My Impression on “Why Can’t Japanese People Speak English?”

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Again this is an article from Gaijin Pot.

Why Can’t Japanese People Speak English?
Why is it that Japanese students can't communicate in English? It is the Japanese education system? It is cultural? Or a...

The subtitle is following: Despite many years of study, many Japanese students struggle with basic communication in English.  I do not read many articles about English education in Japan written in English but I saw more negative ones than positives so far.  I would love to find positive articles.  This article indicates “things mom say”, and I think it is interesting to talk about “many years of study” does not mean true, concerning how many hours Japanese people study English at school.

The Number of English Classes at School in Japan

This article was written in 2014 and according to a survey, Japanese people are supposed to take English classes for 736.4 school-hours in total by the time they graduate from a four-year university. That may sound a lot but one day is 24 hours, and so it can be said that they are exposed English only for a month.  Plus, not all people go to universities and it means they have about three weeks to study English.  I do not think a man can speak English for a month living in an English-speaking country, so in the point it is not accurate criticism saying Japanese people study English for many years.  It is just long years but not enough.

Use English in English Classes

As I mentioned above, the number of English classes are not sufficient to speak the language fluently.  Still, there is room for JTEs to use more English and encourage students to speak in English in classes.  Actually, new Course of Study shows that English should be taught in English in principle.  It has been like this in high schools but under new Course of Study, junior high schools have to follow this statement.  It will be tough I guess but time to challenge.






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