Regarding Yukari T.’s Sept. 24 letter, “Holes in six years of English“: Most English encountered in (Japanese) high schools is a waste of time and effort, and I can’t see that compulsory English from first or fourth grade will help matters much. I often see high schoolers anxiously boning up on words and phrases from a textbook. Looking over their shoulder, I’ve noticed many words are either obsolete, or they’re rarely used by me as a native speaker. While grammatical patterns are very useful in Japanese, the examples in these books are wooden to say the least. Perhaps I shouldn’t make too much of a complaint, though. If English education improved to any degree in Japan, I could be out of a job!
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