Miyazaki JALT:

The Center Shiken: A New Perspective

Date: Saturday, June 23rd, 2007 Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: Mike Guest

Description:
The University Entrance Center Examination (widely known as the Center Shiken) is a common topic among English educators in Japan. This standardized, nationwide test is probably the most notorious part of Japan's education system. Since high schools often gear their entire curriculum towards success on this test, it is often offered as the justification for a focus upon grammar translation at the secondary level. As a result, it has been criticized as being a main contributor to the perversion of English education in Japan.

But are such perceptions of the exam accurate? The presenter has recently analyzed the 2004 and 2006 versions of the exam and compared them to a 1981 version. In this presentation, Mike Guest will give an overview of the role and function of the exam itself, as well as recent Education Ministry statements regarding the the entrance exam system. The presenter will then provide interesting examples and conclusions from his research, shedding some light on recent positive qualities of the Center Shiken, and will also demonstrate how these could have a positive backwash on high school English pedagogy in general.

Mike Guest is Associate Professor of English at the Medical Faculty at the University of Miyazaki. He is also a regular columnist on EFL in the Daily Yomiuri newspaper and has published and presented on EFL matters widely.

Organization: Miyazaki Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Miyazaki JALT)

Cost: free

Venue: Miyazaki Municipal University Rm. #310

Location: Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan

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Contact Miyazaki JALT

Website: www.nankyujalt.org

Hugh Nicoll
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