EF-University of Tokyo Research Program

Novembro De 2015

How does the brain process language? How does the brain function when using a second language compared to a first language? What is different about studying a language abroad in terms of brain activation? These questions are to be explored in a pioneering research collaboration between EF Education First (EF) and The University of Tokyo’s Dr Kuniyoshi Sakai of the Department of Basic Science. Together they have launched a joint research project dedicated to exploring the impact on the brain of educational experiences abroad on language comprehension and production, as observed among language learners.

“Language learning is increasingly essential to participating in the global community,” said Dr Christopher McCormick, EF’s Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Dr Kuniyoshi Sakai and the University of Tokyo to advance science and our understanding of second language acquisition to help improve education for all.”

Initial research will investigate brain anatomy and function during second language comprehension and production tasks using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. By observing student populations who have studied at home and abroad, researchers can investigate the role of experience as observed in brain function during second language use.

“Language is one of several uniquely human abilities, biologically endowed by nature through the brain,” said Dr Kuniyoshi Sakai, Professor of The University of Tokyo (mind.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp). “We feel very happy to collaborate with EF to explore brain mechanisms that underlie our lifelong developments and experiences in language and arts.”

About EF Education First

Established in 1965 with the mission of opening the world through education, EF Education First is the world’s leading international education company (www.ef.com). With a network of 500 schools and offices worldwide and the largest online English school (www.englishtown.com), EF specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degrees, and cultural exchange programs. EF is currently the Official Language Training Services Supplier of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics and has recently been appointed as Official Education Sponsor of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. EF publishes the groundbreaking English Proficiency Index (www.ef.com/epi), which measures the English ability of adults in different countries, as well as the EF Standard English Test (www.efset.org), the world’s first free standardized online English test.

About The University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo (www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/index.html) was established in 1877 as the first national university in Japan. As a leading research university, The University offers courses in essentially all academic disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels and conducts research across the full spectrum of academic activity. The University aims to provide its students with a rich and varied academic environment that ensures opportunities for both intellectual development and the acquisition of professional knowledge and skills.