ETJ East Tokyo:

Rethinking Literacy in English Education (K-12): What Skills Do Our Learners Need Most in Reading?

Date: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022 Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Speaker: Namiko Tsuruta

English has become a compulsory subject in public schools, and as a result, MEXT-approved textbooks from junior high schools have now trickled down to upper elementary schools. But with very little connection is made to our younger learners' exposure to literacy in their first language (L1), and very little consideration has been taken to target the high frequency words learners needs to excel beyond high school. Second Language Acquisition (SLA) experts understand the complexity of the 4 skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), and fluency problems at the tertiary level are clearly a result of students struggling with word recognition, comprehension and fluency in their primary and secondary years. Furthermore, knowledge and understanding of the mechanics of reading in L2 is lacking in general. Are we putting the needs of our young learners first in our classrooms when we use ineffective textbooks? Moreover, what supplementary and rich literature are we providing our learners to balance out meaningful content with what is compulsory?

We will first examine the most important developmental and literacy skills learners in primary school should possess both in their L1 and L2. Next, we will examine quantitatively the alarming discrepancy between our learners' textbooks and the vocabulary in high frequency lists which are necessary for developing literacy in L2. If you are an EFL teacher in primary, junior high or senior high school, please join us and be ready to share your thoughts, ideas and concerns.

Bio: Namiko Tsuruta is Program Director of Global Language Institute and Creative Director of She has taught in the States and Japan for 28 years, and has been a bilingual teacher trainer with 18 years of experience working with ALTs, HRTs and JTEs. Her interests include primary and secondary school English education, diversity and inclusion, fluency, learner identity and learner autonomy. A frequent ETJ and JALT presenter, she is currently promoting sustainable learning and education through GLI's long-term project with Youmenepal. She attended Choate Rosemary Hall and the University of Michigan.

Note: In order to make this worksop interactive we will limit the numbers to twenty-five participants. Please click here to send an e-mail to Yuca for pre-registration. She will send Zoom URL prior to the workshop.

Organization: ETJ East Tokyo (English Teachers in Japan) (ETJ East Tokyo)

Cost: free

Venue: Online

Location: Online, Online Events, Online Event


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Contact ETJ East Tokyo


Yuco Kikuchi
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Mobile phone: 070-6400-6464