Elementary School English (MEXT announcement)

Some big news from MEXT this week (courtesy of Kensaku Yoshida on Facebook)

ES English from 2020

Basically, from 2020 (estimated), 5-6 grade students will have English as a subject three times a week with specialist teachers. 3-4 grade students will have English activities once or twice a week.

The devil is in the details (see my recommendations here) but this looks like a step in the right direction!

So they have already re-written the teacher-training curricula & trained the teacher-trainers…(estimated)…

Ha, ha, Jim. Ha ha.

A step in the right direction, a very small tentative step. I fear it’s all for nothing as long as the emphasis is on testing for ability based on solely on grammar and vocabulary. I would prefer that the testing was abolished in English until after the young minds have entered HS thus giving them a fair crack at actually focusing on communicative English. Won’t happen I think and as long as teachers and schools are assessed on Exam results communication is always going to be poor second to rote memorisation.
Thanks for the post Ben.

Thanks Simon

I would love to see English removed from the entrance tests completely, except for English majors and special high school courses. That would remove the excuse that we need all this vocab/grammar drilling…

I can dream, right?

By 2020? With “specialist teachers”? Too late for me! And about frakking time but it should be done NOW!

I agree with you, I’m cautiously optimistic.

Hi Steve

I think the most significant thing is that MEXT has admitted that specialized teachers will be needed. I just hope they manage to find/train them now 😉


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