Every day I see thousands of young people here in Japan, near the station and near my school (many are university students). Some of them are studying English or other foreign languages with the intent to become good communicators. I think that these young people are very wise because more than at any time in the past the demand for new employees with foreign language ability is reaching a new high. Many Japanese companies now expect students to have a TOEIC score of 680 or higher at the time of entry. Foreign companies often expect scores above 800. One of my students who works for an American company says recently most of the new employees at her company have scores over 900 and most of these new hires have studied abroad. That makes me think that Japanese universities may need to start teaching some classes in English and requiring the students to communicate and submit all work in English. That would certainly create some real necessity for Japanese young people to speak and use English. This necessity to speak is what is missing in Japanese English education. That does not have to be the case.
Considering Japan’s future, if I were a young Japanese person, I would be working every free minute to become good at English and then after getting English under my belt, I would work on Chinese. Such people, who are also intelligent and knowledgeable of their fields and, of course, proficient in Japanese language will surely become the leaders in Japan’s future.
Whenever I think about this, I realize that it certainly a blessing to be able to work with so many students to help them to perfect their English skills. It gives me more incentive to find interesting materials to help them and to develop TOEIC listening videos for them to practice.
I just finished this one today. Take a look! —> TOEIC+ Lesson 38 (Hakuho)
This one’s fun too. —> TOEIC+ Lesson 36 (That Japanese Girl)
And, you should watch her video too! –> (thatjapanesegirl talks about her Japan Times Interview)