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Learning English?

Studying for at least 6 years at junior and senior high school, why can't they speak English? Oh yes, it's the typical remark on the English ability of Japanese people heard from inside and outside of the country. The answer is simple: In Japan, students study English to pass the tests, pass the entrance exams, not necessarily (oh, I spelled it right) to acquire good communicative skills -- at least on the face of it so far.

Aside from my views on it, that's the reality. Students aren't to blame.

But wait. Is this phenomenon (oh, I did it right again), I mean, not being able to speak the certain foreign language in spite of the years-long studies at school, peculiar to the Japanese school scenes? Studying French at school made you a good communicator in the language? Greek is no more Greek to you?

Now, let me say, acquiring a good command of a foreign language depends greatly on your motivation and dedication. That's not what you should expect schools to give you.

I was inspired to write this entry after reading M Sinclair Stevens' post on nipponDAZE. The difference of "studying" and "learning" -- that's worth giving a serious thought.

"People studying without learning" -- English in Japan.