Language | MORNING ENGLISH

Let's discuss the possible new language test for foreign workers

This week’s featured article

JIJI

The government is mulling introducing a common Japanese language test for applicants seeking one of two new types of visas for foreign workers, sources have said.

The Foreign Ministry and the Japan Foundation, an independent administrative agency, are making necessary preparations, the sources said Saturday.

Of the two new resident statuses, type one will be granted to foreign people with certain professional skills and type two to those with higher skills. The government aims to introduce the new resident statuses in April of next year.

The language test will be taken for the type one category, the sources said. To pass the test, applicants need to have Japanese skills good enough for daily life, according to the sources.

The language test will likely start in April 2019 at the earliest and will be conducted up to about six times a year, mainly in Southeast Asian nations from which Japan has accepted a number of people under its existing on-the-job training program for people from overseas, the sources said.

Applicants’ professional skills will be tested through paper and practical exams in each industry.

Holders of type one status will be allowed to work in 14 industries, including nursing care, construction, agriculture and automobile maintenance.

For automobile maintenance, for example, applicants will be tested to see whether they have skills equivalent to those required for grade three under Japan’s national certification system for automobile technicians.

Professional skill tests for type two status will be decided later as the government expects to see no applicant for the category in the first year, the sources said.

First published in The Japan Times on Dec. 3.

Warm up

One-minute chat about the Japanese language.

Game

Collect words related to foreign workers, e.g., immigrant, visa, diversity.

New words

1) mull: think deeply and at length, e.g., “I need to mull over whether or not I’m going to stay at my job.”

2) grant: agree to give or allow, e.g., “My boss granted me a leave of absence because I am stressed out.”

Guess the headline

C_ _ _ _ _ Japanese language test eyed for new v_ _ _ _

Questions

1) What are the new type of visas?

2) What is needed to pass the test?

3) What industries can foreign people with the new visa status work in?

Let’s discuss the article

1) Do you know foreign people working in Japan?

2) What are some of the benefits of working in a diverse workplace?

3) What kinds of things should be on the Japanese language test?

Reference

日本で働く外国人の数が増えるにつれ、その受け入れのための仕組みも変わりつつあります。言語の壁は依然として課題であるでしょうが、日本語テストで一定の日本語力を求めています。

日本人と外国人でどのような社会を作り上げていくべきなのか、私達にできることはなんなのか朝の会に参加し皆さんで話し合ってみましょう。

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