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Wednesday, 30th December 2015
In General Japan News,

Plans afoot for Japanese to be dropped from A Levels

Moves have been made to drop Japanese as one of the language options in A Levels, with those opposing the suggestion mounting a response.

The institution that is charged with creating and conducting exams for the Department of Education announced it will not be developing new exams for language subjects that receive few applications from 2017 onwards.

This puts Japanese, which just 222 people sat the A Level exam for this year, under threat, as well as Polish and Urdu, reports the Japan Times.

Japanese people living in Britain have been concerned by the proposed move, as well as those who believe offering the subject provides a good alternative to traditionally chosen languages, such as French and Spanish.

An online petition to stop the decision going through has been started by a number of Japanese language teachers and has so far gained more than 3,600 signatures.

The government is urging the body that creates the exams to review the case for abolishing some foreign language A Levels.

This is mainly due to the fact that the current administration has a policy to promote the learning of languages.

Brits have something of a reputation abroad for not speaking foreign tongues and the culture of Japan is one that may interest teenagers.

It is not imperative to know Japanese when travelling to the country, but it is undoubtedly useful and can help visitors to get more from the experience.

Tomoki Akazawa, deputy director in charge of supporting Japanese-language education at the Japan Foundation, London, said: “As A Level has become a goal for students who study Japanese in Britain, I’m hoping that it [the Japanese A Level exam] will stay on.”

A final decision has not yet been made, but the outcry over the abolition of the Japanese A Level could even lead to more youngsters taking up the subject.