the recent trends in your market.

Our company has since 1976 for 30 years, helped those who wish to study abroad. Over the last several years the number of people traveling abroad has fallen, but over the last 2 or 3 years the numbers have recovered a bit. Our customers have many different reasons for studying abroad including: going to university or graduate school as well as attending a language school or doing a working holiday. Most of our customers go to English speaking countries including: the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. In the past, there were many people who studied abroad because it was the trendy thing to do, but there are not many of those people any more. Recently people are concerned about what they are going to study. They want to study something that is going to help them in their future. The number of people who have a clear goal or clear idea about what they want to study is increasing.

The important thing is "communication skills"

- And what does it take to work in a global society?

In short, it's "communication skills". Not just English. The world is getting smaller and smaller. Young people who travel outside of Japan, and are exposed to different cultures will have a broader perspective that will be useful in the future. Meeting students from other countries is also a valuable experience. In fact, most study abroad students in Philippines are Korean. In the schools that we send our students to, 80 to 90 percent of the students are Korean. Their desire to learn English is unbelievably strong. They are all really serious about studying. Honestly, they are quite different from the Japanese students, and this comes as a real shock to Japanese students. But it is a good experience to have.

Provide cheap and high quality programs

- What responsibility does the company feel it has to society?

I want more young people to have this type of valuable experiences. Our role is to provide that opportunity. Therefore, we make it as inexpensive as possible, and focus on developing good products without sacrificing quality. Recently, we developed a short course in Cebu, Philippines. People think of Cebu as a fun-filled resort, but in reality, this is a strict boot camp program actually (laughs), which teaches English from morning to night. We provide inexpensive courses that are the equivalent of the expensive courses in Europe and the USA. Some people are concerned about the quality of the English spoken by teachers in the Philippines, but these well-educated teachers are very fluent in English.

Doesn't matter if you like English or not. English is an indispensable tool

- Again, I would say that English is becoming more important.

Yes, the important thing is communication skills and language is a tool for communicating. Since English is widely used, it is necessary to know. English is a very logical and clear. So, it's very suitable for business. English has become the world's language for that reason. It doesn't matter if you like English or not, because it is an essential skill like knowing how to use a PC. TOEIC scores are not that important. As a company we don't set a target score that recruits have to meet. What is important is what you can do with English. Human resources departments are more interested in what experiences you had while studying abroad.

Before departing, focus on studying grammar and vocabulary

- What are the keys to a successful study abroad experience? What should you do to prepare?

Obviously, you need to study English a lot. It is impossible to learn naturally while you are there. Whether you have a successful experience or not is decided before you leave. Output such as conversation, you can do while abroad, but grammar and vocabulary are important to thoroughly study before you go.
However, output is also important, so we provide pre-departure English conversation lessons. Since this is included in the price of our packages, you do not need to pay anything extra. You can take the class as many times as you want. By participating in this program, students can maintain motivation, and benefit from talking with other students. Taking advantage of whatever is available is very important and doing so is a key to success.

Ideal for self-learning at an affordable price

- How did you come across the WordEngine?

We were asked by many customers to recommend a good self-study program. Since we only had English conversation lessons, we started looking for something good. One of our education counselors went to an education event and saw the WordEngine, and told me about it. We felt we needed something that appeals to young people and is cute with some game-like elements, and the WordEngine fit this description. Lastly, it is very affordable, and as a company, the price was one of the key reasons for adoption.

With the WordEngine it's possible to keep studying

- How do you use the WordEngine?

We give a WordEngine course to all of our customers that purchase certain study abroad packages. Our customers feel like it's free so they have been very pleased with it.
For us, it is a good way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Vocabulary is absolutely necessary for whatever you do, including taking the TOEFL or studying in a professional course at a university. The more you study the more you will learn from the WordEngine. I think our customers will realize how much they have improved their English when they get overseas if they have studied religiously. After all, the most important thing is how much contact you have with English. In that sense, WordEngine lets you set daily goals, study every day, and learn vocabulary naturally, I think it's very useful. I want them to take advantage of it.


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Focus on the words
that you are missing.

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