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April 07, 2004

46% of Universities Teach Classes in Foreign Languages

While almost every university in Japan has English classes, just under half actually teach some classes in foreign languages, mainly English, according to an education ministry survey. Of the 687 four-year schools polled in 2002, 318 (46%) taught some classes in a foreign language, up from 246 (38%) in 2001. Of the 318, 210 were private universities, 79 national and 29 public. Examples of classes taught in English included economics-related subjects at Otaru Commercial College in Hokkaido and 20% of classes in the theological studies department at Tokyo Christian University. 72 institutions set achievement standards in English ability for their students. 265 had classes focused on preparation for TOEIC, TOEFL, Eiken and other standardized English tests (up 32% from 201 in 2002). The number of schools with native English-speaking teachers was up slightly at 588, while there was no change in the number using language labs or other multimedia. Those with classes divided by ability have become more common, increasing to 56% of all universities.
Ministry Report (Japanese)

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