日本の教育と英語

久しぶりのBlog更新となります。 
下書きに保存している記事は幾つかあるのですが、暫く更新が停滞していました。
理由は色々とありますが、仕事とその他活動を優先していたと理解頂ければと思います。 
1年以上更新していなかった間に知り合いも増え、考えさせられる事や、考えも変わった事も多くあると思いますが、Blogを通じてその辺りが伝われば・・・と思います。 

前置きはこの位にしておいて、最近ちょっと考えされられる事がありました。前々から自分でも気になっていた事なので、記事にしたいと思います。タイトルの「日本の教育と英語」という部分です。 

お断りしておきますが、私は教育に従事する者でもなく、英語を教える事に従事する者でもなく、単に英語を使って物事を進める機会が多い者であって、また、現状の日本の教育制度に対して問題を提起している者でもありません。

こう言う意見もあるのだなと強く思える機会があったので、それを記事にしているだけです。

そう思わせてくれた人に約束した記事なので、その人が読めるように英語で書いてみようと思います。文法やスペルに多少のミスがあるかと思いますが、その人とその人の知り合いに伝わって欲しいので、半強引に英語でいきます。
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Education and English in Japan. 

Disclaimer:
I am not involved in any English "education" or "teaching" practices, I am just a person happened to have many opportunities to use English in many things. I have no objection or anything against current education structure in Japan. This is written just to express my "thought" on "education and English in Japan" for someone who encouraged me to do so. 

That being said, you know who you are and why I am writing this in English. 

I know many people who speak more than one languages, and I consider myself to be very fortunate to understand English besides my native tongue, Japanese. 

Either it was fortunate or not, my personal experience in learning English in compulsory and higher education in Japan wasn't focused or toward practical use. It was heavily focused on grammar, mostly just to score higher in these entrance exams for higher education which leads a better reputation for the schools I attended. This doesn't mean any better reputation to my English. 
But I had no way of knowing it lacks any practical usage. 

When I spent my days in the states, I felt that the "English" I had learned in Japan wasn't very practical or I did not have enough experience in using practical English. Then, I realized that I didn't learn practical English in schools in Japan. 

Now I am back in Japan and I see English education in Japan has changed a little, less intensity on grammar, more towards practical use.

I have acquainted with someone who is from overseas and very enthusiastically trying to let her pupils and students know the joy of learning another language. Well, I wish I had a teacher like this person, I would have had a very different experience in leaning English, probably with so much enjoyment in learning. 

"Foreign teachers" are becoming very popular educational practice in many parts of Japan, I personally think that this is great for pupils and students for learning "live" English, and for foreign teachers to have experience and involvement in Japan and its culture, including its education.

However, these "foreign teachers" and "pupils/students" are rather newer generation than people who have been in traditional education, often refusing to accept changes or having difficulty in understanding the change they are in.
This is somewhat stressful and can be very frustrating for foreign teachers. This bothers me a lot. 

These foreign teachers are in Japan, enthusiastically trying to teach "live" English to their pupils and students in the way that "traditional" English education often did not focus on, not to mention their "live" English would benefit the pupils and students the most.

Not greatly appreciating these foreign teachers and their effort is somewhat shameful when the final and ultimate goal is to let pupils and students to learn practical, "live" English besides grammar-oriented English.

I DO know a few good traditional teachers who I enjoy doing a few activities with, they are the ones truly understanding and pursuing their ultimate educational goals for their practices.

I don't think this unfortunate event happens only here, it happens quite often in the world of today, often consists of "traditional" and "new method."

If I were in some sort of educational practice, my goal would be providing what the best interest of my pupils or students to learn, definitely not to resist some changes for improvement.

What have been a weakness has been well known by many people today than decades ago, thanks to many international activities. If these suggested improvement is resisted, that's very pointless.

I often talk to these enthusiastic "foreign teachers," they have experienced many difficulties, mostly within the organization, often this can be the board of education. There might be some cultural difficulties for any foreign nationals to live in another country, including Japan, but these "foreign nationals" that I know of, they have made their effort in adjusting as much as they can.  

But, what about these "organizations?" Have they made any effort in adjusting to "new culture?" I said "new culture," not "overseas culture" because I believe "new culture" includes the changes in education and the organization itself. 

I often see people who stubbornly stick with their believes or ideas without any rational reasons, other than this-is-the-way-it-is tradition. This is not the weakness that is so apparent in the particular public schools that I know of, but it is also the weakness in Japan and its culture of resist everything without any reason. Tradition or the culture is very important and it should be inherited and passed on to younger generations, but it does NOT give any privileges in denying everything, especially when the "changes" are for some improvement.

I am proud to say that Japan has some success in today's economy world, but I am not sure if Japan has been as successful as other industrial countries in terms of "internationalization."

It is always a sad moment for me to see a dedicated foreign national trying so enthusiastically helping in education feeling such frustration while other typical "traditionalistas" choose something easier, often something they are used to.

This article is dedicated for those foreign nationals trying to help educating Japanese youngsters in learning English.

You might be frustrated and stressed out on many things that you are doing your best, but there are always someone who appreciate your work and effort. The pupils and students are the ones who appreciate your work the best. It takes time for them to realize that what you are doing is such a wonderful thing, and by the time they realize your dedication, work, effort, and blessings, it will be passed on to generations to come.

So please look at the bright side of it and keep up with your good work, there are always someone who appreciate what you are doing.

Excuse me for any grammatical errors or whatnot, I hope you understand the most of it.

Thanks for reading.

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