FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1.  Why was Mirai Nihongo Gakuin established?

Mirai Nihongo Gakuin was established with the goal of improving students' learning experience by offering a curriculum that is flexible, based on student needs and better integrating Japanese cultural activities with language instruction.  Being independent enables our school to adjust teaching practices to best suit the student population and adapt to rapid demographic changes in our community.

2.  Who decided to establish the school?

The Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute (PJCI) Board of Directors, in conjunction with a special committee created by the Board, made the decision to establish a new school.  The special committee, led by Bryan Takeda, PJCI President, and included school parents, were charged with assessing the feasibility of establishing the school and developing its strategic plan.

3.  What is the relationship between Mirai Nihongo Gakuin and the PJCI?

The school is governed and operated by the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute.

4.  What is the organizational structure of Mirai Nihongo Gakuin?

The school is governed by the Mirai Nihongo Gakuin Executive Committee that is appointed by the PJCI Board of Directors.  The Executive Committee has the authority to make all major decisions for the school.  The school President and Head Teacher will run the day to day operations of the school, including teacher and staff management.  The Mirai Boosters consists of parents, teachers and other community members who support the school.  As an independent, self-governing organization, the Mirai Boosters work closely with the Head Teacher and staff to help with weekly school responsibilities, activities and events.

5.  What is the mission of Mirai Nihongo Gakuin?

Mirai Nihongo Gakuin provides Japanese language and cultural education through engaging lessons, programs and activities that celebrate Japanese values and culture.

6.  What are the main benefits of an independent school?

One important benefit of an independent school is having the flexibility to operate and teach in a way that meets the needs of students.  Also, operational oversight from the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute will ensure quality control.  A program of continuous improvement is also implemented.  Governed by the Executive Committee, Mirai Nihongo Gakuin can better integrate with other Japanese activities and classes that are offered by the PJCI in addition to an annual youth exchange program with Mishima, Japan.

7.  How will the school tuition be utilized?

The majority of school revenues will be used to pay teachers' salaries.  Remaining funds will be used for educational materials, teacher training, supplies, rent and cultural activities and events.

8.  How will the curriculum be developed?

The Head Teacher and teaching staff will be responsible for developing the curriculum for each class level.  The aim is for the curriculum to be relevant and engaging for students to deepen their learning.  The curriculum will be broad and include introductory classes for both children, teens and adults who are learning Japanese for the first time.  Most students have little or no previous Japanese language experience.  The curriculum expands the integration of language development through the many cultural activities offered at the PJCI.

Teaching materials will include new textbooks and materials as well as resources offered by the California Association of Japanese Language Schools.  Additional supplemental materials will also be determined by the Head Teacher and the teaching staff.  The curriculum will continually be assessed to ensure that it meets the needs of students.

9.  For students who don't have any Japanese language experience, will there be English instruction?

Yes, some English instruction is used in introductory classes offered to those who are learning Japanese for the first time.  The teaching staff will determine the appropriate level of English instruction needed to facilitate learning.

10.  Does the school offer cultural events for the students?

Yes, Mirai Nihongo Gakuin will over several cultural events and experiences throughout the year.  One goal is to increase students' exposure to Japanese activities such as the martial arts, odori, ikebana and taiko to integrate Japanese language instruction with participation in such activities.  The curriculum is context and project based and will offer an excellent opportunity to integrate the many programs currently offered by the PJCI.

11.  Can students earn high school credit?

As a member of the California Association of Japanese Language Schools, students can take the credit test administered by the association each year.  High school credits are accepted on a district by district basis.  One of the goals of Mirai Nihongo Gakuin is for students to be prepared to take the credit test.

12.  What are school hours?

Saturday mornings from 9:00 am to 12:20 pm.

13.  When are adult classes offered?

Saturday from 8:30 am to 4:30pm.

Thursday evenings from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

14.  Is there a PTA?

 The Mirai Boosters welcomes parents, teachers, alumni and community members to support the school through fundraising activiities and events that will benefit students and teachers.

15.  How is Quality Control maintained?

The PJCI Executive Committee, President, Head Teacher and teaching staff ensures quality from teaching and administrative perspectives.  The Head Teacher is responsible for the performance of every teacher.  The school implements continuous improvement practices, including regularly soliciting feedback from parents.

16.  How can I get more information or offer feedback?

Parents and students can speak directly to their teachers or contact the school at (626) 396-9927 or mirai.nihongo.gakuin@gmail.com.