TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Toranomon Language School (TLS) helps students overcome two key challenges to becoming bilingual through an innovative approach that also expands their networks, develops professional skills and breaks down cultural barriers.
TLS is located on the 15th floor of the exclusive Toranomon Hills business tower in central Tokyo. The school’s founder and CEO, Ryoko Marumo, says studying with textbooks and phone apps often fails to develop real-world skills. Japanese learners of English can gain reading and vocabulary skills using these methods, but may struggle to communicate with foreigners. And foreigners developing basic Japanese skills using a similar approach might feel lost when presenting to a Japanese company.
TLS’ team of diverse and qualified experts has designed original materials to meet these needs. A TLS student will receive personalized lessons on how to network effectively, present their company’s product or service, and communicate online in the language they are learning. Students include those from embassies, universities, companies and international schools.
The second challenge is that both groups of learners often lack practical opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom. And these learners see cultural barriers as barriers to integrating into a new community. A foreigner in Japan may lack confidence in their language skills to mingle with a group of Japanese speakers, and vice versa for Japanese learners looking to practice with English speakers.
TLS goes beyond the textbook and the classroom. With its wide range of connections, TLS offers its students a variety of events to practice the language in the most meaningful way, making new friends while expanding business opportunities. These included a workshop on overcoming shyness in English and Japanese in collaboration with Waseda University Professor of Education, WL Quint Oga-Baldwin; “Dog Therapy” with the Buddies Rescue Dogs association, which brought together English-speaking and Japanese dog lovers; and a weekly “Walk and Learn” event that allows attendees to experience new parts of Tokyo.
As Marumo explained, “That’s what we mean when we say TLS offers ‘more than just language’. Our students not only learn valuable language skills, but also become part of a community where they can use these skills to improve the quality of their lives.