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September 08, 2005

Letting Students Loose on Composition

Tuesday's Daily Yomiuri included an article on a high school English writing class. The private Chiben Gakuen Wakayama High School has an integrated six-year secondary curriculum, and students have to reach an academic level one year ahead of the standard. The idea behind this is to give them time to focus on preparing for university entrance examinations. English writing classes are held three times a week, with a British ALT taking part once a week. Students practice free composition, which has become a more common part of exams, as well as the more traditional translation from Japanese. the article mentions many of the mistakes most commonly found in English writing by Japanese students, such as the lack of pronouns, insufficient understanding of collocation, and "word for word" translation with an over-reliance on dictionaries.
The power, peril of free writing (link will expire)
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