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the way that English is used in Japan

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seanolan
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Postby seanolan » October 10th, 2007 11:20 pm

Nyako wrote:In my 3rd year of Spanish, my teacher permitted no English whatsoever..written or spoken. Believe me, we achieved "conversational" level rather quickly. :D
Which tells me how adept you are at speaking the language when you walk out of the class depends upon the teacher. If he/she is serious about teaching you the language, they will require that you use it. Or you won't pass the class.


This is only true if the school allows penalties for failing to abide by the rules of the class. Most, if not all, Japanese schools do not allow students to be failed under virtually any circumstances (apparently it is too traumatic for them to not stay with their classmates). Knowing this, many students are unmotivated to follow such rules.

Sean

Nyako
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Postby Nyako » October 11th, 2007 12:32 pm

Interesting Sean. I think this would effectively hamstring a teacher's efforts.
A few local High Schools here teach Japanese in grades 9 through 12. If their kanji ability is not up to snuff, they aren't given the option to continue Japanese past 10th grade.
Kind of weeds out those who aren't trying.
I've never taught in Japan..what then, if any, consequence is their for unacceptable grades?

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seanolan
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Postby seanolan » October 11th, 2007 10:31 pm

Nyako wrote:Interesting Sean. I think this would effectively hamstring a teacher's efforts.
A few local High Schools here teach Japanese in grades 9 through 12. If their kanji ability is not up to snuff, they aren't given the option to continue Japanese past 10th grade.
Kind of weeds out those who aren't trying.
I've never taught in Japan..what then, if any, consequence is their for unacceptable grades?


Being yelled at in the teachers' room. Possibly being humiliated. Parental contact, sometimes (this is much rarer than in the States.) But the only real penalty is if they are going to university, they will likely do poorly on the entrance exams. Japan does SFA to poorly performing students within the school system.

Sean

annie
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Postby annie » October 12th, 2007 3:18 pm

seanolan wrote:
Nyako wrote:Interesting Sean. I think this would effectively hamstring a teacher's efforts.
A few local High Schools here teach Japanese in grades 9 through 12. If their kanji ability is not up to snuff, they aren't given the option to continue Japanese past 10th grade.
Kind of weeds out those who aren't trying.
I've never taught in Japan..what then, if any, consequence is their for unacceptable grades?


Being yelled at in the teachers' room. Possibly being humiliated. Parental contact, sometimes (this is much rarer than in the States.) But the only real penalty is if they are going to university, they will likely do poorly on the entrance exams. Japan does SFA to poorly performing students within the school system.

Sean


No such thing as unacceptable grades, really. At my former JHS average test scores in all subjects hovered around 60%. (One of the math exams, the average was I think 38%)

Students aren't held back here, so they'll just be promoted along with their class.

When I wrote report cards last term, I probably gave half of my 9th grade students 2's (out of 10). But, lots of schools have mandatory grade averages following a bell-curve like pattern, so even the truly horrible students there are still getting decent enough grades.

metablue
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Postby metablue » October 24th, 2007 1:57 am

How bad 60% is really depends on the test. Back home, in the last few years of high school they deliberately make the tests difficult enough that 60% is a reasonably good mark. The idea is to prepare the kids for the university-type grading system, and probably also to leave enough room at the top for some kids to shine.

When I moved to North America it was amusing to watch the kids coming in from high school talking about their 112% final grade in math. When they started getting college grades of 60% or 70%, it was like a crisis for some of them.

Anyway, my point is that a 60% average is unacceptable by North American standards, but it might just be that Japan hasn't experienced grade inflation yet.

seanolan
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Postby seanolan » October 24th, 2007 11:11 pm

metablue wrote:How bad 60% is really depends on the test. Back home, in the last few years of high school they deliberately make the tests difficult enough that 60% is a reasonably good mark. The idea is to prepare the kids for the university-type grading system, and probably also to leave enough room at the top for some kids to shine.

When I moved to North America it was amusing to watch the kids coming in from high school talking about their 112% final grade in math. When they started getting college grades of 60% or 70%, it was like a crisis for some of them.

Anyway, my point is that a 60% average is unacceptable by North American standards, but it might just be that Japan hasn't experienced grade inflation yet.


Please accept that, as teachers in Japan, both Annie and I know what we are talking about. 60% is NOT a good grade here. The tests I have seen are not any significant amount harder than the tests in the US, and at least a full week is spent by the teacher going over what will be on the test beforehand (sometimes literally going over the test question by question). The students often still don't pass because they don't have much incentive to do so.

If I recall correctly, on the year-end standardized tests they take, a passing grade is 30%. And even the students who do not pass the test are moved on to the next grade.

Sean

kc8ufv
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Postby kc8ufv » October 30th, 2007 2:19 pm

seanolan wrote:If I recall correctly, on the year-end standardized tests they take, a passing grade is 30%. And even the students who do not pass the test are moved on to the next grade.

Sean


Geez. Assuming typical 4 answer multiple choice, statistically speaking, this is only slightly better than random chance. That's ridiculously low.

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