More private junior high schools add English testing to entrance exams
ASAHI — JAN 03, 2015
A growing number of private junior high schools are introducing English testing in their entrance examinations in anticipation of the language being emphasized in elementary schools in coming years to improve students’ conversation ability.
According to an organization that conducts practice exams, at least 32 private junior high schools plan to implement English testing in their 2015 entrance examinations in the Tokyo metropolitan area alone. The figure excludes schools that conduct English tests only for returnees from abroad.
In December, Toin Gakuen in Yokohama held a meeting to detail entrance examinations for its three-year junior high school, which consists of a boys division and a girls division, and a six-year secondary education school, which is only for male students.

In the meeting, about 800 parents and other guardians listened to explanations on English, which will become a subject of the two schools’ entrance examinations for the first time in 2015.

In the briefing, a teacher in charge of the subject said that even English composition will be part of the testing, and added, “From now on, it is important to master the ability to use English (in society) as well as the ability that is useful in university entrance examinations.”

According to the session, English will be introduced as an elective subject, and the tests will need vocabulary and reading ability that are required for the Society for Testing English Proficiency (STEP) third-grade test (which is equivalent to the level at the time of graduation from junior high school).

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