ELT in Japan, Issue #3 (August 2010)
Feature 4: Japanese publishers of EFL books for self-study/ 自習のための言語・英語材料の出版社 Charles Jannuzi, University of Fukui, Japan
Self-study is really a potential growth market for many publishers, including the ones who dominate university textbooks. So there is potential for overlap with the list of publishers of Japanese EFL university textbooks. More companies will move into self-study materials to try and offset the declining cohorts of young people. Even if university and tertiary enrollment hasn't started to decline yet, it is somewhat stagnant. Perhaps the decline in enrollment has been delayed by the final expansion of the tertiary sector opening up more enrollment slots combined with the fact that more young people stay out of the full-time workforce and in education or training longer.
I have listed here mostly publishers who didn't make it into the previous list of textbook publishers. English-language pages are rare at these websites, although there are some.
Sunmark even has an online and downloadable catalogue of English-language titles, usually in the areas of 'inspirational' and 'self-help/self-improvement'. Kodansha is a renowned publisher of English-language titles for Japanese language and cultural studies, but is also a major publisher in the Japanese language. The NHK listed here is the publishing arm of the national broadcaster; NHK produces EFL programs for both radio and TV and these have text magazine and textbooks or supplementary materials associated with the program (such as the Dr. Corpus materials).
ALC, DHC (the publishing arm of the cosmetics and nutritional supplements company) and Z-Kai have carved out niches in correspondence courses, and these have stand-alone self-study books (e.g., on English listening, English reading, TOEIC, etc.) that can be bought and used separately (such as adapted to your own EFL courses).
I have tried to list useful links to get you into the parts of the online listings of EFL-related titles in order to save you time in navigating Japanese-language sites.
The benefits of adapting some of these materials to your university, college and other tertiary-level EFL courses include the following:
(1) These materials will be understood by all students because explanations are in Japanese;
(2) such materials often contain a lot of tips, hints, coaching advice and motivational material in the language that all students will understand;
(3) these titles tend to be more practical than the university publishers', although there is a lot of overlap and the trend is toward convergence under the category of 'edutainment' and 'infotainment'; and
(4) these materials are self-contained and self-sufficient (with CDs, DVDs, answer keys), so the learners who are more keen can continue to use them after the course is over.
I have used such self-study materials for TOEIC study classes, and I use bi-lingual screenplays in some General English classes in order to add extensive reading and listening components, areas that have long been neglected in TEFL in Japan.
Cosmic - includes Bi-lingual Screenplays w/DVDs
英語とEnglishをつなぐDHCの英語講座 English Language Education of DHC http://www.edu.dhc.co.jp/
DHC English language study materials
DHC English language study materials - bilingual screenplay books
J-Research 有限会社 ジェイ・リサーチ出版 Jリサーチ出版
Natsume Publishing ナツメ出版
Screenplay - Bilingual screenplays, listening, conversation materials スクリーンプレ http://www.screenplay.co.jp/
Takarajimasha - Includes Bilingual screenplays w/DVDs 宝島社
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