English language teachers now in demand

Recent news announced that Japan may require the expertise of more professional teachers proficient in teaching the English language. The government of Japan previously aimed to have at least 50 percent of its junior and high school students to be competent in the English language by the year 2017. This is in line with Japan’s pursuit of nurturing individuals that manifest potential in the international scene.


Photo credit to: https://www.all-about-teaching-english-in-japan.com

Unfortunately, results for the latest survey pertaining to the 2018 academic year only manifest a very slight increase. While some prefectures and major cities showed promise such as Saitama City, Fukui Prefecture,Yokohama City, Toyama, and Akita, still many other regions failed to meet the 50 percent target as envisioned by the Japanese government. As such, this goal was reportedly postponed by the end of academic year 2023.


In support of this new goal, the English language will be included as a mandatory subject for fifth and sixth graders at public elementary schools in Japan. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports and Technology evaluated English language proficiency of the teachers and found out that only around 5.9 percent (20,182 of 343,295) full-time teachers had the proper license to teach English at secondary school level. News reports announced that many teachers are anxious about this new policy of the ministry due to lack of experience and proper training in teaching English classes.


If this problem goes unsolved, we may expect the government of Japan to rely on the services of competent overseas workers in the near future. As it stands, news reports have already announced certain industries where Japan suffers labor shortage such as nursing, hotel accommodation, construction, and agriculture among others. Active measures by the Japanese government are already underway such as the revision of Japan’s Immigration Control Act. While it is still uncertain whether aspiring English language teachers are eligible for the new specific skills visa, Japan’s need for competent English teachers remains unquestionable.


Reference: English level at Japan’s secondary schools falls short of gov’t target


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