Currently, it is widely believed that learning English is the only way to cope with globalization. This study specifies current issues of foreign language education, other than English, in secondary schools in Japan. As a result of seeking solutions for these issues, we founded the Japan Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (JACTFL).
In this article it is described how Japanese language education has been influenced by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) since its publication in 2001. There have been a number of research projects and implementation attempts, in which the ‘Common Reference Levels’ and the ‘Can-do Statements’ have been emphasized, but not the ideas of plurilingualism or action-orientedness.
It is very important for high school students to study a second foreign language in addition to English. In order to realize this, students studying at French Otsuma Nakano High School participated in a survey, where they were asked to explain the reasons for wanting to learn French.This paper reports on the results of that survey.
Currently, Russian is being taught at three high schools in Tokyo. In order to increase the motivation to learn Russian, school officials have been making efforts to provide their students with opportunities to interact with Russians of the same generation. This article describes the present situation, problems, and prospects of interactive activities between Japanese high school Russian language learners and young Russian native speakers.
In order to implement project-based learning in Japanese public high schools, projects, which can be completed in relatively short periods (about a month), may be suitable to overcome various constraints including current school calendar problems. This paper presents a short-term effective practice method, in which the learners of Chinese enhanced their linguistic capabilities, research skills, and critical thinking by creating a Garbage Sorting Guide in Chinese for local Chinese residents, who are not familiar with the city’s trash collection rules.