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June 04, 2004

88% of Primary Schools Taught English in 2003

Yesterday's Daily Yomiuri reported on an Education, Science and Technology Ministry survey which found that 88.3% of public primary schools had classroom English-language activities in academic 2003. The finding reflects schools' responses to a growing enthusiasm among parents for encouraging their children to learn English. The survey of the performance of all of Japan's public primary schools - about 23,000 in all - found students were exposed to more English during class time than was planned at the start of the year. Sixth-year students, for example, were scheduled to spend 54.1% of the time allotted to integrated study periods on English, but actually spent 70.6% of the time engaged in English-language activities. Including extracurricular and special activity time, the figure rises to 83.2%.

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