Politics of English Teaching in Japan
Date: Saturday, June 17th, 2006 Time: 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Speaker: Robert Aspinall
Despite success in many areas of education policy, the Japanese education system has been criticized at home and abroad for poor levels of communicative foreign language teaching. There has been a consensus on the need to improve performance in English teaching in particular among actors in the policy making process. There has also been a considerable demand for private English language classes throughout Japan for some time. Focusing on government efforts to improve English language teaching since the mid-1980s, this article proposes that obstacles to the improvement of foreign language teaching can best be understood through an analysis of the social norms, values and expectations relating to teaching and learning that permeate school and university classrooms in Japan. The paradigm of small cultures (Holliday 1999) is used in order to show how common characteristics of the learning environment in Japan influence the interactions of groups of learners and teachers in ways that inhibit effective communicative foreign language teaching practice.
Organization: Ibaraki Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Ibaraki JALT)
Cost: 2,500 yen (overnight)
Venue: Ibaraki University Seminar House in Daigo, Okukuji Prefectural Nature Park
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