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Jolly Learning in Japan

  • David Watkins


    David is originally from the UK but has been living and working in Japan since 2001, teaching in both private and public schools. In 2013, David set up Yamatalk English school to focus on teaching younger learners. David began to teach with Jolly Phonics in 2014, seeing outstanding results from his students. He finds Jolly Phonics to be a wonderful way not only to teach children literacy, but to also unlock their enthusiasm and motivation for studying English.

    David would like to share his experiences with Jolly Phonics as a means to teach literacy, not just with other teachers, but with parents looking to get more involved in their children’s English learning.


    Japan (and other countries in the region with notice)
  • Yoko Matsumoto


    Yoko is a qualified primary, junior high and high school teacher. She has taught phonetics at universities and has been teaching using synthetic phonics for more than forty years at a private elementary school in Japan. She found the Jolly Phonics multi-sensory method effective for little children to learn to read, write and speak English. She has found that using Jolly Phonics, particularly in combination with Jolly Music, has a great effect on her students’ English abilities.

    Yoko looks forward to helping you and your young learners develop and grow as the only trainer of both Jolly Phonics and Jolly Music in Japan!

    Jolly Phonicsは多感覚を使って英語の音と文字の関係を学習していきます。子どもの負担が少なく、本当に楽しんで英語が読めて書けるように工夫された教材で、Native Speakerと同じように発音できるようにもなります。長年小学校で教鞭をとってまいりましたが、これほど優れたメソッドに出会ったことは初めてです。子ども達の力をどこまでも伸ばしていける教材を用いて、日本の英語教育をもっともっと素晴らしいものにできるお手伝いをさせていただければ嬉しく思います。

    Take a look here to find Yoko’s Jolly Music profile.

    Throughout Japan
  • Makiko Takahashi


    Makiko has been teaching Jolly Phonics at elementary schools in Koganei, Tokyo, as a member of a volunteer group since 2015. She became a teacher at Jolly Phonics Eigo no Oto to Moji Gakushu Labo, a tutoring school in Koganei, Tokyo in 2016. She has been teaching Jolly Phonics to children at her private English school, Takahashi English since 2016.

    The children became very confident and satisfied with their skills, decoding unknown words and sentences in English by learning the letter-sound correspondences taught in Jolly Phonics. She emphasises the importance of following the methods of the Jolly Phonics correctly to help children improve their reading and writing skills.

    2015年から東京都小金井市の小学校で英語活動ボランティアに携わり、2016年から「Jolly Phonics 英語の音と文字の学習Labo」などでJolly Phonicsの指導講師をしております。Jolly Phonicsで音と文字の対応を学んだ子ども達は、自信を持ち、楽しみながら、自ら英語の言葉や文章を読み解くようになっていきます。Jolly Phonicsの手法を忠実に行うことの大切さを共有し、子ども達の英語の読み書きの力を向上させることに役立ちたいと思っております。指導は日本語で行います。

    Tokyo and online training
  • Shino Abe

    shinoYokohama, Kanagawa

    Shino has been working for Yokosuka Gakuin Elementary School in Kanagawa since 2006. She has seen the impact of Jolly Phonics and the outstanding results that their students have achieved learning English with the Jolly Phonics programme. Shino firmly believes that Jolly Phonics is the best solution for learning to read, write and speak in English, so would love to share her experiences with other teachers, so they too can make a difference to their students and schools.


    +81 (0)46852 1920
    All of Japan
  • Georgette Keolanui-Wilson

    Georgette-Profile-PicGeorgette is a native English speaker from Kamuela, Hawaii. She has been an EFL educator in Japan for over 13 years. She strongly believes in teaching synthetic phonics. Since using the Jolly Phonics programme her students have gained the necessary skills to help them become successful readers and writers of English. Her students and their families’ motivation to learn English soars once they grasp the core skills learned through the programme. She would love to share those skills with you and help you and your students build a strong phonetic programme by using Jolly Phonics.

