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ERIC Number: EJ842867
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1881-4832
Perspectives on English Education in the Japanese Public School System: The Views of Foreign Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs)
Amaki, Yuki
Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook, n3 p53-63 Dec 2008
Public school students in Japan must take English as a required subject for three years in junior high school and for three more years in senior high school. In spite of the amount of classroom time invested, and in spite of the available learning support services, the foreign Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) system included, the English proficiency level of Japanese students unfortunately continues to rank low in the world. The motivation for this study is to address the problem of low English performance in Japanese schools by soliciting the opinions of ALTs who have unique perspectives based on their experiences in both Japanese and foreign school situations. One of the issues that arises in consulting ALTs is that, in many cases, the level of oral English proficiency among staff English teachers in Japanese schools appears to be very low. This may contribute to what many ALTs consider a tendency among staff English teachers to rely excessively on Japanese when teaching English lessons, which can lead to a situation in which students as well neglect what should be an emphasis on developing speaking and listening skills in English. Speaking and listening skills are essential for Japanese students' social integration in a variety of international settings. This study examines the strengths and weaknesses of English education, and of staff English teachers in Japan, from the third-person perspectives of ALTs. The 282 ALTs who responded to this survey came from 14 different countries. They offer valuable insight as to how the English education system might be improved in Japan. In our global age, English education should be evaluated by global standards. (Contains 2 figures and 3 tables.)
Japanese Educational Research Association. UK's Building 3F, 2-29-3 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 Japan. Tel: +81-3-3818-2505; Fax: +81-3-3816-6898; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan