Almost half the English teachers in Japanese high schools are not advanced speakers of English.
The education ministry has released a survey which shows that almost 50% of English teachers in high schools do not have advanced levels of English.
And the situation is even worse when it comes to junior-high schools with less than 30% qualified as advanced level speakers of English.
By 2017 the ministry is looking to get 75% of high school teachers up to proficiency level (and 50% for junior-high teachers) but this target is at best, highly optimistic.
Desperate to keep up with highly competitive neighbors such as Korea and China, Japan has been left wanting. The ministry talks of improving standards but without putting forward any real plans as to how this will be done.
A ministry official said, “We know these teachers are busy, but we recommend they actively take the [English test] and measure their own levels.”
Which leaves us in doubt as to the commitment the ministry has.
More on this story from the Japan Times.[ratings]