English to Become Regular Elementary School Subject in Japan (News)
Tokyo, Feb. 14 (Jiji Press)—Japan's education ministry released draft revisions of the country's curriculum guidelines for elementary and junior high schools on Tuesday, including adoption of English as a regular subject for elementary school fifth- and sixth-graders.
Under the curriculum revision plans, a teaching method designed to encourage students to independently find problems and solutions through debate and presentation will be introduced in all subjects, following the "active learning" concept proposed by the ministry's Central Council for Education.
To respond to globalization, elementary students will start English education earlier under the revised curriculum, according to the draft.
In the third and fourth grade, students will take part in basic activities, speaking and listening to English so as to get used to it.
Students in the fifth and sixth grades, who are currently participating in class activities using English, will have to study the language as a regular subject, including reading and writing it, and take 70 lessons a year.
The new guidelines will be introduced across the board from the 2020 academic year in elementary schools and the 2021 academic year in junior high schools. From the 2018 academic year, schools may optionally introduce them in advance.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd. Content edited and added by the Nippon.com editorial team.]