About Yamatalk English

Yamatalk English was founded in 2013 with an aim to teach English to young children in Highashiyamato City Tokyo in a fun and effective way. Since then we have expanded to teach students and classes all over the wider Tokyo area, as well as offering training for both teachers and parents all over Japan.

David Watkins (teacher & trainer)

David came to Japan in 2001 and since then has amassed almost 20 years teaching experience, in both private and public school settings. Since founding Yamatalk English in 2013 he has been almost exclusively using Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar in his classes, focusing on teaching young Japanese learners (3-10 years old) how to read and write in English.  

What is Jolly Phonics?

Jolly Phonics is a systematic method for teaching children how to read and write using synthetic phonics.  
Synthetic phonics teaches the sounds that letters make (and how they combine to form words), instead of the letter names from the alphabet, because we use the letter sounds, not the names, to read and write in English.  
Jolly Phonics is a fun, multi-sensory approach to learning, featuring characters, stories, actions, and songs.   

Online Training

Yamatalk English usually offers both regular training sessions at our school here in Higashiyamato, as well as on-site training at your school or space.
However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in Tokyo (and across the globe) we are currently only offering online training. 

Who is the training for and what does it cover?

Our online Jolly Phonics Training 1 is for anyone, especially teachers and parents, looking to learn more about the early stages of the Jolly Phonics Program. We will cover the background to the Jolly Phonics method, the 5 skills taught in Jolly Phonics, the 42 letter sounds, lesson planning, lesson activities, as well as a look at the comprehensive range of learning materials available.

The training is split into three 1.5 hour sessions.


We hope that attendees of our training will leave with a good understanding and foundation to start to teach their own Jolly Phonics classes with confidence.