Date: 2017 March 30 16:08
Posted by Joe
BBC News has an interesting article about Japan's preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games. As hosts they're keen to make sure they have enough English speakers. The article mentions that "...the government needs to ensure a supply of English speakers to be Olympic volunteers and work in the accommodation, tourism, and retail industries."
Interestingly the article reveals that "Japan is 40th out of 48 countries on the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), and last year it fell from 'moderate proficiency' to 'low proficiency' on EF's English Proficiency Index."
The trouble it seem is with Japanese culture, in their quest for perfection, many students will only speak if they know they're saying it the right way. If they think they're going to make a mistake, they'll rather remain silent.
The article also highlights that generally written English is better than spoken English in Japan. So teachers in Fukuoka Prefecture have been using Fawlty Towers and Red Dwarf to get students accustomed to hearing spoken English. We wonder if these students will assume Smeg-head is common parlance?!