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As a Japanese college student, I would like to reply to Adrian Leis’ Nov. 8 letter, “Only textbooks by native speakers.” I am sure that Leis conducts his classes well using textbooks written by native English-language speakers, but I would like him to understand that textbooks written by Japanese speakers of English can work just as well.

I study from both and do not see any difference apart from the author’s name. The difference is in the instructor. Motivating the students to learn is not the textbook’s job; it’s the teacher’s job. In Japan, our native language is Japanese, not English. Because of that, for better or worse, we learn English to acquire knowledge on how to read a text, not to communicate, as important as that skill may be outside of Japan. A textbook is a textbook. Communication is communication. Let’s not confuse the two.

shoko tana