Friday, 2nd January 2009
In General Japan News,
English-language lessons for Japanese students 'from 2013'
Future generations of Japanese are to be encouraged to become fluent in English under new plans from the country's government.
Currently, compulsory English-language classes exist for all students from the age of 13, however most Japanese people cannot speak it fluently.
From 2013, it will be recommended that all English classes are taught entirely in the language, reports the Straits Times.
Senior high school students will also need to master 1,800 new English words, up from the current level of 1,300.
Tsutomu Schiozaki, head of a national English teachers' federation, welcomed the proposals.
He told the Asahi Shimbun: "People say that if we teach entirely in English, students will not be able to follow the lessons. That's not true. Language is to be used. If we use it often, students' awareness will change."
Toshihide Masukaw, the winner of last year's Nobel Prize for Physics, delivered his Nobel Lecture speech in Japanese, despite admitting: "It's probably better to be able to speak English."
Related news stories:
'Intriguing' new book on drinking in Japan released (12th August 2011)