Posts Tagged language learning

Why English Is Tough in Japan | A New Japan

An interesting article on English education in Japan over at The Diplomat. Referring to the Japanese government’s making English classes compulsory in 5th and 6th grade (that’s the last two years of primary school for you non-U.S. readers) onwards, law-school graduate Hiroki Ogawa writes,

The reality is that raw English ability alone is unlikely to produce any significant change, even assuming that Japanese students go on to have basic conversational skills in English which is often not the case anyway. The problem for many Japanese doesnt necessarily stem from the English lessons themselves, nor the lack of opportunities to use English in Japan though this does exacerbate the situation. The big problem is often the significant cultural barriers.

I’m going to comment on a few points of this article, as it’s well worth reading and makes an important point, but needs amplifying. Ogawa’s point is that Japanese don’t learn to discuss or argue in English class, and that this severely cramps their English communicative ability, and that (inevitably these days) the government should do something about it!

I think he’s right. Partly. But the situation is more difficult than he implies, and I don’t think the solutioncan be implemented by governmental regulation or initiatives. Read the rest of this entry »


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JALT Presentation on the Immediate Method

A friend and I are giving a presentation this Sunday (July 19) about an EFL approach called The Immediate Method, developed in Japan by foreign-language instructors. Here are some of the documents I will use in my presentation:

  1. bperry1 (pdf)
  2. bperry2 (pdf)
  3. azraextra (pdf)

Here’s the blurb from the JALT events website:

The Immediate Method

Date and Time:

Sunday, 19 July 2009 – 2:00pm5:00pm

Speaker:

Marc Sheffner and Konrad Bayer

SUMMARY

The 2 presenters will introduce the Immediate Method, developed in Japan by French teachers several years ago (see their website for more details ) They will show how they use it in their university language classes (although the method is also used in J and SHS. What is “immediate” about this method? Simply, the instructor drills the class in a small number of grammar and lexical items that are grouped around a central theme, and, after allowing some time for independent practice, the instructor then “tests” students individually or in small groups by requiring them to “immediately” use what they have learned in conversation.The developers of this method have created textbooks to be used with it, but it is possible to use this method with other textbooks or no textbook. The presenters will describe how they use this method both with and without the official textbook.
Location: Tezukayama Gakuenmae Campus (Bldg #16)
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: Free

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I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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