Eikaiwa English lessons explained

Why do some students say their purpose in learning English is to teach foreigners about Japan?

They are taught that at school

Why do Japanese students in London always want to go down a level?

My latest theory is not that it is just a lack of confidence, but that the Japanese have the idea that English is something that is in their brains somewhere but just isn’t coming out. Being in a lower level saves them from new language, which is not a priority while they think the problem is not being able to get out the language they already know.

Why do some rabidly nationalistic middle aged men decide to take English lessons?

Why does the Japanese government not worry about how little English language is being learnt from ALTs?

They are more concerned with what the parents think than with learning (which mainly goes on in juku cramming schools anyway), or the real reason for the JET scheme is to make the kids less scared of foreigners and/or to educate a steady stream of foreigners about Japan

Why does Berlitz use Eastern European models to advertise English conversation lessons?

Why do some Japanese students get upset and/or confused if you skip an exercise in the book, change the instructions or mix the order around?
Why are most of my Japanese students slow at following the transition between different activities?
In a Japanese school or business more predictable at predictable time and clearer transition. For example British meetings tend to move smoothly from small talk to business, but Japanese businesses (and society more generally) like to show clear distinctions.

Why do Japanese students often switch off during explanations of games or grammar?
In Japan modelling is always used after/instead, so the explanation is not important. In some schools, explanations in English are also followed by the same explanation in Japanese, so it is unnecessary to listen to the English version


  1. higanbana said,

    December 28, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Because they are taught in Elementary School to do exactly and only what the teacher says. If he or she says, fill out the 10 holes in the sentences, they usually do only that and wouldn’t even consider to look up the reading of an unknown compound word because it’s not part of their homework. If you grow up like that, it’s totally understandable if they get confused about changed or left out exercises.

  2. Islandboy said,

    August 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    This ALT Eikaiwa stuff is all a big joke

  3. overmage said,

    May 8, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Japan’s English education is a big joke. The government actively makes the lives of foreigners who try to improve it hell.

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