Cram Schools in Japan: The Need for Research

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Robert J. Lowe, Rikkyo University

The private juku (cram school) industry is an enormously profitable and influential area of education in Japan, including in the specific field of English language teaching (ELT). However, while much research has been carried out in other areas of ELT in Japan, juku have largely escaped the attention of researchers. This paper attempts to argue the need for more research into English language education as it is practiced in juku. The article first situates juku within the Japanese education system, and then illustrates the extent to which juku have been under-researched when compared to other ELT contexts in Japan. The author advocates the need for more research into ELT to be carried out in juku, and finally suggests some areas into which this research could be conducted.