Linda comments

Posted in: AI robots to help teach English in 500 classrooms next year See in context

What an incredibly stupid, wasteful but not surprising idea for Japan. It must have a business basis (support the robot industry) or it wouldn't be happening. I taught English at Matsushita Denki back in the 1980s and then later sent Japanese employees of an American company to the US for month-long immersions with home-stays. They returned having lost their fear of making mistakes and with the positive experience of having built relationships with American colleagues and their home-stay families.

Requiring Japanese teachers of English to have a high standard of English fluency would be a good start, followed by changing the method of instruction from the long out-dated grammar-translation method to an interactive, communicative style of teaching. Japanese schools teach about English but, for the most part, don't teach living English. They teach it as a dead language, not a living means of communication. Robots won't solve these problems.

One may wonder why the kikokushijo / kaigaishijo are often segregated into their own schools when they would be an asset in English languages classes in ordinary Japanese schools. They are usually fluent in English and speak it better than many Japanese teachers of English.

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