As globalization continues to increase around the world, the need to Japanese students to become English speakers also grows. In addition to the growing trend of global companies seeking young and talented bilingual employees, even within Japan there is a shift in the proactive nature of the government in introducing more and more English into the classrooms at younger ages.
With the 2020 roll out of the new English language lessons that see Grades 3 & 4 pick up lessons, rather than as previously only Grades 5 & 6, the need is obviously being felt further and further afield. But the reliance on textbook heavy lessons in Japan that have traditionally focused on grammar and the need to passively ‘listen’ discounts the need for children to actively participate and engage in their English learning.
As of 2019 Statistica reported that ‘…in 2019 there were around 1.27 billion people worldwide who spoke English either natively or as a second language…’. The emphasis here is on the need to converse in English with peers to develop language skills. This need stems from understanding that a conversation is like throwing and catching a ball. You can’t play with someone else if you hold onto the ball. Equally, you can’t have a conversation if you don’t respond, both asking and answering questions. Our Saturday and Intensive Programs at OYIS help the students strengthen all these skills through focusing on their written and spoken language