Training Teachers

Page No.: 
Aaron Hahn, Fukuoka University


Over the last several decades, the Japanese government, through the Course of Study guidelines promulgated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, has directed schools to include more communicative language teaching (CLT) in their English programs. These top‑down directives have met with mixed results. One commonly cited problem is that English teachers are rarely provided with sufficient training in CLT, and thus are unable to implement the new guidelines effectively. However, since other objections also play a role in the rejection of CLT, one question is whether or not increased training increases compliance with the guidelines. This paper examines two local contexts to determine the role that proper training can play. Specifically, it considers informal training provided at a public high school by an Assistant Language Teacher, along with training conducted by a Board of Education to prepare elementary school teachers to begin teaching foreign language classes.