Nationwide test results highlight Japanese students' poor English speaking and writing skills
Japan Times -- Aug 02
Third-year students in Japan’s junior high schools struggle with speaking and writing in English, according to the results of this year’s nationwide achievement test conducted by the education ministry.

The test, conducted each April for sixth-graders and third-year junior high school students across the nation, is aimed at gauging students’ basic knowledge of mathematics, Japanese and their ability to apply those skills to solve complex problems. Starting this year, the ministry included English in the assessment for junior high school students, in line with the government’s plan to improve students’ abilities in the language. The test results were disclosed Wednesday.

The English test gauged students’ speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

The students attained an average score of 68.3 percent in the listening section and 56.2 percent in the reading section. But they scored only 46.4 percent in writing and 30.8 percent in speaking.

The speaking score was only provided as a reference because not all schools conducted that section of the English test.

In the speaking section, many students struggled with improvised speech on randomly chosen topics.

In the writing section, many students had difficulty using their vocabulary and grammar skills or struggled with writing coherently, the results showed.

For example, only 1.9 percent of students answered correctly when they were asked which of two pictographs best symbolizes a school and explain their decision in 25 or more words.

By region, students in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Fukui prefectures topped the list with an average performance in English for reading, listening and writing skills of 59.0 percent.

News source: Japan Times
Oct 29
The Japan International Cooperation Agency said Wednesday it will launch an organization next month to provide comprehensive support for foreign workers in Japan to improve their working and living environments. (Kyodo)
Oct 29
Although cannabis has long been a part of Japanese culture, current laws prohibit the use or sale of products containing more than a trace amount of THC, the chemical that gets users high. (newsonjapan.com)
Oct 29
Why does everything go south when you are in a relationship? (newsonjapan.com)
Oct 26
Japan's health ministry will create a database of babysitters who have been convicted of sexual assault to prevent them from continuing to work with children unbeknownst to parents and local municipalities. (Japan Today)
Oct 25
Simmered pumpkin, Vegetarian recipe (Kimono Mom)
Oct 25
Around 80 percent of children who tested positive for the novel coronavirus caught it from family members, the Japan Pediatric Society has found. (Japan Times)
Oct 23
Bullying cases recognized by elementary, junior high, high and special-needs schools in Japan in fiscal 2019 grew by some 60,000 from the previous year to a record 612,496, the education ministry said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Oct 23
When the COVID-19 pandemic decimated her family’s cattle farming business in Vietnam earlier this year, one 23-year-old foreign student who had spent around 18 months in Japan was soon left without the funds her family usually sent to cover her university tuition fees. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
Japan's health ministry has suggested that many women in the country may have opted out of pregnancy due to the coronavirus epidemic. (NHK)
Oct 22
(newsonjapan.com)
Oct 19
Boys and girls in Japan in 2019 had lower athletic ability than their counterparts in 1964, when the previous Tokyo Olympics were held, an annual government survey showed Sunday. (Japan Times)
Oct 19
A collection of newspaper comic strips by the late Japanese manga creator Osamu Tezuka featuring handwritten dialogue as well as previously unreleased works will be published as a set of books in November. (Kyodok)
Oct 19
Have you ever eaten Sushi roll? I think it’s popular Japanese food in overseas, how about it? At the end of the video, there is a tip on how to cut sushi rolls well, so watch it till the end! (Kimono Mom)
Oct 19
This time we'll learn how to say "Good luck!", "Break a leg", "I'm supporting you", "I got your back!" in many different ways. (Japanese Ammo with Misa)
Oct 18
Tokai University, a four-time Japanese national university baseball champion, said Saturday it has suspended all activities of its baseball club indefinitely due to illegal drug use by several members. (Kyodo)
Oct 17
Previously, today is the day we have moon viewing called Tsukimi in Japan, and I was planning to make dumplings with my daughter, Sutan. (Kimono Mom)
Oct 16
An expert panel has basically approved anti-infection measures to be taken for next year's standardized university entrance exams in Japan, which would take place amid the pandemic. (NHK)
Oct 15
Japan's education ministry has requested national universities and other official institutions to join the central government in mourning for former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone during his state memorial service this weekend, school officials said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Oct 15
A survey of schools in Japan shows that more than 10 percent of them had students who were absent to prevent coronavirus infection. (NHK)
Oct 14
Japan plans to sharply cut the inheritance tax bills for highly skilled overseas professionals working in Japan, Nikkei has learned, as part of a broader scheme to nurture the country's status as a global financial center. (Nikkei)