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July 08, 2004

Can a Continuous English Curriculum be Realized?

Today's Japan Times reports on efforts to create an integrated English curriculum that will take students from elementary school right through university. The Central Council for Education, which advises the education ministry, is to decide by next March on whether English should be officially included in the curriculum for younger students. Already, according to the ministry, 88% of the country's 22,526 public elementary schools had English activities as of fiscal 2003. The JT article looks at the trials being carried out at a school in Chiba prefecture which is a state-designated research and development school. Results achieved by this and other pilot schools are being closely watched by both the government and academics. Some experts predict a difficult time ahead if an continuous curriculum for all grades is decided upon, saying that efforts over the last forty years have failed to produce a seamless curriculum between junior and senior high school.
Lack of continuity in English teaching hit

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