    All of Japan / U.S. Military Installations within the Pacific Region
  • Alex Conley


    Alex Conley is from California, USA and he has lived and worked in Japan since May 2011. He is the founder of Phonics In Japan, a company dedicated to training teachers and parents how to best teach Jolly Phonics and providing the appropriate materials to support their training. He is also the Executive Director of ALEX 英会話 and currently teaches English in Tsukishima, Tokyo. He has been using Jolly Phonics and Grammar on a daily basis for the last six years because the fun and multi-sensory approach is the most efficient and effective way of teaching students to read, write and spell. He hopes to share his experiences and knowledge with students, parents and other teachers throughout Japan.




    080 6869 7771
    Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Hiroshima and other regions of Japan with sufficient notice.
  • Kayoko Yamashita

    Kayoko is a qualified primary, secondary school teacher in Japan, and has worked in schools in Japan and England. She graduated from The University of Nottingham with an MA in Special Needs Education. She has worked with children who need additional support to acquire English or with special needs in schools. As Jolly Phonics is accessible to a wide range of children, Kayoko has seen that it boosts their self-esteem, giving them the confidence to speak English. She firmly believes Jolly Phonics programme will provide a secure and inspiring foundation for children to learn English in Japan. She can give training via Skype or will travel to Japan.


    Japan and training via Skype
  • April McBride

    April-McbrideApril McBride originates from the UK, is the Director of an International Preschool in Tokyo and has lived in Japan since 2001. April specialises in teaching young learners, both native and non-native English speakers and also has years of experience supporting older children who are struggling with reading and writing. She finds the Jolly Phonics programme to be fantastic at engaging young learners and also for helping Japanese students with correct spelling and pronunciation. April works mainly with International Schools training their teachers with bespoke workshops and seminars but also enjoys running sessions for parents. As a mother of two bilingual sons she understands the difficulties and joys of developing literacy skills in bilingual learners.

    Japan and other countries in region with sufficient notice
  • Jolly Phonics featured on NHK in Japan

    (Video in Japanese 日本語)

    Jolly Phonics is becoming increasingly popular across Japan, with English lessons being taught across Elementary Schools countrywide. This short video shows Jolly Phonics Trainer Kayoko Yamashita training a group of teachers at Niigata University on 28th March 2018.

    You can view the video below, or you can read the original article on the NHK website here.

    Video courtesy of NHK.

  • Training in Japan


    Training with Alex Conley:

    Jolly Phonics Workshop with Transition in to Jolly Grammar

    Date: Sunday 20th May 2018
    Time: 10:00-17:00
    Venue: Alex英会話 Tsukishima/Kachidoki (access from Tsukishima and Kachidoki stations on the Toei Oedo Line – see
    Fee: ¥16,500 yen per teacher

    This training workshop will include:

    • The historical teaching methods of reading and writing
    • What is synthetic phonics/Jolly Phonics?
    • The basic 42 sounds and the Jolly Phonics gestures
    • The relationship between letters and sounds.
    • The 5 basic skills of Jolly Phonics
    • Activity ideas for practicing with students at school and at home
    • Transferring from reading letters, words and sentences to reading short readers
    • Moving from Jolly Grammar to Jolly Phonics
    • The first few years of Jolly Grammar

    Note: for people that have attended workshops with Alex in the past, the first half will be review, the second half will focus more on the end of the Jolly Phonics Program and moving into the first few years of Jolly Grammar.

    ** some Jolly Phonics materials will be available for sale at this workshop **

    To reserve a space or for further information, please contact Alex Conley at or message us on Facebook @JollyStudySquare. 



    Training by Kayoko Yamashita:

    Jolly Phonics 2-day Training

    Date: Friday 6th and Saturday 7th April, 2018
    Time: 9:30-17:45 & 9:15-17:45
    Venue: Tokyo

    Day 1 – The differences between English and Japanese sounds and letters, synthetic phonics, Jolly Phonics 42 letter sounds

    Day 2 – Alternative spellings, tricky words, decodable books, demo lesson, case studies, special needs

    Details for more information or contact: Visit here to book or email: 

    See the flyer here!