Trial of English-speaking test for Tokyo high schools raises eyebrows

TOKYO, Nov 16 (Kyodo) - A private-sector English-speaking test will be introduced at the Tokyo metropolitan high school entrance exam for the first time in Japan this month, but the initiative to nurture "speaking skills" faces stiff opposition from some parents and education experts questioning its fairness.

The test will be implemented for the entrance exam on Nov. 27, targeting almost 80,000 third-year middle school students in the capital who wish to attend metropolitan high schools from next April. Speaking test scores will be added to the overall scores of the entrance exams, being held next February.

According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, the test was jointly created by the education board and education services provider Benesse Corp. Scoring will be conducted by the local staff of a company affiliated with Benesse in the Philippines. ...continue reading