Revising English Education at the University Level

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Mark deBoer, Iwate University


In this paper I address some of the issues outlined by the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry (METI) concerning the lack of “global human resources” in Japan. Two questions are addressed: Is it necessary to teach English at the university level? and How can we use technology in the classroom to assist Japanese students? I propose that by teaching skillsets using English as the communication medium, students will be able to learn how to use the language to communicate and collaborate, plus they will learn necessary skills that they can use once they enter the workforce. The technology issues are addressed so as to suggest ways to have students effectively collaborate using a learning management system (LMS) that simulates a working environment. Through these proposed teaching methods, Japanese students will be more prepared to be global human resources.