A Story of the Last Three Years 2020-2023
2020 was a significant year for everyone. That year, the world faced the global impact of an infectious disease. However, for IIEEC, it was also an incredibly sad year. In September 2020, we lost Ritsuko Nakada, the creator of the MAT Method® and my beloved mother.
In the same year, our “IIEEC-OUP Teacher Training Certificate Program”, highly rated by many English teachers over 15 years and co-hosted with Oxford University Press, had to cancel its spring session due to the pandemic. Its autumn session was conducted using previously recorded videos that had been edited. The autumn session was unexpectedly held in the midst of the grief following Nakata’s passing. Despite being the first online event in 15 years, it was well received. Most participants were satisfied, highlighting the great advantages of the online format. However, without a clear vision to resume in-person sessions in 2021 and beyond, we had to temporarily suspend the program.
It took three long years to reintroduce the MAT Method® to the world. With the method’s creator no longer with us, the role of accurately conveying this precious teaching approach came with immense responsibility and pressure. But even in the midst of the grief and anxiety, my enthusiasm grew each time I went through the vast amount of materials left behind, making me more eager to share the method with many others.
However, I often questioned myself. Maybe being a native English speaker, like my mother, a bright and cheerful personality was crucial for this method? Perhaps if one wasn’t the creator, they couldn’t teach it well? With these doubts, I lost my confidence.
During those anxious days, I had the opportunity to teach English online to elementary school students, using the MAT Method®. This experience made me realize how straightforward and core this method is for English acquisition in an EFL environment. Even though I am not a native English speaker, and have a personality quite different from my mother’s, I could teach English systematically and effectively. Moreover, I started to understand the core philosophy of English education that my mother held deeply in the MAT Method®.
Still, I didn’t have the courage to move IIEEC forward.
As time went by, we started receiving inquiries from passionate people wanting to learn the MAT METHOD®. Without any advertising on our part, they reached out. So, I decided to offer the video-based program from 2020. Pa watched the videos repeatedly over three months, applied their learnings in immediate lessons, and submitted reports.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Many reported immediate improvements and expressing their happiness at being able to see Nakata herself in the videos. The lectures from the trainers were also highly appreciated. I was deeply encouraged to see the MAT Method® were accurately conveyed through these videos, carrying on my mother’s passion for English education.
While we fully respect the method and program my mother devoted her life to, we reviewed and added supplementary materials for a deeper understanding. We confirmed that the videos were appreciated by participants in their original form, but we added supplementary videos to make understanding clearer.
The MAT Method® aims for Japanese children to develop the ability to communicate freely through English within limited timeframes.
If this program helps you improve your daily lessons, produce results, and teach with confidence, it brings us tremendous joy.
We’d also like to express our deepest gratitude to the many English teachers who have learned and applied the MAT Method® in their lessons for many years.