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Supervising "sound"experiments for the NHK Educational TV Program

Professor Takayuki Arai of Department of Information and Communication Sciences

Professor Takayuki Arai is a renowned researcher in the area of speech communication. His researches focus on the scientific aspect of human speech communication, including the process of producing and perceiving speech sounds. His research outcomes are widely applicable to educational, clinical, social welfare and practical engineering uses.

Currently Professor Arai is in charge of directing the "sound" experiments for the NHK Educational TV Program "Let’s Enjoy English with Orton", a children's program for learning English. He supervises the "sound" experiment segment in every episode of which "Dr. Jason," a scientist makes an appearance and invents new experimental tool to provide firsthand learning experience for the participating children on the program.

The experimental tool which Professor Arai supervised

Professor Arai directs the key part of the program which intends for the audiences, kids and their parents to become familiar with sounds of English through fun experiments. For instance, an episode featuring the "th" sound in English uses a tool placed in the participating children's mouths, where a rubber band is hooked between the upper teeth and a tip of the tongue, to let them experience how to produce the 'th' sound. The action of pronouncing the sound is the trigger of a shooting gallery created on the set where the rubber band releases an object to hit the target. Such experimental tool allows the audiences to enjoy learning English with all five senses. The program also introduces how to make simple experimental tools for the viewers to customize on their own with everyday products available at home.

"I have twins who are at the age the program is designed for. My children seem to enjoy the program as they keep repeating the English sounds they learned and try to reproduce the experimental tools introduced on the program. I hope all children nationwide are also enjoying learning English while becoming interested in the world of sound," Professor Arai commented.

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