The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education is now requiring public junior and senior high school English teachers in their third year to attend three-month programs abroad to study the English language. This will be implemented starting the next academic year as part of the country’s effort to boost its English language abilities in preparation for the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo.
Around 200 teachers will be sent on a study-abroad program, particularly to universities in English-speaking countries, according to the education board. Said program aims instruct the teachers on how to conduct classes in English only and encourage their students to actively debate. Participants will receive a certification for teaching English as a foreign language at the end of the three months.
While current Japanese teachers are not required to have a study-abroad experience to become English instructors in public schools, the education board currently has a study-abroad program for teachers between the ages of 31 to 42 years old, which has been sending only around four teachers a year. With the new curriculum fully implemented in April of this year that instituted high school English classes are to be conducted primarily in English, alongside the decision to hold the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, helped encourage the study-abroad program to be expanded.
Aside from this, the board is also planning to increase the number of foreign assistant language teachers coming from the national Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program to Tokyo public high schools from five to 200 in the year 2015.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan