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Good news that Darren has been accepted as a participant in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.

The main objective of the JET program, which is conducted by local authorities throughout the country in cooperation with the Japanese government, is to promote "international exchange and foreign language education" in Japan. Most of the participants serve as Assistant English Teachers (AET) and teach the language mainly at local high schools.

Japan's English education has placed much emphasis on reading and grammar, and has been criticized for its inefficiency. (That's why private English schools like mine are getting much popularity here. But I'm not all for a "speaking-only" way of teaching and learning. I think I'll discuss it sometime.) The JET program has good possibilities to improve the situation.

If there had been a similar program in my high school days (long, long ago), things would have been much different for me. I had no chance to talk to a native speaker of English and ask questions about English at that time.

AETs can let students turn their eyes to other countries in the world and have interest in the language spoken worldwide. Even if it was only one student, it would be great. I'm rooting for you, Darren.


I am honoured to have been written about in your journal :)

Actually, I should have made a similar post explaining the JET programme, but you've done a better job than I could have. Maybe I'll just link straight here ;)

Hope you are ready for the questions that I will be sure to come up with in the coming months!

First, congratulations Darren!

The situation in Japan re English seems very much like the situation here in Canada with French. Some schools here have recently moved into what is known as "French Immersion" programs, where French is spoken throughout the day in combination with regular French lessons.
Most importantly, they are speaking Canadian-French which is somewhat different that what they would learn in book-French. I too think this will give kids today a great advantage.

The forum is there for you, Darren. ;)

"French Immersion" sounds like a good program, Jennifer. An opportunity like that sometimes goes a long way -- like your son. ;)

Thanks Jennifer!

Yes, the French programme sounds very interesting. I wonder how difficult it is for the students? When I was at school I studied French, but now I can say next to nothing :(

Kiyo, I shall make use of your forum, so thanks ;)

I haven't really heard how this new program is working. It has to be better than the old method. Like you, I retained very little of my French instruction. In fact, when visiting Quebec in my early 20's, I drew a complete blank when trying to order a coffee in French! Can't get much worse than that! :) ("Cafe avec sucre et lait" - trying to redeem myself)

An interesting coincidence that we have studied French! But I bet I'm the worst French speaker of the three. ;)