Teaching English in Japan

  1. Thank you for taking the time to visit. I have been blessed to work with Japanese students of English from four to seventy years of age, six days a week, since February of 1991. This web site seeks to share the lessons gained through our mutual struggles and discoveries, and is gratefully dedicated to those hundreds of students. May this work be a blessing to you as well.

  2. Most published materials designed for English as a second language (ESL) students are inadequate and inappropriate for those studying English as a foreign language (EFL) in Japan. The sound, grammar, writing and cultural structure of English is dramatically different from their daily environment. An effective curriculum must introduce and practice these aspects of English in a considered, sometimes explicit, gradual and systematic manner.

  3. Language is based on spoken communication. Language ability begins with speaking the target language. Japanese students, who grow up speaking a language built on about 21 speech sounds, cannot function effectively with English (which has about 43) until they learn how to produce the spoken language accurately and consistently.

  4. Each writing system is based on the sound structure of its spoken language. English is written with an alphabetic code, which is a phonic code of English speech sounds. Reading and writing lessons based on this foundational  principle (Linguistic Phonics, see McGuinness) allow the students to read and write with understanding, accuracy and confidence, independently.

  5. When the student becomes capable and confident in using the spoken language individually and accurately, in creative and meaningful context, he is learning the language. Until then, he is not and can not. Listening, doing translation, group reciting, gazing at textbooks, etc., are not effective. The responsible teacher's role is to carefully create situations where the student is motivated to actively produce and use the spoken language.

  6. May this be helpful to your work. Best wishes for your classes, Peter Warner.

  Welcome to Teaching English in Japan.  This site is intended for schools, curriculum designers,  administrators  and  teachers.  These  material  and articles are provided to promote effective and systematic instruction of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to Japanese students. Any material presented here may be reproduced if full credit is given. 

Site last updated on:  2013/4/6

Teaching English (EFL) in Japan

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