Junior high schools in Kyoto, Japan recently reported a sharp improvement in English language skills thanks to the Nintendo DS. The Yawata Municipal Board of Education distributed DS systems with copies of Chuugaku Eitango Target 1800 DS
, an English training program
, to English classes across the district's schools. Over the course of five months, students' vocabulary increased between 300 and 400 words, bumping them up to the equivalent of level 3 in the Eiken Test in Practical English Proficiency held by only 30% of junior high school students in Japan.
Nintendo has long touted the non-gaming possibilities
of the touch screen-enabled system. It seems Japan is the only region to benefit from these edutainment programs
, however. Would language training software fly in Europe or the States? How about DS yoga lessons
and gardening tips?