Japan’s educational policy is undergoing a major change. The following three principles are mentioned as essential in the attainment of academic proficiency: 1. knowledge and skills, 2. thinking, decision-making and the ability to express oneself, and 3. the enhancement of the will to learn and develop human character. Up until now, the emphasis in education has been on the acquisition of knowledge and skills, with the result that students at all levels acquired knowledge and skills without acquiring the ability to integrate them for higher cognitive and social purposes. The shift in emphasis to the acquisition of the ability to integrate the knowledge and skills to think, make decisions and to express one’s ideas and opinions, has brought about a change in the attainment of Can-do criteria as a major goal in the learning of foreign languages from elementary school to high school. Along with the introduction of four skills tests to replace the present university entrance examinations, the shift is hoped to become a major impetus in raising the foreign language proficiency level as well as the confidence level of the Japanese students in communicating in foreign languages. Although these changes are mentioned primarily in reference to the teaching of English, the same principles and goals will also be expected in the teaching of other foreign languages as well.
The Analysis of the Practice of Classes and Interviews Identities of teachers who create a link between Japanese and Korean students: an analysis of classes and interviews of teachers of neighboring languages
The purpose of this article is to examine the identities of a Korean teacher who teaches Japanese at a South Korean high school and a Japanese teacher who teaches Korean at a Japanese high school. In this research I treated the identities of teachers as their own positioning in a changing process and examined them from both the inside and the outside of their standpoints. The results showed that both teachers had a major educational objective and their educational orientation emerged from the transformative process of their own identity.
This paper reports on the practice of plurilingual education as a means of overcoming the risks of reinforcing linguistic hegemony in foreign language education at a university in Japan. It describes practices in an intermediate French class employing EOLE (Education et ouverture aux langues à l'école) during one semester. Data from teacher notes and learning records of students show students' deeper interests in languages, introspection on the relationship between language and identity, and on the formation of language awareness through previously experienced language curriculum.
This paper aims to show how Japanese learners perceive some pragmatic aspects of French and to emphasize the need to address pragmatics more in the context of teaching French in Japan. The results of the interviews with 11 students show that their perception of speech acts such as refusal can be distorted by their lack of knowledge about the pragmatic characteristics of French. The analysis leads us to reflect on the consequences of teaching based on the translation-grammar method and on textbooks which do not include many pragmatic elements.
For a life-long motivation of pupils toward learning a foreign language, experience of having fun when using the language and basic skills of self-study are indispensable. Yokosuka Gakuin Elementary School implements project studies through English lessons. The school makes using English a necessity as a communication tool in classrooms, so that pupils acquire a willingness to communicate in foreign languages. Project studies also give an opportunity to learn about global problems and create positive perceptions about international understanding. In this practical report, pupils enjoyed cooking chocolate and researching in English. While doing so, they gradually realized the background of economic problems and gained some understanding of one of the global issues, namely, economic disparity.
This report is based on the contents of panel session presentation at the 19th Japan Association for Language Policy, 2017. The present day situation and the advantages of second language education, with the emphasis on Spanish classes at high schools, are reported. It is also mentioned that the second language education at high schools might have to become a compulsory subject. In addition, some viewpoints on high school-university interaction are discussed.
In this paper, the background and the structure of a compulsory course to promote “pluriligualism as a value and a competence” at a Japanese rural university are reported. In the first part of this course, social issues involved in second/ foreign language learning are presented and discussed. In the second part, concrete ways of promoting and managing language diversity are examined with a number of examples. Lastly, in the third part, the emphasis is on the development of each student’s strategy for autonomous language learning.
For the great majority of Taiwanese, English is the first foreign language they study at school. As for other languages, Japanese is the most popular second foreign language studied in Taiwan, and many schools offer a Japanese language program. As a result, there is a dearth of foreign language learners of other languages, e.g. German, French, Spanish etc. The popularity of the Japanese language in Taiwan might be flattering to Japanese nationals but it is argued that such a situation is not necessarily desirable for the Taiwanese society.
Japan Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (JACTFL) is making its voice heard. We made no small influences on 2020 university admission reforms and newly established Foreign Language Education Regional Hub Project. We believe that such efforts led to the adoption of the wording “foreign language education including English” in the Basic Plan for the Promotion of Education, which relativized English as one of the foreign languages to learn.
We also filed a petition with Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education for issuing special teacher’s certificate etc. to authorize those who are eligible for teaching Chinese and Korean language at middle school level. Due to the shortage of teachers, it has been difficult to guarantee continued offer of existing courses not to mention creating new ones.