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View Full Version : National AJET's spring survey



Beer Baron
April 18th, 2014, 21:48
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AJET_spring_survey_reminder

The nonsense proposed in this survey is baffling me. For example:


In conjunction with a number of reforms to elementary school education and with a goal to produce more competent English speakers, MEXT also plans to have all English classes at junior high school conducted primarily in English, as they are done now at the senior high school level.


MEXT acknowledges the proposed changes are significant and that the system is not currently ready for this new approach, but they will be looking for the help and support of ALTs in terms of moving towards this new model by 2020. To this end, MEXT will continue to encourage the use of team teaching in schools, but is also considering ways to evaluate ALTs with a view to them becoming more of a main resource in the classroom. This means that for suitably qualified or trained individuals there may be opportunities to teach some English classes as the main teacher.


The ministry is still considering how this may be evaluated and implemented, but wants to reinforce the valuable role that ALTs play in the classroom and in English education in Japan. It does not mean that ALTs will become the only teacher for all classes, or that the JET Programme will now only accept JETs with teaching qualifications.


Oh god. The fact they are considering 1) doing the entire class in English only, and 2) the possibility of solo teaching by the ALT..... anyone? *facepalm*
There is an absolute requirement to have a Japanese teacher in the room. You're going to have all kinds of hurt otherwise. Lack of respect from students, the ability to control a large class, language issues. It's difficult enough with 2 teachers in a room of kids who don't have any interest in learning English.

*walks off shaking head*

Jiggit
April 18th, 2014, 22:00
They're putting a bandage on someone with 3rd degree burns.

I don't know why no-one seems to get it. Your English education doesn't produce students who can speak English because they never speak English. They never speak English because it is literally the least important thing English teachers could do for their students. They have to get kids into colleges and the center test and all university tests focus entirely on grammar and reading and are disproportionately difficult. The only way kids are going to do well on those damn tests is if teachers spend every hour available cramming grammar and reading practice into them. So that's what they do.

So all the government is doing by trying to tell teachers and schools to focus on speaking or whatever is telling them to deliberately sabotage their students. I wonder why that isn't happening.

Wasabi
April 19th, 2014, 07:51
Jiggit, I've heard the same exact thing about American schools from my teacher friends. There's such emphasis on SATs or whatever state testing kids need to pass to graduate that you're basically just memorizing things rather than learning them. My class (2007) needed to pass a Math and an English test in order to graduate. The year immediately following us took those two plus a Science test. I think they were aiming to add (or have since added) History. It gets to the point where all that matters is testing.

Interestingly enough, your complaint about Japanese kids not being able to speak English is the same complaint my French teacher had about American kids not being able to speak foreign languages. Funny enough, my French improved the most in the year I played an mmo with an all French group. Part of it is motivation, true, but part of it is using the language for practical applications. Being able to parrot off that you have two brothers and like dogs doesn't get you very far in terms of real life communication yet time and again that's what language books teach us.

uthinkimlost?
April 19th, 2014, 08:51
Jiggit, I've heard the same exact thing about American schools from my teacher friends. There's such emphasis on SATs or whatever state testing kids need to pass to graduate that you're basically just memorizing things rather than learning them. My class (2007) needed to pass a Math and an English test in order to graduate. The year immediately following us took those two plus a Science test. I think they were aiming to add (or have since added) History. It gets to the point where all that matters is testing.

Same problem, vastly different degrees.

webstaa
April 19th, 2014, 09:53
To be honest I don't think MEXT is going to get very far with this plan. A couple of the JHS JTEs in my area have worse pronunciation than the students (but insist on fixing my native pronunciation and intonation if it doesn't match up with their idea.) A couple of them really try to teach English, but their teaching styles are so rigid that the students spend 40 minutes listening to an English lecture and 10 minutes reading - no actual practice. Maybe once a week I get to break out of the walking/talking/wisecracking Japanese/English dictionary.

As far as I am concerned, I don't really give a flying fuck about teaching English grammar. I'm pretty content with being the local 'internationalization' specialist, as long as the kids learn a bit about other cultures/develop an interest in things outside their tiny little inaka bubbles. Heck, the only people who have been outside of Japan for more than a week (sum total) in my base school are the gym teacher (who teaches special ed English) and the jimu.

But my long term plans have very little to do with ESL education.

Jiggit
April 19th, 2014, 11:35
I would say the main problem with foreign language education in English speaking countries is just that no-one cares. Whereas with the time, effort and money Japan spends it would seem they do care. Of course in a sense there are similarities in that the average Japanese kid doesn't really want to learn English or think that they ever will, but as a society they pour resources into it.