Ministers from both countries witness the signing
16 October 2013
Foreign Secretary William Hague visited the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to meet the Minister Hakubun Shimomura this morning.
The two witnessed the signing of an MOU between the Ministry and the British Council, signalling their intention to work together on the training of English language teachers in Japanese Primary, Junior and Senior High schools. The overall aim is to develop a new training model through which leading teachers of English will be developed, who will then cascade their expertise to other teachers in Japan, eventually reaching every teacher in the country who needs to teach English. The British Council has worked with many other Ministries of Education around the world in similar ways, and the UK is a world leader in English language education.
With Tokyo winning the Olympic and Paralympic Games for 2020, extra urgency has been given to the desire to improve English language levels in Japan, and the British Council is keen to support this agenda. The organisation has experience in this area, having provided special English content for learners and for visiting athletes at the time of London 2012.
Jeff Streeter, Director Japan, British Council commented: “Improving English language standards is a key part of the current education reform process in Japan. We are delighted to be working with MEXT in order to help them support the work of teachers of English in schools at all levels right across the country.”
(Current number of English teachers in Japan: 23,810*1 at Junior High School, 30,697*1 at Senior High School and 347,773*2 at Elementary (Primary) school. Source:*1：As of 2012, ‘Five Proposals and Specific Measures for Developing Proficiency in English for International Communication’, MEXT, *2：As of FY2010, MEXT)