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ERIC Number: ED408563
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Dec
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
A Japanese Perspective on Literacy and Biliteracy: A National Paper of Japan.
Tamaoka, Katsuo
This paper discusses literacy, language education, language achievement, and bilingual education policies and practices in Japan. The paper first describes the Japanese writing system (consisting of the "kana" and "kanji" scripts) and notes that students typically study English from grade 7 to the first 2 years of college. The paper then addresses the historical background and current practice of language. The paper next notes the lack of an official definition for "literacy"; that various studies have come up with different "illiteracy" rates for Japan; and that Japanese children tend to score better on mathematics tests than students from other countries, but worse on vocabulary and reading comprehension. The paper then addresses language and education, noting that girls are better than boys in kana acquisition, the area in which the children grow up did not make any difference; and that kanji characters are learned easily and can be used to make compound words. The last section (1) notes that the percentage of students who did not read any books steadily increased while the acquisition rate of kanji characters remains high; (2) once students achieve a reasonably fast speed in word coding, its efficiency no longer distinguishes their overall language ability; (3) research suggests that a contextual approach to language teaching should receive more emphasis, especially for those with low language proficiency; and (4) bilingual education has not received much attention in Japan, which is regarded as a monolingual nation. Contains 44 references. (RS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan