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Regarding Yukari T.’s Sept. 24 letter, “ Holes in six years of English,” and Stewart Tennyson’s Oct. 22 letter, “English teachers have work to do”: As a retired high school English teacher in the Tohoku region, I must make a few comments.

Many people seem to believe that English textbooks in Japan authorized by the government are not practical, yet I know a man who read them aloud about 100 times and went on to earn a TOEFL score of 650, which may be one of the best scores ever by a Japanese. I studied English by using these textbooks and have managed to get some 110 letters accepted by The Japan Times. I have read what I think is the best newspaper in Japan for about 46 years, and the more I read it, the more I get familiar with the English that I first learned in the textbooks.

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