Two UH Hilo alumni selected to teach English in Japan

UH Hilo grads Randall Yamaoka and Tiphani Kainoa are on their way to Japan to teach English to elementary and high school students.

By Susan Enright.

Two University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo alumni have been selected for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. JET is an organization based in Japan that promotes internationalization at the local level by inviting young overseas graduates to assist in foreign language education in local governments, boards of education, and schools throughout Japan.

UH Hilo graduates Randall Yamaoka and Tiphani Kainoa showed a lot of initiative in securing the placements. “Many students would not have taken this next step without the support and encouragement of key faculty who support these international education programs,” says Carolina Lam, director of global education at UH Hilo.

“Participating in the JET Programme provides our UH Hilo students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom with a real life teaching experience,” says Lam. “During their tenure as a JET participant, they will be representing the U.S. as well as our campus while in Japan.”

Randall Yamaoka

Randall Yamaoka in graduation sash.
Randall Yamaoka

Yamaoka graduated in the spring of 2015. He received a bachelor of arts in Japanese Studies, a bachelor of arts in linguistics, a minor in English, and certificates in teaching English as second language, educational studies, and global engagement. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad for a year at Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan and spent a summer at Seoul Women’s University in South Korea.

With the JET programme, Yamaoka will live in the town of Sera-cho in the province of Hiroshima-Ken for at least a year as an assistant language teacher to teach English to elementary and junior high school students.

Tiphani Kainoa

Tiphani Kainoa with diploma, head lei.
Tiphani Kainoa

Kainoa graduated in the spring of 2014. She received a bachelor of arts in linguistics, a minor in English, and a certificate in teaching English as second language. While at UH Hilo, she participated in a short-term exchange program to Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan, with Professor Scott Saft and five other UH Hilo students.

JET is assigning Kainoa to the Divisions of Compulsory Education of the Fukuoka Prefectural Board of Education as an assistant language teacher. She is placed in the Kitakyushu Regional Office and will be living in Nōgata. In her work, she will travel to various elementary and junior high schools in the region on a rotating schedule.

The JET Programme

The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, now in its 27th year, is aimed at promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations. The number of countries sending participants has risen over the years, as has the number of participants. In 2013, the programme welcomed 4,372 participants from 40 countries. Since the beginning of the JET Programme, there have been more than 60,000 participants from 63 countries around the world.

UH Hilo Center for Global Education and Exchange

For more information about the UH Hilo Center for Global Education and Exchange, contact Carolina Lam.


About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.

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