7 Difficulties of Teaching English in Japan!

7 Difficulties of Teaching English in Japan!

Teaching English in Japan can be a bit of a challenge especially for newbie English teachers. There are many reasons why; some of which are listed below. So for those planning to go to Japan to work there especially as an English teacher, please read on.



 

7 Difficulties of Teaching English in Japan!

 

1. Sound differentiation

It is difficult for many Japanese students to differentiate between sounds because, in the Japanese language, there is no sound differentiation. For instance, “R” and “L” are often interchanged. “Rob” for love, “wir” for will, “reast” for least to name a few. Extensive drills, however, on pronunciation can correct this in teaching English in Japan.

 

2. Pitch range and stress in teaching English in Japan

The Japanese are used to having equal intervals between words and syllables, unlike English which emphasizes on stress especially for important words. Students need to practice raising and lowering pitches and to focus more on natural speech. They must pay attention to elision, liaison, and assimilation for more flowing speech.

 

3. Obedience in class

Japanese students, even adults, tend to show their respect and obedience by keeping quiet, non-participative and even reluctance in asking questions. In teaching English in Japan, the teacher should not see this as indifference. He or she must build for them a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to help them loosen up and communicate better with each other and with the teacher.

 

4. Mechanical memorization

Japanese are mechanical memorizers and they must be weaned them away from that so they can emphasize more on fluency rather than on accuracy. In teaching English in Japan, teachers must dissuade students from learning other languages and courses than can distract them; plus, he must constantly remind them of the importance of using English even outside the classroom.

 

5. Intrinsic peculiarities

The Japanese language does not have articles “the”, “a”, or “an”. Also, Japanese has no plural forms. Furthermore, Japanese does not follow the normal word order of English for a variety of reasons such as to emphasize respect. This makes translations more difficult in teaching English in Japan.

 

6. No direct translation

English teachers must realize that Japanese words cannot directly be translated into English. So in teaching English in Japan, the teacher uses the method of word for word translation, the results can be tragic, laughable and even strange. Contextual translation is better than by vocabulary. In teaching English in Japan, the teacher should also be fluent in Japanese.

 

7. In teaching English in Japan

Keep in mind, a lot of Japanese students learn English for function in business and for aesthetics. Speaking English can be an advantage in business when dealing with foreigners. In teaching English in Japan, the teacher must realize students may be for aesthetic purposes, to look smarter and sophisticated.

 

Conclusion

Due to social and parental pressure, Japanese students tend to emphasize more on making sense and not sounding weird. Thus, they don’t put emphasis on correctness. This creates anxiety and makes shy away from speaking the language altogether. In teaching English in Japan, it is the teacher’s job to constantly encourage students by creating a friendly and helpful atmosphere in the classroom.

 

7 Difficulties of Teaching English in Japan!

1. Sound differentiation
2. Pitch range and stress in teaching English in Japan
3. Obedience in class
4. Mechanical memorization
5. Intrinsic peculiarities
6. No direct translation
7. In teaching English in Japan