The girls in Ms. Motoko Okubo classroom at Tokyo Joshi Gakuen Middle School in Tokyo, Japan have got to be the luckiest girls. Apparently, their administration thought it would be an awesome idea if they started using the Nintendo DS as a method of teaching English. Well they’ve been experimenting since late May and so far the results have been impressive. The students not only enjoy playing the DS, but the average vocabulary per student has increased by 35% - pretty impressive for a 2 month span. It also has had a positive impact on the slackers.
And of course there’s people who disagree (let’s call them republicans). They say it’s too extreme of a reform and that the system needs to be switched back but no one has done anything to force the switch. Plus no one important cares!
The school’s Vice Principal Junko Tatsumi says that the decision to buy the software and the console are in line with the school’s policy that “English classes should be fun for students.” I wish this were actually true for all English classes. She also states that this method makes the students build a working habit because it forces the student to interact with the program. Then again, who wouldn’t want to play the DS over conventional classroom methods?
Although this is the first time we’ve heard of the Nintendo DS successfully being used in the classroom, it’s definitely not the first time anyone has spoken of the idea. Hopefully schools all around will pick up on the idea and tree huggers and students everywhere will rejoice.
NTDTV News Coverage