Updated: October 19, 2016
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How Do The Japanese People Learn English?

Many of you might wonder why the Japanese don't speak English well. However, they do learn English, Even at their early stage of life. Isn't it curious to know how they learn English? Here is how!

1. School Curriculum

The Japanese start learning English from the middle school in general.
Currently, there are the debates over the school curriculum starts earlier than the middle school.
From the age of 12 or so to the college level, the Japanese continues the journey of English. So basically more than 6 years of learning.

However, it's a rare case to master English because the schools only teach how to read and write English.
For those people, there is another step to learn English.
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2. English School (Eikaiwa Gakko)

ECC, NOVA, COCO Juku, Berlitz, Gaba, etc are all the English schools or Eikaiwa Gakko developed in Japan.
Lots of the Japanese have had a learning experience at those Eikaiwa Gakko to learn speaking English.
(I just stopped by an eikaiwa school to research what it'd be really like.
The teachers were from the U.S., Australia, England, and they were all friendly by the way).

In fact, there are English school for kids as well.
Many parents think it's too late to acquire the language after the elementary school, so they think their kids should start learning at the early stage of life.
And it's getting a big business here.
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3. Studying Abroad (Ryugaku)

OK. 6 years of school education is not enough.
Then, some might start thinking, "why not go and study abroad?"
That was my case.

Studying abroad is easier to acquire the language although it's certainly expensive and requires both physical and mental toughness (to endure and survive "all English environment" at school like high school, college, graduate school, etc).

There are even "petit" studying abroad programs that students can learn English and its culture for a short term (from a few months to one year, basically), which is more popular than the basic studying abroad experience.
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4. Study All By Yourself

Some people stick with their studies all by themselves.
Since English is the second language for the Japanese, there are some exams to test their English skills such as TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.

In some cases, certain test scores are required for promotion, so they study by the self for those exams.
There are lots of books for the self study, so it's getting easier to learn English without any lecture or teachers.
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Melissa

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