Sep 15, 2011


しかーし!あまりに、striking!! なので、
かなりの英文量かもしれませんが ^^;;;

This is the book the excerpts in the previous entry come from and they're used as summer homework for high schoolers. Students are asked to translate them to Japanese.
This is the reality of English education in Japan.  Hopeless, isn't it?


Clarissa said...

Ah, I see. My feeling is that those passages were probably written in Japanese originally. :/ I guess it's easier for the textbook writers if they start with the "right answer." But the target language isn't what you would want anyone to produce.

I thought they were supposed to be moving away from grammar translation ...

I still think it's really useless to have a textbook that's not written by at least two professional, trained educators--one from the target language and culture and one from the "receiving" culture and language. Ideally, both would be bilingual. (I won't complain about my Japanese textbook here...)

Mrs. Malone said...

Yes, English education in Japan has been changing definitely, but I don't know it's heading for good or not.

You might already know that English classes are introduced in elementary school, then some parents rushed to let their children study English at clam schools. Then what happens?

One report was made recently and it shows that children who studied English from their early days of childhood gradually lose interests in English once they enter junior high, because English they learn in junior high is too easy for them, and as a result, after three years of junior high, those students who started to study English at junior high surpassed the former ones with English tests... What a contradictory result...

So, where are you intending to complain about the Japanese textbook?
I love to write&read rants haha!

Clarissa said...

Yeah, I really think it's useless to introduce language education that early. If the kids have nowhere to use it ... and if they can't at least choose which language to study ... well, it's not going to help!

Hmm, I don't know where to complain! Haha. Maybe I should Skype you. Sometimes I think about starting a personal blog called "Unpopular Opinions." ;)

Mrs. Malone said...

LOL unpopular opinions, in other words, oddballs' paradise?

Anonymous said...

I just wonder who are confused... Teachers? Professors at universities? Or publishers? Probably all of them...

If only they nurture students reading ability so that they can read esp. authentic text written in their target language, they can easily read anything... Once they are fluent enough, they should be able to find meanings of words very easily using whatever media they are good at.

Mrs. Malone said...

Thanks for the comment.
Hope you'd leave a name whatever you're comfortable with, or your comment is thought to be a spam, no matter how good your comment is.

Whiskers said...

Sorry, emmie-san! It's me! That analogue me who forgot to write the name....

Mrs. Malone said...

LOLOL it was you, analosaurus-san!
This time, I just became at a loss of words... I know there are many awkward expressions in much easier textbooks used in junior high, and I kind of understand the reason why they need to be unnatural. You can't make decent dialogues when vocabularies or expressions you can use are extremely limited.
But it's a textbook for high schoolers! The authors must have been allowed to use more various natural language stylies. To begin with, they're not logical at all!!! don't you think?
I'm planning to show you some comments from native speakers of English at the off meeting. It was good for me, at least, that I got a chance to learn what important for English writing.

Whiskers said...

That's right. I like the new name Analosaurus which describes me!
Please email the comments to me so that I can prepare for the dokuzetsu session on 24th.

What I wanted to say was:
You know, it's a vicious circle.
Teachers are not confident, or don't know what real english does sound because they rarely use it or read it. For the sake of students, they choose excercise books probably just reading the passages or titles here and there. Publishers don't know either, and they just care for making money. And then they ask professors to write excercise books. Most of the professors don't care or maybe don't know(!) whether what they write is good as an english passage.