Did the JET Program and For-Profit Eikaiwas Setback Japan's English Ability?


Oh yeah, I am so going there. However, I don't believe that JET is entirely to blame to Japan's English problems. In fact, I do think it was a solution that was meant to rectify the problem. However, it was wishful thinking... and huge mistake by the Japanese Government to modify JET from it's original purpose and allow non-Education background applicants into the program.

As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics come ever so closer, it has become even more imperative for the Japanese Government to start pushing English education reform. Even when I was in JET, the elementary school English program was in its relative infancy and how English was taught was absolutely pitiful. Most Japanese teachers who do have credentials to teach English... can barely even speak it themselves. What ever English is taught is usually very robotic sounding and (as one fellow JET Almuni friend of mine put it) "sounds like nails going across a chalkboard - BAD" English.

Of course this is not the children's fault, but sadly the incompetence of the of the Ministry of Education's English curriculum is going to set back the Japanese's English proficiency...and I think JET is partly to blame for this as it was designed and developed in the 1980s to help the Japanese children and teens (of the time) to help get used to foreigners and expose them to English at a young age... but according to a recent TOEIC score index, what good is it if Japanese English test scores (while not exactly the most accurate way of determining competency) score lower than the Afghani's English scores (Yes, war-torn and anti-Western Afghanistan beats technologically advanced Japan in English proficiency.

*Note: This is a work in progress, and will be continued to be worked on as the months go on.


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