Our aim is to nurture human capital who will support global society in the 21st century.
Kumon conducts community-based activities throughout the world,
helping individuals discover their potential and develop their abilities to the maximum.
Reading is the key to learning. We want students to have the experience of reading many books from different genres in order to learn about different ways of life and various societies, and in so doing, find out their dreams and aspirations and come up with goals for themselves.
Therefore, the aim of this program is to foster students with advanced reading comprehension skills who can tackle any text that comes their way, and continue to read and develop themselves for the rest of their lives.
At Kumon, we use the phrase “advancing beyond school grade level.” In the Kumon Japanese program, this entails students reading and understanding passages of an advanced level. We want students to read a large number of books, but more importantly, our intention is for students to develop the ability to challenge themselves to read books of any difficulty level, or from any genre, and expand the scope of their reading on their own. To gain the ability to do just that, our students develop their reading comprehension ability through worksheet study. The key method used to develop students’ reading comprehension ability is summarization.
Differing from simple summaries where students pick out and write down only the key points of a passage, Kumon summarization involves students taking a paragraph and recreating it in the form of a single sentence in line with its theme, while maintaining the flow of the original passage. When summarizing a passage at Kumon, students use keywords related to its theme, they maintain the nuances unique to the original passage, and use words that they themselves feel are important. Therefore, it is not only necessary that students are able to derive the correct meaning of the passage but they also require a variety of skills, such as the ability to use words and terms correctly and the ability to restructure texts. This process enables students to develop a strong understanding of what it means to read and understand a passage. Through comparing the differences between their summary and the original passage, students realize for themselves the way they understood the passage. By examining and thinking deeply about these differences students hone their reading comprehension ability.
The Kumon Recommended Reading List (RRL) consists of 650 carefully selected publications, from which students and parents can easily choose new books. The selected publications cover a wide range of genres, spanning old and new classic literature from around the world as well as books that are popular among children. The RRL has 13 levels, and on each level there are 50 books arranged in ascending order of difficulty. The worksheets contain various extracts from the books on this list. There are many cases of students who have embarked on a journey into the wide world of reading because they wanted to read the rest of the works that they encountered in extract form in the worksheets.
We hope that through fostering students with advanced reading comprehension skills who can read a wide range of books, these students will be able to increase their knowledge, develop different ways of looking at things, learn how to think deeply, and experience profound emotions, all of which will prove invaluable for children today, as they are the ones who will go on to address the world’s challenges in the future.
Japan owes its place in the global community to the advances it makes in science and technology and its international trade. With this in mind, Japan needs to address the great challenge of improving its citizens’ English skills. Advanced English skills are a prerequisite in today’s global community in order to be able to do all of the following in English: read large amounts of information in little time, write quickly and efficiently, and discuss issues using logical and persuasive arguments.
Kumon’s English as a Foreign Language program studied in Japan has at its core a method of using English texts in conjunction with Japanese translations to enable students to build advanced reading comprehension skills. Those reading comprehension skills serve as a solid foundation that enables students to go on to further develop their English skills to the high level required to play an active role in today’s global society.
With the Kumon English as a Foreign Language Program, students build the following skills: listening; oral reading; vocabulary; ability to write grammatically sound sentences and prose; and English reading comprehension ability.
Not only high school students, but also preschoolers and elementary school students come to understand the contents of stories through practicing listening, reciting, and reading aloud by themselves. The written vocabulary and grammar exercises presented along with those stories cover important points for students to gain mastery. Students also increase their English ability smoothly and efficiently with the help of notes in Japanese or Japanese translations designed to aid their understanding and enjoyment of the English sentences and stories that they read.
Through repeated practice in these areas as they advance through the program students gradually build up their listening skills and reading comprehension skills. These skills then serve as an impetus for students to go on to build up advanced English skills that they can put to use on the world stage. You can see some examples of the main areas in which students build skills on the different levels of our English program below.
Levels 3A to C: recitation and oral reading of words, phrases, and sentences
Levels D to F: writing of words, phrases, and sentences
Levels GI to III: basic grammar up to junior high school level
Levels JI to LII: basic grammar up to senior high school level and reading comprehension skills
Levels M to O: an advanced level of reading comprehension skills developed through reading English texts in the original
Kumon Penmanship and Calligraphy consists of four self-learning programs that are designed to enable students to write correctly and beautifully in Japanese. Students start out by learning how to use a pencil, pen or brush properly. They then systematically develop their writing skills by first practicing drawing lines, then tracing and copying individual letters and characters, and finally writing entire sentences and passages.
As they learn, students also master principles of writing that can be applied to writing letters and characters that they do not study on the worksheets. As a result, students naturally gain the ability to write more beautifully in daily life. Kumon Penmanship and Calligraphy’s programs are: Pen Penmanship, Pencil Penmanship, Pen Calligraphy and Brush Calligraphy.