Japanese Students in US Colleges Will Triple in the next Ten Years

I teach in Japan. Looking at the trends here, what is certain to happen, I have no doubt that the number of Japanese studying in international colleges will increase, by 300%, over the next ten years. The growth will come mainly in universities in English-speaking countries, in particular the United States. Why? Japan's current educational…
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Kids in Japan to learn English from Third Grade . . . someday.

Let's study English!頑張ろう! Kids in Japan are going to start learning English earlier. In another dramatic move, (with the same goal as changing the Center Test) the government announced today that kids will start learning basic English, earlier than the fifth grade, which had been the previous plan.  They will start in the third grade.…
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Japan’s Center Test to Become an Achievement Test, or Goodbye Center Test

The Japanese government is considering changing the Center Test from an entrance exam into an achievement test, something like the America's SAT.  By this, the government aims to change the college exam system from an test-based system to a system that looks at grades, achievement, activities, and ability.  Since the Center Test is the largest…
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Hidden Curriculum–Cleaning the School

Students Cleaning the School? You have probably heard of “hidden curriculum.” What does this mean?  Hidden curriculum are things that students do in which they learn something important but are outside of classes or the normal educational course of study. One of the most interesting examples of hidden curriculum is cleaning the school. Everyday here in Japan, usually…
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Using Projects to Teach English as a Foreign Language

Learning another language is a path to another culture. It can also be a complete waste of time, or at worst, incredibly boring. Of course, you want your students to be in the first group.  How do you do that? My answer is projects. Project-Based-Learning is very effective, and I've been teaching with it for…
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Teaching in Japan, how to get students to think

Teaching in Japan, how to get students to think, part one I teach in Japan.  I teach English in Japan. To most people, this may bring up images of a person lecturing about when to use a pronoun versus a noun, the diagramming of sentences, the difference between who and whom, lie and lay, and…
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Education, learning, and teaching in Japan

Japanese college students don’t want to study overseas.

Fewer Japanese students are studying abroad than just 8 years ago, and the number has been slowly declining. According to Tokyo Times, The number of Japanese students studying overseas peaked at 82,945 in 2004 and fell to 58,060 in 2010, according to the Ministry of Education. Fewer than 20,000 Japanese students studied in the United…
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Teaching in Japan–What are your goals?

I am teaching in Japan now at a high school.  The classroom is each teachers temple, and teachers here are often left to their own devices.  This can be great, but if you want to more than that "funny foreign person," you need to succeed.  To do that, you need to have goals and plans to achieve those goals.…
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Novelty–different and new ideas are good for you

Beyond classroom education Novelty is an important idea in education.  I've seen it here and there, but basically it means that learning should be fun and new.  We should challenge our students with novel ideas in novel ways. Against that background, my colleague brought up a depressing story in the paper today.  In the largest…
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