MEXT Professional Development Project
Since 2011, PALS-Rutgers has continued to host two cohorts of English language teachers sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Participants in this six month program are selected representatives of current English language teachers and represent its efforts to enhance and update Japan's English language curriculum. About 100 English teachers are selected from all over Japan and are placed in 7 American universities. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey is one of them.
During their stay at PALS-Rutgers, the MEXT teachers participate in a variety of activities to enhance their careers as EFL teachers.
To strengthen their ability in the content area, cohort teachers participate in English language classes and thematic teacher development seminars.
As an integral component of the program, participants also visit various schools in New Jersey and New York. During these visits, the cohort conducts Japanese language and culture presentations as an enrichment program for public school students. Annually, over 1000 students benefit from the presentations that the MEXT teachers conduct each year.
The MEXT cohort also participate in professional development communities to exchange ideas with practitioners in the field. Since 2011, cohort teachers have all participated in the New York State TESOL annual conference.
In addition to academic activities, participants visit Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and the United Nations to widen their scope on American culture and current world affairs.