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The Sept. 20 editorial titled “More foreign students than ever” struck a chord with me. I am Japanese and know what you are talking about firsthand. The editorial states that more foreign students in Japan will benefit the Japanese people, and I agree. Since the Meiji Era, the English education system in Japan has been impractical. It’s about time to change the system.

As an international student in California, I have struggled to understand English here, even after six years of English classes in Japan. In junior high school and high school, I learned English by memorizing vocabulary and grammar. My teachers in Japan didn’t speak English; they just pretended to speak English. I got a TOEFL score high enough to attend U.S. universities; however, I realized that I hadn’t learned practical English in Japan. When I arrived in California, I couldn’t speak English at all, and could barely interact with other people.

So, your editorial makes a lot of sense. By welcoming more foreign students in Japan, we can learn more practical English, gain better insight into other cultures and become competent international communicators. I hope that future students in Japan will be able to enjoy a better English education system.

yukari t.

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