ESL Questions for Japan - Immigration doesn`t have to be a problem. It can be an opportunity.
Many marriages in Japan are now international. The children of these families often grow up bilingual and will have a huge advantage in politics and the work place.
Morover, Japanese will be working abroad more. Japanese companies are shipping their best technology abroad, and setting up their most advanced factories off-shore too. Less and less production will be done here.
Basically, unless you are going to restrict yourself to applying for jobs at Japanese companies, or you only want to risk restricting yourself to working in Japan, and never being promoted to a managerial post, then English is not important for you.
Unfortunately though, you shackle yourself to what jobs you can get for people without any English skills. You hurt your job security. And you miss out on a learning experience—a window to the world by learning English.
On ESL Questions, University of Tsukuba professor, Yukio Tsuda feels Japanese should stop glorifying English and English speakers. Japanese need to treat their own language and people with more respect.
“A slave who doesn`t feel his enslavement is a `happy slave,` a product of the ultimate form of domination. I see a parallel between him and Japan,” says Tsuda.
I don`t feel anyone has forced Japanese to study English other than the Japanese government and school boards themselves. America and other countries have not forced Japan to learn English as Tsuda seems to indicate. Furthermore, Japanese themselves have seen the importance of English and chosen to brush up their skills.
ESL Questions - is it Fair the English Speakers have an Advantage?
The world is not fair, the sooner we recognize that, the better.
It is true that native English speakers have an advantage in debate, negotiation, sales and other aspects, if the playing field is in English. That said, young Japanese have many years to brush up their skills, and the government can do much more to make the English learning program from kindergarten on up, much, much better.
If Japan can make the technology that she makes, surely the education system in public schools can find a way to teach English well.
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