Orange Coast Gakuen’s academic and excellence recognitions.

America's Languages For All Learners

We have been recognized as one of the top community school or program by America’s Language For All Learners.

America’s Languages For All Learners

“Orange Coast Gakuen (OCG) has adopted a curriculum that is content-based and emphasizes project-based learning. This curriculum engages our students’ interests more effectively than more traditional language-based approaches to teaching Japanese. The curriculum is highly interactive and emphasizes active learning that weighs and values students’ hands-on experience with understanding content and language. As all of our students have an interest in Japanese culture, the school organizes many cultural events that are incorporated into the curriculum and become a good vehicle to teach language as well as intercultural competence.

Because the educational needs of heritage language learners differ so much from those with a more limited language background, we have divided our classes along two separate tracks: JHL, or Japanese as a Heritage Language, and JFL, or Japanese as a Foreign Language. All of our classes are multi-level, with students learning with the same teacher for two years. Teachers are trained on how to differentiate their instruction in order to teach their multi-level classes successfully.

We have been fortunate that the experts who designed our curriculum have remained with the school and continue to help train our teachers and improve the curriculum. The advisors observe classes weekly and provide periodic training sessions on current best practices. They have helped all of the teachers and administrators remain committed to this approach to teaching. Their guidance has also helped us to successfully migrate to an online environment for the current school year.

The school’s governance structure emphasizes parent involvement. Our Parents Association organizes many elaborate cultural activities, which the teachers have incorporated into the curriculum. Our Board includes formal representatives of the teachers and the parents. We have found that when all groups have some input on major decisions it is easier to form consensus and then to implement policy more effectively.”