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January 08, 2014

Japan | Education

Japan: English fluency hopes rest on an education overhaul

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A look at the problems facing Japan as it aims to improve the nation's English language skills in advance of the 2020 Olympics.

Ringing in 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a dream: One nation that will actively re-engage with the global marketplace.

To realize this dream by 2020, it’s commonly accepted that the Japanese need to improve their English. So, what’s the problem? Unfortunately there are a few.

Though English has been a part of the official national syllabus since 1947 and many subsequent education policies have addressed curriculum reform — most recently the 2008 “Revisions of the Courses of Study for the Elementary and Secondary Schools” — there is widespread concern that few Japanese can actually speak fluent English.

Read the full article from The Japan Times.

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