national

Tokyo students take oral English test in high school entrance exam

23 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
Login to comment

Some complained they could hear other people's answers, but the board of education said it is unaware of major problems.

Really? In that case, if I were that teenaged girl detained by police earlier this year for receiving test answers on a concealed cellphone, I might have something to say about that.

https://japantoday.com/category/crime/Student-turns-herself-in-to-police-over-alleged-university-exam-cheating

TT

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Mr Twatt

Really? In that case, if I were that teenaged girl detained by police earlier this year for receiving test answers on a concealed cellphone, I might have something to say about that.

Two quite different situations. Planning to cheat and over- hearing an answer in a test are not related.

It's like comparing Antarctica with Tokyo university don't you think?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Some parents and educators had criticized the speaking portion of the entrance exam for metropolitan government-run high schools, saying it is similar to an English language proficiency test by Benesse, thus giving an edge to students who took language classes by the education services provider.

I'll bet EIKEN was pissed off that "their" speaking test wasn't selected! It's idiotic to think that being able to answer 8 questions is a measure of one's "speaking" ability!

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The speaking portion will be graded by the staff of a Benesse affiliate in the Philippines, with grades to be released in January.

A private company (with poor data management) employing cheap labor with staff speaking a different dialect of English to that which is being graded.

What could go wrong?

16 ( +19 / -3 )

The year is 2022 almost 2023 and Japan has just approved this? It's no wonder the rate of English in Japan is the lowest in Asia.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

I'll bet EIKEN was pissed off that "their" speaking test wasn't selected! It's idiotic to think that being able to answer 8 questions is a measure of one's "speaking" ability!

Yubaru-san sounds the most peeved. You need some PMA (positive mental attitude)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The Japanese education system is entirely test-oriented, and tests are not a measure of ability, but to separate winners from losers. In that respect, they are highly efficient. The Japanese like one correct answer and the thought of scoring rubrics terrifies them and smacks of uncertainty despite the fact that rubrics have been used by the ETS in the United States for decades. That said, the following is still considered to be correct English, "Tomorrow I will go shopping."

The JET programme has cost the government billions with no improvement in speaking proficiency because ATs are used for "fun and games" rather than improving proficiency. And since speaking isn't graded, why would students care?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

My meetings, conversation with biLingual Japanese….have never happened. People from other countries many times. Japanese people no.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@Elvis is Here

Mr Twatt

“Really? In that case, if I were that teenaged girl detained by police earlier this year for receiving test answers on a concealed cellphone, I might have something to say about that.”

Two quite different situations. Planning to cheat and over- hearing an answer in a test are not related. 

It's like comparing Antarctica with Tokyo university don't you think?

No. For if my English was as hopeless as most Japanese high schoolers’, I’d find someone whose English was good and ask/bribe her (it would be a girl because Japanese boys’ English is really appalling) to sit near me in the test and bellow out her answers loudly and clearly so I could copy them. Job done.

TT

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Tokyo education board said it conducted three mock exams to be well prepared for the English portion

3 whole mock tests?!?

wow, Thats a lot of work to prepare…..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

At the exam the student says in clear voice and perfect pronunciation, this is a pen, those here are fingers, and this is my nose....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The year is 2022 almost 2023 and Japan has just approved this? It's no wonder the rate of English in Japan is the lowest in Asia.

Japan is not the best in English but it is not the worst either, among Asian countries it is between 10 - 20 place, it can improve, but it is too dramatic to ensure that it is the last ..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Give the kids a break and toss high school entrance exams into the trash bin of history.

Every kid who graduates junior high should be guaranteed a seat at their nearest public high school. Offering more than one academic stream at the same high school is not rocket science.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

high school entrance exams

horrible idea.

Those worthless tests make the following invalid in Japanese high schools.

volunteer work

common sense

useable skills

social skills

sexual education

socializing with others (not that school club crap)

mixed classrooms by skill level, not by homeroom or age (which leads to bullying)

let the students move classrooms, not the teachers

enough with the 12 tests in 3 days nonsense, spread it out

segregated pe classes.

etc etc, the list can go on and on.

The problem here isn't whether there is a speaking test or not. the REAL issue is how obsolete and one sided the testing system is in high schools.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

> Japan is not the best in English but it is not the worst either, among Asian countries it is between 10 - 20 place, it can improve, but it is too dramatic to ensure that it is the last ..

I seriously doubt that your study of Asian countries included Russia or Saudi Arabia or the United Arab emirates etc etc etc..

What's really embarrassing for Japan is that Chinese speak excellent English

Here's the 2022 study

Worldwide English speakers is 1·35 billion

Worldwide Japanese speakers is 1·25 million

The use of the written and spoken English language in Japan is pitiful compared to the rest of Asia and the world for that matter.

No insult intended.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

it would be a girl because Japanese boys’ English is really appalling

I do find that Japanese women or girls are much better at the English language and more intelligent and open-minded than males.

That's my personal experience.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Well, all in all, it's good that there will be an ENGLISH SPEAKING test as very few Japanese speak English yet they had been studying for many years. Maybe it will put some pressure on English teachers that come from overseas to do their job properly?

However

The speaking portion will be graded by the staff of a Benesse affiliate in the Philippines, with grades to be released in January.

This is a joke. I think tests should be graded by some English-speaking countries.

And the last thing which is less related to this topic:

I hope they will do the same for JLPT N5-N1 and finally, there will be a speaking part added.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All the English teachers ive met in Japan have become sort of unpleased with the students ability to actually do their best to learn the language and aren't assertive enough.

Therefore the English teachers are thus not as motivated to do thier job efficiently.

Unfortunate so many foreigners living in Japan have gotten pigeon-holed into being English teachers.

Japan could greatly benefit from getting more serious about learning the English language.

And no romanji isn't English.

The amount of misspellings of English all over Japan is ridiculous .

Use a dictionary for goodness sake !

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It's idiotic to think that being able to answer 8 questions is a measure of one's "speaking" ability!

Well, that depends on those eight questions. It’s surely sufficient for a first or basic measurement of general speaking ability. Btw. there’s even an only 3 questions IQ test out there and that one is sufficient too (although its third question is showing that the developer might not have himself such a very high IQ required for creating such a short test)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And no romanji isn't English.

The amount of misspellings of English all over Japan is ridiculous .

Use a dictionary for goodness sake !

Priceless.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do find that Japanese women or girls are much better at the English language and more intelligent

not the two NHK translators at 7 and 9pm though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It begs the question...what Speaking proficiency level descriptor is being used for a (Mock) Test of 8 Qs in 15 minutes?

I can see it now:

Q1. What is your name?

Q2. Where are you from?

Q3. Where do you live?

Q4. When is your birthday?

Q5. Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Q6. What do you like?

Q7. What can you do?

Q8. Which do you like, (cats) or (dogs) [selective category]? Why?

Then Level:

Scale score 6 - 8...Level 3 Typically, test taker have limited vocabulary and grammar.

Scale score 4-5...Level 2 Typically, test taker is difficult to understand.

Scale score 0-3...Level 1 Typically, test taker may not have the proficiency skills (L/R) necessary to understand.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

English Oral tests being marked by non-native English speaking people. I have even observed, a correct answer being given, and being marked incorrect simply because it did not meet the predetermined answer .. which itself was wrong!!!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites