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October 31, 2002

Aiming High in Okinawa

Okinawa's Prefectural Board of Education has decreed that from 2003, all English teachers at its junior and senior high schools have five years to pass the "pre-first" level (jun-ikkyu) of the Eiken English test. The board plans to run preparatory courses to hep teachers achieve this aim. Jun-ikkyu is considered the level achieved by a university English major half-way through a BA course. Ikkyu indicates the ability to discuss social issues fluently. As of July 2000, out of a total of 460 high school teachers, 160 had passed the jun-ikkyu and only eight had passed the first level (ikkyu).

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