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February 16, 2011

68% of elementary school teachers lack confidence in teaching English

Teaching-English-in-Japan-Education-Eigo-Noto" A survey of teachers conducted by Benesse has revealed that 68% percent of teachers preparing to start teaching English to fifth and sixth graders this April were not confident about doing so and 62% felt it to be a burden. According to Benesse the results indicate inadequate training and that the government's teaching materials and training were "insufficient".

The survey, conducted between July and August, covered 8,000 randomly selected public elementary schools, with a total of 2,326 teachers in charge of fifth or sixth grade classes providing valid responses.

Despite the lack of confidence, 81% of respondents said that their current classes were going well. 20% of respondents said they had received no training.

See Also:
The Nihon Keizai Shinbun (Japanese)
Eigo Noto survives budget ax
Less than 20% of Oral Communication classes held in English
Interview with Setsuko Toyama

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Not a surprise at all! Of course, a real shock would be unbridled enthusiasm for this plan, given overworked teachers with low confidence in English.

If memory serves, most high school teachers are also resisting the plan to teach English in English. With this lack of support, any changes in language education will take another decade (or two) at this rate.

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