Mio has a lifelong interest in global issues and language. She teaches English in an isolated rural community in Japan. By overturning traditional teaching methods she has overcome her students’ resistance to learning English, which was based on their views that they would have no use for it.
Now Mio uses Skype to bring English to real life, connecting her students to communities in more than 25 countries around the world. Her students enjoy communicating in English and getting authentic knowledge and local opinions about global issues and culture. They can see the benefits of speaking English. Many of her students have gone on to higher education, including the most competitive universities.
Amongst the awards she has received for her innovative teaching methods is the President Award from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the best-known international organisation in Japan. Mio now works with a language school in Cambodia, helping some of the world’s poorest children to learn a second language, improving their communications skills and broadening their options for work. She regularly speaks to educators across Asia about using technology to teach language and communications.