[EDLING:159] Japan: Foreign students in need of specialized Japanese teachers

Francis M. Hult fmhult at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Wed May 23 12:12:39 UTC 2007

Daily Yomiuri

Foreign students in need of specialized Japanese teachers

The number of foreign students in need of Japanese-language instruction in 885 
municipalities exceeded 20,000 as of 2005, and the figure continues to 
increase, a government survey has found. 

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry has produced guidebooks for 
language teaching, but most public primary, middle and high school teachers 
have little experience in teaching Japanese as a second language. Experts have 
pointed out the need for teachers who specialize in teaching Japanese to 
foreign children. 

In Oizumimachi, Gunma Prefecture, about 6,800 of the town's 42,000 residents 
are foreigners, and about 10 percent of all students in the seven public 
primary and middle schools hail from overseas. 

Apart from regular classes, the schools also offer Japanese classes to increase 
foreign students' language abilities. But the classes are taught by regular 
teachers who are not trained in language teaching. 

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