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February 02, 2005

Looking at the Problems Facing Primary School English

Yesterday's Daily Yomiuri ran an article on the topic of English education in Japan's elementary schools, roughly 90% of which now have the subject in their curriculum. It looked at a school in Osaka prefecture that was one of the earliest pilot schools designated by the education ministry in 1996. Despite the school having been through almost a decade of early English education, the benefits are not entirely clear and the transition to neighboring middle schools is still not smooth. There is also the issue of requiring homeroom teachers to handle English classes, in spite of the fact that many have had little or no training. Comparisons are made with Taiwan and South Korea, which initiated training programs for teachers before making English compulsory at the primary school level.
Primary school English on shaky ground (link will expire)

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