I agree with David John (“Another bad idea for English education“, April 16) that a one-day emersion program in English is a poor idea and a waste of scarce monetary and human resources.

The money would be better spent administering an annual language aptitude test with the objective of creating a small cadre of students who would then receive more intensive language training from those teachers who actually are qualified to teach languages. It is unnecessary for all students to be subjected to inadequate and unprofitable language training as it exists now for the sake of government promoted “globalization.” Their time could be spent more wisely.

It should be remembered that those skills necessary to pass university entrance exams at the moment may not be those needed to become a proficient speaker of a second language.

To those who claim this is elitism I say “Yes!” They will be an elite based not on the social and economic circumstances of their families, but on their natural gift for language and desire to achieve. The result will be a small but well-trained population of speakers whose skills will match those of other countries.


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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