My Impression on “Why Can’t Japanese Teachers of English… Speak English?”

mt fuji English
Photo by Tomáš Malík on

I am going to take TOEIC test on this weekend and I spend more time to brush up my English.  I found GaijinPot Blog today and it was many articles about English education in Japan.  I wrote my impression on “Why Can’t Japanese Teachers of English… Speak English?”

Why Can't Japanese Teachers of English... Speak English? - GaijinPot
Many Japanese English instructors lack an ability to speak the language they are hoping to teach their students. What mi...

1. Too Busy teachers

The author mentioned the reason JTEs do not speak English is that they are too busy.  I personally want to agree with him.  In my school, I have never seen English teachers studying English for their own at school.  All of them, maybe including me, work like a horse there.  Most of JTEs want to improve their English but they do not have enough time.  Some teachers say that they studied English at university and they had better English skill when they graduated there.  Being teachers at public schools is not just to teach English in Japan.  Club activities, documents, classroom management, etc.  Thus, teachers have to make time at home if they want to brush up their English.

2. Age

I do not think age influences JTEs English ability in general, but it might be said that younger JTEs are more likely to have experienced studying abroad.  Studying abroad encourage people to improve their foreign language skills and no wonder if people who studied abroad have higher foreign language proficiency.  Actually, if that is true, more English teachers will speak English in the future and it is a good perspective.    

3. Little ongoing training

Yes. I have never had trainings provided BOE to maintain English proficiency since I became a teacher.  Though we have few trainings to learn language teaching methodology in English in a year, it is not to improve teachers’ English skills.  I wish I had opportunities to have seminars like teachers in Hong Kong have.  Keeping/Improving English proficiency relies on teachers’ efforts in Japan.

4. Getting Time off is Difficult

Yes.  I would love to know working styles of teachers in other countries, but I can say it is not so easy for public school teachers to have certain amount of time off in Japan.  I have been to LA and Russia since I got to a teacher but both of the trips were less than for a week.  If we decided to go to those places, it takes more than 20 hours only for transport.  Also, I do not think it is possible to “learn” something in that short term. 

The author, Liam Carrigan, said he has worked at public schools in Japan and his viewpoints are very accurate, I think.  In conclusion, teachers are too busy and do not have time enough to maintain their English skills.








はい。私は教師になって以来、英語能力を維持するためにBOEを提供するトレーニングを受けたことがありません。 1年間に英語での語学教育方法を学ぶためのトレーニングは少しありますが、それは教師の英語スキルを向上させることではありません。香港の先生のようなセミナーがあったらいいのにと思います。英語力の維持・向上は、日本での教師の努力にかかっています。





Copied title and URL