There are many models of bilingual programs that have specific objectives and the characteristics of the student body.  At Shonan International School, we utilize a Two Way Dual Language Approach to a second language instruction. This means that English and Japanese is the vehicle through which all content is delivered.
Our goals in Bilingual Education? 
  • Students to be socially, culturally and linguistically adaptive in a global setting
  • Students to achieve competence in the first and second language (listening, speaking, reading and writing)
  • Students can apply higher thinking skills in both Japanese and English
  • Students to acquire the same English Language Arts skills as students in English- only schools
  • To gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Japanese culture.


It's not enough to simply fill students' brains with facts. A successful education demands that their character is developed as well. That's where social and emotional learning (SEL) comes in. SEL is the process of helping students develops the skills to manage their emotions, resolve conflict nonviolently, and make responsible decisions. At Shonan International School, we weave SEL into all parts of the school culture- both in the classroom, in the playground and at home. Students learn skills such as:
  • Being able to regulate one’s emotions in challenging situations;
  • Effectively communicate one’s feelings to others
  • Modify their behavior to sustain a harmonious relationship with others.
We believe that by having these social and emotional skills students not only can optimize their learning at school but also will be able to have healthy relationships with others. 
Collaborative Family-School Relationships for Children’s SEL 
At Shonan International School, parents and teachers work together in the process of maintaining a healthy social and emotional environment. Therefore, it is crucial for parents to implement positive parenting strategies while teachers utilize similar behavioral strategies at school. Under the guidance of our social and emotional coordinator, teachers and parents take part in effective workshops to understand effective strategies that adhere to the child’s current emotional and social development.
We believe that for a child to maintain healthy personality, the child will need to master specific tasks according to his/ her developmental stages.
Parental Workshops. 
SIS provides compulsory workshops for parents. These workshops are to learn about the social and emotional developments of each child. During these workshops, we will discuss how parents can help support their child at home. 


Inquiry-Based learning is a student-directed learning that believes that education begins with the curiosity of the learner.  It is an approach to learning whereby students find and use a variety of sources of information and ideas to increase their understanding of a problem, topic, or issue. At Shonan International School, we are committed to providing learning opportunities that espouse investigation, exploration, research, pursuit, and study upon all areas of subject content.

The school culture is based on the idea that the responsibility of learning is given to the students. Therefore the role of the teacher is not to dispense knowledge and make decisions for the students. The students are expected to collaborate and cooperate with one another to construct new learning. As a 21st century skill, it is vital for students to take ownership of their learning.

Here is a visual image that describes how learning takes place in an inquiry based learning versus a conventional learning environment. 

  • Student voice and choice
  • Questions and concepts
  • Collaborative work
  • Strategic thinking
  • Authentic investigations
  • Student responsibility
  • Student as knowledge creator
  • Interaction and talk
  • Teacher as model and coach
  • Cross-disciplinary studies
  • Multiple resources
  • Multimodal learning
  • Engaging in a discipline
  • Real purpose and audience
  • Caring and taking action
  • Performance and self-assessment
  • Teacher selection and direction
  • Assigned topics and isolated facts
  • Solitary work
  • Memorization
  • As if/surrogate learning
  • Student compliance
  • Student as an information receiver
  • Quiet and listening
  • Teacher as expert and presenter
  • One subject at a time
  • Reliance on a textbook
  • Verbal sources only
  • Hearing about a discipline
  • Extrinsic motivators
  • Forgetting and moving to next unit
  • Filling in bubbles and blanks
Why Teach Inquiry?
Research shows that active learning is a powerful tool. The benefits for students is the development of abilities that are crucial for learners such as, critical thinking, teamwork and informational literacy. It encourages learners to be self-directed which is a significant skill that students will need to acquire to be successful in the 21st century. Inquiry-Based Learning can improve students´ enthusiasm and motivation for learning. 
Student Driven Activities 
Inquiry-based Learning allows students to be active roles in the learning process. Therefore they are given meaningful tasks to do the following: 


The use of imagination or original ideas to plan, create and invent something new.  


 applying their knowledge and conceptual understanding to real-world problems or situations and is able to reflect on the quality and progress of their thinking


Overcome obstacles and find a solution that best resolves the issue. This includes both acedemic and social situations!


Students developing their own values and morals about the world around them. We learn through openly accessing diverese perpectives 


Express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others. 


Posing questions through first hand experiences and looking for answers!