Regarding the July 8 Kyodo article “Japanese English teachers leave for U.S. looking to broaden horizons“: This half-year teacher training program is an encouraging, and ridiculously long overdue, development in the course of English-language education in Japan.
While I wish that far more teachers were being sent abroad — not just to the United States but also to other English-speaking countries, as well as to other countries with well-developed English curricula — it is a good sign that the education ministry may finally be realizing some of the problems faced by inadequately trained teachers here. I’ve worked with many, many teachers in my time in Japan, and invariably have found that those who’ve spent some time studying abroad to be among the most innovative in their approach and methodology.
Perhaps the next step would be to actually involve some of these teachers in a true systemic re-evaluation of how language instruction is approached, as opposed to the current system, which seems rather scattershot at best.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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