In the early 1970’s, F.I.A. President Shoichi Kaneko and a group of friends published a series of translated comic books designed to teach English in a non-traditional, more relaxed and informal way: acquiring language by using Feeling, Imagination and Action (F.I.A.). The series was a huge success and prompted the establishment of F.I.A. and its Koenji Clubhouse in Tokyo in 1972. In line with the book series, English was taught at Koenji through the F.I.A. method. Being an accomplished jazz musician, Mr. Kaneko realized the importance of rhythm and flow in spoken English and applied music and beat to language drills. Rhythm Training was born and became the key component in teaching English at Koenji. The “Rhythm Eikaiwa” (Rhythmic English Conversation) trademark was registered with the Japanese government in 1972.
In the 1970’s, F.I.A. was also sending trainers from Tokyo to Shizuoka prefecture on a part time basis to provide corporate client’s employees with English instruction. Around this time, more and more Japanese companies were expanding their operations overseas and it became increasingly evident that the ability to communicate in English would be a decisive advantage in the global marketplace.
F.I.A. opened offices in Susono, Shizuoka prefecture in 1982 with a view towards establishing full time workplace language training. In 1984, F.I.A. began four On-the-Job Training (O.J.T.) locations on-site at client locations. F.I.A. now has over thirty O.J.T. locations at various companies in the Tokyo and Shizuoka areas. On-the-Job Training places English instructors at the client`s immediate location, providing a convenient and effective approach to acquiring English proficiency.
O.J.T. training is just one of many services that F.I.A. currently provides. We also offer Intensive Language Programs which help prepare our clients’ employees for work assignments around the world. F.I.A. provides intensive programs in a variety of languages other than English, most notably Thai, Chinese, and Spanish. These intensives range from 2 to 7 weeks in duration (ideally 280 hours), and emphasize not only language, but the importance of understanding the culture and environment in which they will work and live abroad.
F.I.A. assists clients in sending employees to universities overseas for extended studies and has established offices in the United States and Australia. In conjunction with client companies we administer exchange programs, provide English instruction before departure, while abroad, and post return, and provide overall support for the exchange students.
Chikyujinmura (Global Village) was established in 1985 to develop and promote Rhythm Training and materials. In 1985, Kuchiguse, a series of Rhythm Training videos and cassettes, was produced to complement the English teaching curriculum in junior high schools. Today, over 3,000 schools (more than one-fourth) nationwide are using the series. Chikyujinmura is now actively involved in promoting all of F.I.A.’s activities.
The F.I.A. Japanese Language Institute offers courses in the Japanese language and in teaching Japanese. The teaching course is an 18 month course and is acknowledged by the Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education. F.I.A. also assists client companies bringing employees to Japan.
F.I.A. has grown into a vibrant and dynamic company with a diverse range of capabilities over the past thirty years. We rise to the challenge of helping our clients compete in the ever-expanding global marketplace. Through the fostering of language ability and cross cultural understanding, F.I.A. continues to grow and looks forward to a prosperous future.