• Hirosaki, Aomori


In his Dec. 30 article “English should be an elective,” Gregory Clark’s claim that Japanese “careers usually do not depend on foreign-language ability” ignores the fact that more and more Japanese corporations require TOEIC for promotion and hiring. His argument that “At that [post-secondary] level they [Japanese students] can usually be supplied with good teachers and facilities, unlike in most middle and high schools” ignores the fact that few Japanese college students are motivated to do anything, since it is almost impossible for them to fail. American colleges are better educational institutions than American secondary schools for many reasons; one is the fact that students can flunk out. Not the case in Japan.

Testing the ability to write coherent English would be much more appropriate than testing the ability to conjugate the English subjunctive. Universities should ask students to write English paragraphs for their entrance exams.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.