I have been researching how well the English education system has progressed in Japan compared to before. I would like to ask everybody who is reading my Soap Box to do me a favor. I have introduced my article which appeared in the “KOE RAN” of the Asahi Simbun in 1984. I would be pleased if you would send me your comments about the current situation and what improvements have been made. Thank you in advance. Please keep in mind that this article was written 25 years ago and although I am aware that some improvements have been made, I believe that more improvements are still sorely lacking.
(The Asahi Simbun June 29th, 1984)
I am an American who has been living in Japan for 6 years. I have been thinking about how the content, the focus and methods of the English education system in Japan are influenced by how to succeed in the entrance examinations. I propose that listening and speaking tests be included In the English section of entrance examinations of high schools and universities.
My reason for making this proposal is to improve the real situation in the English education system in Japan which does not recognize the importance of listening and speaking in the English education curriculum, and as this ability is not required for the entrance examinations Japanese schools do not emphasize this ability. Over time, although the need for more people to acquire English speaking ability is increasing year after year, the current situation in English education in Japanese schools has led to only a small portion of the people acquiring those abilities.
If this improvement proposal were implemented in the entrance examinations of high schools and universities English, I think this problem would gradually be solved. In addition, I believe such an improved English education system is quite useful for the Japan’s future progress toward internationalization..,(Al. S. Bartle)
＜To people who have a comment related to this article＞
Please send it to the address below. I would be grateful for your support.
Instructor, Okamoto School
Smith’s School of English
Higashinadaku, Kobe, 658-0003