Corporate English Solutions


Momoyama Gakuin University

Enhancing undergraduate English skills through online learning

Momoyama Gakuin University is committed to upskilling students in English skills through immersive, impactful programmes to enhance their employability skills in a competitive job market and support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ mission to build mutual understanding between Japan and other countries.

British Council’s award winning English Online programme increased English levels, boosted motivation for learning and increased intercultural understanding.


In Japan, ‘there is a global trend in demand for talented individuals who can take an active part in the ever globalizing world with valuable skills in foreign language and intercultural understanding.’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Japan (2023). In order to upskill young people and solidify mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other countries, MOFA is encouraging young people, the leaders of tomorrow, to engage in international exchange programmes.

These programmes develop not only language and intercultural skills in an immersive environment, but also provide opportunities for students to build relationships and connections, enhancing their future employability. 

However, during and since the pandemic, reduced numbers of Japanese students have been travelling overseas to study (Legge 2023). The complexities and cost of participating in international exchange programmes mean that large numbers are no longer able or willing to participate in them. Japanese universities have been responding to this by establishing programmes to upskill undergraduates in English and intercultural skills while remaining in Japan. 


motivation boost achieved


points improvement in TOEIC listening and reading


countries in learning community

The challenge

Momoyama Gakuin University was keen to implement an online English programme that could replicate the impact and benefits of international exchanges and study abroad programmes. The course needed to demonstrate a measurable improvement in English proficiency as well as provide an immersive experience with opportunities to interact with students from other countries, all while remaining in Japan. 

As the university would give students credits and cover the majority of the course fee for those successfully completing the programme, it was crucial for the course to be delivered by a reputable organisation, have a clear curriculum and aims and be delivered by experienced, qualified teachers. To ensure maximum completion rates, the course needed to be interactive, engaging and provide opportunities for the students to take control of their learning journey and study independently. The schedule had to offer flexible timings to fit in with students’ busy schedules. 

As this was a pilot to validate the effectiveness of online programmes, robust monitoring and evaluation, regular reports and records were needed. 

The solution: English Online

British Council’s award-winning English Online programme was selected out of twelve providers.

80+ years’ experience, 144 countries

Reputed organisation with global presence and expertise in English and intercultural relations

Results-oriented goal achievement

  • Pre-test using TOEIC listening and reading tests with a combined average score of 498
  • Matching of students at different levels of proficiency with levels from beginner to advanced (CEFR A1 to C1)
  • Online learning programme, using a flipped classroom approach with on demand self-study and live online classes with for quick results
  • Range of skills and contexts for increased transfer of learning 
  • British Council certificate and badge

Immersive, engaging, flexible programme

  • Diverse, international student environment, courses open to 144 countries across 6 continents 
  • Interactive, communicative methodology with practical practice activities 
  • Individual learning paths for students to manage their learning journeys
  • Qualified, experienced teachers
  • Live classes accessible at flexible times throughout the day, seven days a week with self-access learning available 24/7

Robust system and logistics

  • Centralised platform managing enrolment and learning for easy access to data
  • Real-time reporting and client dashboards to support the university in awarding credits and scholarships
  • Robust system to ensure continuity of learning 

The impact

The programme significantly improved participants’ English levels, with an average increase of over 100 points on TOEIC reading and listening tests, showcasing their remarkable progress (Legge, 2023). Interacting with participants from over 30 countries facilitated an exchange of cultures and customs and promoted connections similar to those in study abroad experiences. Participants noted the programme's distinctiveness from regular university English classes, one aspect being their improved use of everyday English. The programme boosted students' motivation, scoring of 4/5, and bolstered their confidence in using English.

Improved language and intercultural skills, along with strengthened connections, enhanced students' employability and increased their prospects in a competitive job market.

Thomas Legge's viewpoint, representing Momoyama Gakuin University

‘Students felt quite a strong sense of improvement in both their confidence and motivation by the end of the course.’

‘Two aspects of the course were particularly appreciated…the opportunity to talk to students from different countries and…an opportunity to improve speaking, communication and pronunciation.’


‘...students reported being able to learn about different cultures or customs as part of the course.’

‘The English Online programme is aligned to the British Council Curriculum Framework. All of its teachers are qualified with internationally recognized qualifications.’

‘Access is provided to a dashboard, enabling the institution to monitor its students…facilitating the provision of university credit or other recognition.’


LEGGE, T. (2023). Online Study Abroad–A Case Study of Japanese University Students’ Experiences of Studying English Online. 人間文化研究, (19), 97-132.

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