[EDLING:184] Japan: Teachers, parents at odds on early English

Francis M. Hult fmhult at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 31 21:40:13 UTC 2007

Daily Yomiuri

Teachers, parents at odds on early English

While nearly 80 percent of parents are in favor of education ministry plans to 
make English compulsory for primary school students, nearly 60 percent of 
teachers are opposed, according to two related surveys by a major education 
services company. 

In April last year, a panel on foreign-language education under the Central 
Council for Education, an advisory body to the education, science and 
technology minister, proposed making English compulsory starting from fifth-
year students. Following the move, Benesse Corp. conducted two surveys between 
July and October: one on about 4,700 parents of students at 31 public primary 
schools nationwide; and the other on about 3,500 public primary school 

The survey of parents showed that a large majority of respondents were in favor 
of the change--35.2 percent said they strongly agreed with the proposal and 
41.2 percent tended to agree. Just 14 percent disagreed or tended to disagree. 

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