The Problem with Japan!

Discussion in 'General Topics - Life in Japan' started by Skinny James, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Skinny James

    Skinny James TAG Member

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    Critics of English education misguided; English hegemony must be overcome - Kumiko Torikai

    [​IMG] In a controversial interview with the Asahi Shinbun, Rikkyo University professor Kumiko Torikai has attacked critics of the current English education system for not understanding it and called for the teaching of "core English" stripped of cultural content.

    Torikai criticizes those who bemoan that students aren't taught how to speak English: "The problem today is that conversation skills are being overemphasized. You say students can only read and write but can't converse in English, but that's an old story that is no longer true."

    The NHK ""Nyusu de Eikaiwa" (English conversation on current events) presenter also calls for abandoning the teaching of the culture of native speakers of English as part of English lessons and argues that the "hegemony of English must be overcome". She notes that as the number of non-native speakers of English outnumbers native speakers a "Universal English" should be taught that recognizes this and that the US and UK are no longer the arbiters of the language. "For instance, when you say something to an American and the American tells you, 'We don't say that in the States,' you can respond, 'I'm sure you don't, but we do in Japan.'

    Professor Torikai was a member of the special advisory committee to the Ministry of Education on education reform in 2001.

    Reported by: Russell Willis


    This kind of professor is one to be loathed because all of her disciples will teach exactly like her in the classroom. Then you will hear the student with the least skills utter, "We Japanese don't need English" or "We can't speak English" even if they are speaking English as well as can be expected from a novice.
     
  2. Karen

    KarenKaren is a Verified Member Mistress of the Night

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    Uh, yeah, lol.

    So, Japan will be having their own "native" English and butchering the original English language as it has evolved from Western Europe.

    Good grief.
     
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  3. Skinny James

    Skinny James TAG Member

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    God help us if this kind of thing takes hold in Japan. Today Strawberry is day of festival very much.
     
  4. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    I wonder if that's how we (Americans, I mean...I realize not everyone here is from the States) sound to the Brits. :D

    -Ww
     
  5. Skinny James

    Skinny James TAG Member

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    I have never had a problem with the Brits. I did book check once and could not really find much dif in the way the Brits write. Sound obviously is dif, and vocab, but "thicket" versus "copse" or "trolley" versus "cart" (grocery cart), or my favorite "shag" versus a more local form of shag that means "let's go".... You can imagine what kind of misunderstanding you can have when you tell a female Brit "Let's shag" when it is 4:59pm and work is about to be finished. lol But I gotta say that the British influenced English textbooks were designed to cause major confusion amongst students. The newly acquired American influenced textbooks have stories that make sense and practical vocabulary, slang, colloquial phrases, and they have dropped the A-bomb story for more local stories about real people in Japan that experienced the aftermath of war. Glad the whole chapter about landmines was cut. The Prof above said that culture should be cut. Now, does that mean that we will no longer see stories about the Ainu people and the language of India in English textbooks? What about French? Chinese profiles too?

    Welcome to Japan's Diner.

    Before I offer you any services, what country are you from? If you are from any of these countries, we can not offer you services due to your Non-Native Japanese English speaking abilities. Chinese are exempt (tourism dollars are more important). You may share culture with us locals and we are now censuring all Americans, Brits, Canadians, Australians, any other English speakers influenced by England and the US.

    Please show me your certiffication papers.

    Okay, here you are. I am fully Japanese and speak full nihongo and perfect wasei eigo.

    Perfect! What do you want to order?

    Um, I would like to have the All Nippon Burger that looks like a Big Mac.

    We don't say Big Mac anymore. みな 日本 バーガー。

    ごめん 為さい
     
  6. Karen

    KarenKaren is a Verified Member Mistress of the Night

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    lol...

    I'm just now getting back to this thread.

    |ALL NIPPON BURGER|

    WIN!
     
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  7. BaradaNicto

    BaradaNicto TAG Member

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    I saw that story reprinted in the newspaper about a month ago. She actually makes a few valid points but for the most part... I was reading with my jaw dropping because I couldn't believe anyone could be so obtuse! When she says that pronunciation isn't important and forget about teaching the differences between "a" and "the"! I just want to slap the bitch!
     
  8. Karen

    KarenKaren is a Verified Member Mistress of the Night

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    *clap* *clap* *clap*

    There have been a few more articles like this popping up on various sites. I really think some of these articles need to have the bullshit flag pulled on them since the whole point is to piss people off.

    If you're not from North Korea, then you should be able to think with your own mind and not listen to all of the mindless drooling. Matter-o-fact, the same can be said with all of the fear-mongering going on with radiation and fukushima. Have you seen these fly-by-night operations that post stupidly high numbers for certain parts of Tokyo and claim we're all going to be dead?

    As I said. Any non-North Korean can think for themselves. :O












    PS: I don't like N. Korea.
     
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  9. TheClapmydiaMan

    TheClapmydiaMan TAG Member

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    Karen you make a good point about these types of articles. I question why reputable news agencies are even posting the ideas of these particular professors. From what I gather, this very is either fueled by religion-based universities in Japan, or by anti-foreign Japenese citizens. We all know that neutral English is another scam being pushed in Japan. Most scams start on the government level. I can say for sure that these particular professors were hand picked by some Japanese official to start this campaign of spewing BS about neutral English. In the past this is how it has been. Have no indication that the process has changed. Thus these professors are not thinking for themselves.
     

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