There has been a fairly long time since the English education in Japan is said to be a failure. Even though the criteria of the success is not so sure, but obviously, many people in Japan feel the necessity of some reformation concerning system of English education. One of the most fashionable ideas among them might be to make English as a selective subject. However, in this essay, I would like to argue that it is nonsense to make English as an elective subject because:
1) Majority of students feels necessity of the English. Also, for most students there is no other choice, in reality.
2) To make English as a selective subject seems merely an escape from their (government’s) responsibility.
First of all, there seems no choice other than learning English, practically. Whether or not the students would like to study English, higher skills of the English are definitely useful for living in this global era. It is often said that around 70% of the information on the web are written English, and around 50% of the people all over the world will be able to communicate in English by 2050. Under these circumstances, at least we can assert English skills will widen the students’ possibility in their future. Also, there seems a very limited number of students those who definitely unnecessary to know English.
In addition to the above, to make English as an elective subject seems irresponsible because this act seems to attribute all Japan’s failure in English education to the students. Of course, it is possible that the average score of TOFEL exam or some other tests will be improved. However, whether we can call this kind of phenomena as an improvement is quite doubtful. Rather than making it as an elective, the government needs to consider how Japanese schools make progress in terms of classes’ quality. By making better classes, the students will be more interested in studying English.
In conclusion, we should not make English as an elective, because to learn English is necessary for most students and to leave the responsibility to the students will not be a fundamental solution.
TRN (The Latest Technology Research News) 2001
Economist.com. Dec. 2001