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Thread: Applying for 2019

  1. #21
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    Well there is the vague goals of "internationalization" and "promoting Japan abroad" for which I see little evidence that JET is to thank for any progress in those areas. However, I acknowledge those things would be hard to measure so there's a chance it's been successful in those things.

  2. #22
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    The whole, "they waste money elsewhere so why worry about this waste" argument is pretty silly to me.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    Agreed, they're vague, but then again, that doesn't mean they're worthless. At least JET sends people out to the boonies to talk with kids who otherwise might never meet or at least really talk to a non-Japanese person for most of their formative years. It's a pity Japan attracts such a large proportion of weirdos who misrepresent the countries they're from, I suppose.

    What I'm trying to say is that the goals of the Japanese education system clearly have little to do with providing students with functional English ability. So imagining some sort of alternative reality where they spend the money from the JET programme on giving better training to Japanese teachers is meaningless if the teachers are still restricted by the same system.

  4. #24
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    And I'm the jaded one.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    Hey, you're putting words in my mouth!

    I mean, I'm not saying Japanese education is different to or worse than other countries. How much Spanish or whatever did you speak on graduating high school? I spoke fuck all French, that's for sure. How much of what you learned at school do you use in life now, for that matter? School is basically about making kids into normal people who can interact with others and function in society. Second to that is getting them decent jobs at the end of it all. And I suppose every few kids in a hundred actually need or want to speak English some time in the future. That's not "jaded", that's realistic.

    Now if you wanted to really be jaded you could say it's largely about keeping people off the unemployment figures for as long as possible...

  6. #26

    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    Having not experienced the JET program and only reading about it, I myself can't speak fully to if its money well spent or not. Surely they are ways to make it better investment for the Japanese government, and I'm sure that they're are equally number of ways to improve the English education system in Japan. But the ways to judge and to reform are hard.

    Perhaps Monty is recalling my jaded comment, which was purely in jest. I'm sure there just as many people who look back at JET with rose colored glasses, actually there are probably more people who look at it that way who've never applied.

    An interesting debate though nonetheless.

  7. #27
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Hey, you're putting words in my mouth!
    word's what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    I mean, I'm not saying Japanese education is different to or worse than other countries. How much Spanish or whatever did you speak on graduating high school? I spoke fuck all French, that's for sure.
    No argument here. I can barely remember any Spanish--handful of words, few conjugations, words have genders, etc. I only had the required two years, tho. A high school friend of mine took all four years offered, traveled to Spain for a few months, and is now quite fluent, so I'm probably just a dumbf*ck. I met plenty of my equivalents in Japan (and my friend's), so it's pretty clear I have no one to blame but myself. I encourage my Spanish-speaking students to use Spanish as much as possible in my classroom, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    How much of what you learned at school do you use in life now, for that matter? School is basically about making kids into normal people who can interact with others and function in society. Second to that is getting them decent jobs at the end of it all. And I suppose every few kids in a hundred actually need or want to speak English some time in the future. That's not "jaded", that's realistic.
    word

    I do still think Japanese schools do a better job of producing Japanese citizens than American schools do of producing American citizens. FFS look at the average American.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    Language learning and retention are hard.

  9. #29
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    I think good citizen and actually learning aren't mutually exclusive though, so in the end you still have to judge how well they're teaching the subject. The amount of demand for english training outside the classroom speaks to the failure of the system. Of course some people don't learn in every system, and need and desire plays into it. But when there's a whole secondary system of english education that has grown up into a thriving industry solely because the demand for learning english is so high- I don't think lack of need and desire explains this level of poor performance. And we're not talking about a couple of years of classroom english, so not sure the example of HS french or spanish in other systems is a good correlation. We're talking 6 plus years of classroom education. This all adds up to something having gone horribly wrong.

  10. #30
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    TBH I don't disagree; there are some valid points there. No school I attended ever attempted to implement Spanish instruction anywhere near the level that even sh*tty Japanese schools attempt English instruction (Texas, for example, which not only has many Spanish-speaking residents, but also borders a large, relatively wealthy, industrialized, largely peaceful nation in which the vast majority of the population speaks Spanish, only requires two years of foreign language during high school, and many schools offer stupid language choices like Latin or French).

    I do think there should be some tough conversations taking place within the Japanese educational system regarding accountability in regards to English education. I don't blame JET, nor anyone who wanted to try something like JET, but... yeah, you make some good points.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    But the English education outside the classroom isn't teaching anything different in the school; it's still just teaching kids how to pass tests. And as long as those tests don't change to require students to possess functional English communication skills, it is a waste of time for schools to teach that. At least, as long as Japanese people continue to possess the opinion that tests are the ultimate determiner of a person's abilities and the University one graduated the ultimate measure of their value as an employee.

    What I'm saying is you could fire all ALTs tomorrow and pour the money into funding education of Japanese teachers, and it wouldn't make much of a difference so long as the other systems didn't change. I've known plenty of young, enthusiastic Japanese teachers who have lived abroad, speak great English and took courses in education at Uni. They still teach the same basic kind of grammar/reading focused lessons as the crap teachers who barely speak any English

  12. #32

    Default Re: Applying for 2019

    That's true lasting problems won't be solved overnight, but I have read somewhere that perhaps after 2020 the Japanese government will start making cuts to JET since they had the ramp up for the Olympics. Perhaps afterwards they'll seek to return it to the levels of the 2000s or perhaps try to make it more efficient. Or perhaps in attempts to make it more efficient it will only go to make matters worse.

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