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An English teacher in Kyoto prefecture scored 280/990 at TOEIC test

Matome News
Friday, February 10, 2017 at 16:16

I feel very anxious about English eduction in Japan

Engish teacher at school
Engish teacher at school
Someone tweeted "I feel very anxious about English eduction in Japan".
What bothers her is English education in Japan.

According to Kyoto Newspaper
Board of education of Kyoto made 74 English teachers of junior high school in Kyoto prefecture to take TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) exam.
The result was so grievous.
Only 16 of them were able to get 730+ scores which means he/she can take more than enough communication under any situations.
The worst score was 280 which means he/she only can take minimum necessary communication under limited situations.
Moreover 14 of them scored less than 500.
Board of education of Kyoto commented "This is such a severe situation. English teachers have to show their abilities to prove they are more than enough"
Source: Kyoto-np
英語教員、TOEIC“合格”2割 京都府中学「資質」はOK? : 京都新聞
Average TOEIC score in Japan is 512. 14 out of 74 English teachers scored lower than average of entire Japanese population.
English teacher's English ability has long been the hidden problem of Japanese education.
Even high school teachers' average TOEIC score is around 600.

Japanese education system is the source of this problem.
From Junior high to high school, there are few practical English classes. And English teachers are merely one of them who has chosen to proceed to the faculty of education.

Tokyo Olympic is coming on 2020.
Government is trying to English skill of Japanese kids. Soon, English teachers in Japan might be questioned their skills.


Comments 13

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  • wigglysquire
    lol wow
  • nihongoheeb
    are these Japanese natives, or people from abroad?
  • beeant
    English teacher means a teacher from England?
  • mog86uk
    @beeant, Looks like it just says「英語科教員」rather than specifically 英国からの教師. In English we capitalise language names as well as nationality. So, what WriterKyo wrote—"An English teacher"—could equally mean either a teacher who is English (from England) or a teacher of the English language (from anywhere). However, if they scored that badly, I really REALLY hope it's the latter of those. XD

    Couldn't help but instantly be reminded me of the following classic 志村けん video, haha:

  • shirokitsune
    It says that the Board of Education made the teachers take the test. As a Junior high school teacher here in Japan this means the participants were Japanese nationals who are trained to teach English and not native speakers. For those of you who don't know it is actually very rare for a native speaker to be a teacher with the board of education here in Japan. Most foreigners are considered assistants and work for other companies at schools not the schools directly. In my experience most English teachers have way too much pride to let the native speaker teach and just give them busy work or only use them to give the correct pronunciation of words. They also ask the native speaker if what they are teaching is correct while they are teaching it...
  • nihongoheeb
    I am working towards a MA in TESOL. Would someone with this degree be able to teach in a "non-assistant" role?
  • shirokitsune
    At a college maybe but not at a regular school here in Japan. I have my Masters in Teaching and it means nothing to the schools. They have a secondary test, that is 100% in Japanese, if you want to become a full time teacher. My wife, a Japanese national and teacher, said that the test is almost impossible for Japanese people not to mention a foreigner. On top of that, you would need to be sponsored to work here, which most Boards of Education don't want to do. As a result tons of assistant companies formed. The Japanese government is currently working on a new system for teaching English. I have heard many different starting dates but it seems that 2018 is when they want to implement it but I would not be surprised if it doesn't start until 2020. They want to start teaching English in third grade. Currently weekly classes start in fifth grade. Currently the "assistant" teaches the whole class for 5th and 6th grade. This means when the new system is implemented they are going to need a lot more "assistants" to fill those roles.
  • nihongoheeb
    Thanks for responding, I hear that International Schools/ Private High Schools are a possibility. Have you also heard this?
  • wigglysquire
    Some places are doing their own thing. At most of my schools the lower grades get classes every two weeks. But one of the schools combines grade levels so they get classes every week. And we also have classes in the nursery school for children as young as like 3 years old.
  • shirokitsune
    Starting in April I am going to be a full time English teacher at nursery school for 3-6 year olds. But as it is a private school the laws about passing the previously mentioned test don't apply. I am currently trying to build my skills with different ways of teaching. I have taught at large schools (40 student classes) and small schools (2-12 student classes) and everything in between for first through ninth grade. Next year I will have the nursery school experience as well as working at an English conversation school (4-8 students an hour). I am hoping to open my own school/develop digital media for schools to use in the future so I need to figure out what works and what doesn't.
  • WriterKyo
    Hello everyone.
    Thank you for responding.
    I feel sorry for the confusion that you felt in my article.
    Even though I am trying to be a teacher of English, my grammar is far from perfect.

    We'll, even I once scored 900+ at TOEIC test.
    I wonder how teachers get that low score even though they are using English for daily basis....
  • WriterKyo
    Not we'll
  • shirokitsune
    You would be surprised about how much teachers actually use... I once worked with a teacher that I don't believe ever said anything in English for the entire year and just went on and on in Japanese about grammar points and meanings of words. When it was time to speak she just pointed in my direction...

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An English teacher in Kyoto prefecture scored 280/990 at TOEIC test
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