We just know how to use English for reading. Cultural? Teacher training in Japan started with the establishment of normal schools (schools for teacher training) in 1872. It takes at best two years of concentrated study to have language skills of a pre defined intermediate level or if you want to go real slow beginner level. Tell me , what use Japan will have with that ? One kid asked me a question that warranted a yes-no answer, I believe it was simple as, "Do you speak Japanese?" i guess they never said the truth to you. I think there has been or will be a policy change. As new words keep cropping up almost daily, even the Japanese have problems keeping up. Make English (or maths, or history, or chemistry, or literature) as exciting to a kid as a Monopoly board or a video game, and kids will study without being nagged or tested. Looking at it from the Japanese students' point of view, that's 2,000 individual sounds that they've never heard before in their lives and never had to make with their mouths. Too many students in an English conversation class. By postponing the private-sector English tests till 2024, the education ministry only secured fairness by making every student less skillful in English communication, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, or whether they live in the city or in rural regions. Then there are the legions of Japanese English teachers who do not know English and teach only in Japanese. I always had to find out the way out by myself. I've been referring to verbal communication, but I didn't expressly state that. the present perfect, but because the present perfect is 'too difficult', the present perfect verbs are all changed to the simple past, producing a passage that is not natural English; and that is what the student study. I'm not referring to a simple case of accent. Should be able to come up with more examples, but my brain is fried from waking early to watch collegiate football. Even today, in schools across England, you'll hear horrible pronunciation that would have a Monsieur or Madame covering their ears in pain, then there's archaic language like saying bicyclette for velo. ". Education in Japan is compulsory at the elementary and lower secondary levels. Japanese English teachers from what I've seen have the career arc (sometimes) but are stuck in the same dead-end. If one is going to write about English, it would be nice not to have a grammar error in a subhead. This not only involves English, I have witnessed many instances in Japan involving sports, music, and other pursuits where a teacher's/coach's fury toward mistakes demotivates students/athletes, and causes them to visibly stiffen up and stop taking risks knowing that extra effort will result in a greater likelihood of more mistakes (and thus @cleo's example where students are more highly rewarded for the answer "thank you" rather than the arguably somewhat more communicative and ambitious "thank you verry mach."). Japan will not recover economically until companies and salarymen learn to take chances, too. 50% of kids' TV shows should be in English with English subtitles. language in a very simple way: by understanding what we hear and what we read. I think most American's couldn't care less whether Japanese people can speak English or not. So if, in a free composition test, in response to a cue like, 'Let me give you a hand' the student writes, 'Thank you', he gets full marks; if he writes 'Thank you verry mach' he loses two marks for his mistakes. I have seen/heard them to do and be understood, eventually. Well, guess what? Many Japanese equate learning English just with communicating with native speakers, or doing business in the US or UK. I'm sure it would have a positive effect. This paper presents an overview of basic English language education in the Chinese education system. There is a LOT of Eigo education, but little English. Just look at companies like Sony and Panasonic. IT education is a subject in school so it's not as if they have zero technology education. And that's why it will never be fixed. For hardcopy review. ECC. Because it's fun/interesting? c/ lack of drive. When students are forced to learn a subject without understanding the reasons why, they are bound to fail. As for accent, since there is no "standard" English accent, that is hardly the issue. And hello -- Olympics anyone? I had to learn how to pronounce ryu, ryo, tsu and other sounds that aren't in my native language when learning Japanese, so why not teach English using the correct sounds? There is no point in actually learning the language if all that is required is being able to pick the correct answer on a multiple choice test. For many people in Japan, both in their work and personal lives, April is often seen as a time of new beginnings, and of transition. This would become Japan's version of English that develops it's own flavour and grammatical patterns. English is a business in Japan, not a language, so no real change to improve the overall English level will happen unless the same people are making money from the change. The answer to this particular problem would be to get qualified English teachers and make them lead classes, with a Japanese assistant teacher to put students' minds at ease, if necessary. When the student pronounces the sound, the teacher will praise him half of the time, while correct him half of the time, making the student totally puzzled. The fact that spelling and grammar mistakes are not tolerable in schools is insane. I had breakfast of eggs and SAUSEGI, with some ORANJI JUSU and KO-HI. How many are taught to pass their tests?'. She always says, japanese people just would not say that. Most of the Japanese participants are highly educated researchers or experts in international affairs. So I think the school system should be teaching not just communication, but communication strategies - that is if they aren't already. But it's much deeper than that. The system is more than broken and as long as stubbornly prideful Japanese continue to insist on moving forward with this same system, when put in a room with a Chinese and Korean person, the Japanese will look like someone who suffered brain damage when someone asks them, "How are you? Indeed, Japanese have tended to score comparatively poorly on international tests of English. Because it's a language only spoken in one country, by the people in that country, so it makes more sense for them to study other languages that are more widely used. Dr. Warren: … The larnyx is constructed the same. Now (March 2019) it seems that education system doesn’t fully respond to the socio-economic challenges of the country. I could have had POTATO CHIPSU, but I passed, they tend to leave stains on my NEKUTAI. The problem is not that JTEs are bad or foreign teachers are bad or that the Japanese school system is bad. I really think they would spend their time better in some other pursuit that does appeal to them. CHANGE the speaking and listening structure! Penguin Books does have such a dual-language book, "Short Stories in Japanese: New Penguin Parallel Text". As a mostly homogenous country, Japan seems to be torn between remaining loyal to tradition and keeping up with globalization. It is not impossible, but it gives students less than 30 seconds apiece to engage new skills. Skype is just slightly better, requiring participants on both sides of the Pacific Ocean to immerse in the environment. The answer is....yes. "American think Japanese people should learn English just to facilitate them." One is in charge of mopping, another in charge of the periscope, another in charge of the barely existent budget. Fax: +81 3 5561 7756 So it could be argued that at the level of reading comprehension at least, English is become less useful. It’s less of a time to state what kids should or … It would be better to try an immersion class or self-study in the summer, when there's no regular season workload to deal with. Japan has failed to introduce this kind of English education for the past century. Oct 30, 2009 ★★★ Jane Blyth Warren Visiting Researcher, Doshisha University, 2008-2009 . Instead of making victimized excuses as "Why we can't learn English" why aren't the bureaucrats and pols in Tokyo making changes? @ everyone who has taken the time to write experiences and observations. "If you look at the modern Japanese people, they are well aware that they are constantly being criticized all thier lives since childhood by other nationalities. Why not just start with compulsory Kindergarden English lessons and teach the kids English phoncis. This is common not only in Japan but in many other countries too! English language education has been accorded much importance in the People’s Republic of China in the last quarter century. Many of the words were also imported from China as well. And so, Japanese Teachers of English (JTEs) focus on the grammar and vocabulary that will be on the test. Translate Problems. And in my opinion that's where the problem is. It is quite easy really, especially Japanese with its regularity, structured lexicon, lack of gutturals, plosives and fricatives and ALTs should be capable and allowed to demonstrate their bilingualism. Because in every EFL job I've ever worked here, the foreign teacher's job hasn't been a rung on a ladder leading to more responsibilities but a dead-end. The program only recognized Spanish and French as acceptable "foreign languages". David, I misunderstood you, sorry. The English language is full of an amazing amount of slang and commonly incomplete sentences that any speaker would be able to comprehend (I can understand "that, get, me" as well as I understand "Get that for me"). You need group work, collaboration, information gap activities, problem solving, concept based exercises - things that challenge kids. The truth is that, more often than not, if the English is difficult to read, it is simply poorly written. That is, the actual culture of the language and the culture of the education system in Japan. The biggest motivation to study for teenagers all of the world is still the short-term goal i.e. I tried to explain there is a difference in the R and L IE London road, and red is a loverly colour, they repeated (in frustration) to pronounce them, as they told me they never practice English this way before and were amazed ...all good fun. When a teacher asks their ALT for further information about something they're teaching (sometimes they do, often times you're a statue), they really don't care about what you have to tell them. That is why speaking should be included in tests. Why is English important? Other schools are pure torture and a philosophical experience. Tests, textbooks, translation...these elements may be symptoms but they aren't the disease. One Japanese netizen suggests that TV dramas should be utilized to hear real English, while seeing the facial expressions and mouth movements all together in one package. Until auto-translators for all languages are perfected English will probably continue to be the language of international business. Most of them can't tell the difference between Brit and Ame English. So often the conversation ends up as an interrogation from my end, without the verbal ping-pong that is necessary to make a conversation interesting. Meme maintenant mais, je ne suis plus peur. There is always a sort of angst and loathing that burns deep about having to learn or speak English. I'm seeing some of the common "excuses" being raised on here, so I thought I might contribute on those: Yes, it's unfortunate that English "belongs" to the Anglo-American western dominant hegemony. when it comes to learning a second language, you need to speak it to remember it, and you need to practice it a lot to get better. You do not understand the difficulties of learning a second language. I could write a book on this, I probably should, but for now I will close with a couple last remarks... Japanese Teachers of English (JTEs) are usually taught in university in the same fashion as they are in grade-school... that is to say that they are also taught by another JTE who quite often poorly uses ALTs and struggles with the clear and effective use of contemporary English.
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