In-Service Training for Teaching English in Elementary Schools in Japan

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Kyoko Miyazato, Hakuoh University

The present situation of in-service training for teaching English in elementary schools in Japan and necessary training schemes are examined in this study. Teaching English in elementary schools has been a requirement since 2011 but has faced challenges in aspects including goal setting, curriculum development, teacher quality, and teaching materials. Among these, teacher quality has been most controversial, as elementary school teachers are neither English specialists nor trained to teach English. To investigate teachers’ needs, 44 participants were asked about their previous training experiences and expectations for future training. Additionally, interviews with a local trainer and two teachers were conducted and two class observations were done. Results show that most teachers have little formal training, caused by the malfunctioning top-down training structure. Teachers also voiced an urgent need to establish more solid systems and central policies to involve all teachers in teacher training.