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BACKSEAT DRIVER

What's up with English education in Japan?

by ASAKO STEIG

INTRODUCTION by JEREMY STEIG

Sixteen years ago, while on tour in Japan, I found myself in a department store buying a pen. They had to send for an interpreter and that's how I met my wife, Asako. Asako approached English like a real jazz musician. She knew that school wasn't enough and figured things out for herself. Loving movies, she would stay for three showings and listened hard to the sound of English when she was in junior high. That's what you need to play jazz--Listen hard. It's all ear training.

The Japanese government is pushing English language learning because of the Olympics, which is seven years away. We read about it almost every day in The Japan Times.
But most of the time, only the points of view of the educators and experts are featured, so Asako decided to express her views about it. Starting this month (January 2014), I'm adding Asako's blog, "BACKSEAT DRIVER" on English education in Japan.

I am now studying Japanese with her every morning, so we are all together in this. Many people who visit this website are Japanese. Japanese jazz fans will find her blog very interesting. Her English is many ways better than mine. She even corrects my spelling. Enjoy!

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