The introduction of English in elementary school classrooms to help improve fluency in later years is bringing to light a problem that has dogged Japanese educators for years -- how to provide continuity in teaching the language so that students can graduate from university with a conversant level.

Although English is not a formal subject at public elementary schools, the Central Council for Education will decide by the end of March whether to make it one.

At the same time, the council is looking at how to build a comprehensive language program that would follow students from grade school through university.