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Head Start 2009
Teachers enjoying an introduction to the Japanese language
Teachers enjoying an introduction to the Japanese language

On Monday, 23rd February the Japan Foundation London Language Centre hosted the 2009 Head Start Course. Head Start is a one-day course offering curriculum planners, language teachers and coordinators from UK primary and secondary schools the opportunity to get to grips with some of the issues specific to the teaching of Japanese.

A total of 14 teachers attended the course, coming from as far away as Teesside and Devon. They took part in sessions on Japanese language teaching in the UK, support available, Japanese culture and language, accreditation, a tour of the Japan Foundation library, and even a Japanese language taster. We were also lucky enough to have two excellent presentations by Helen Langsam, Head of Japanese at Hendon School, and Zoe Griffiths, Global Education Coordinator at Hampton Hill Junior School, who spoke about the success of teaching Japanese at their own schools.

Feedback from the participants was very positive. Emilie Darabasz, an MFL teacher and Head of Year at Roding Valley High School, Essex, said:

"It really helped me, inspired me and guided me where I should start with Japanese in my school."

Caren Brooks, Deputy Head at Brixham Church of England Primary School, described the course as:

"A really useful and comprehensive introduction to all the Japan Foundation has to offer - thank you!"

Head Start is a yearly course. If you are interested in attending next year then please contact us at or keep an eye on the website for future updates.