Sunday, September 28, 2008

Learning English

A couple days ago, in my hostel room, I met a Japanese guy in his early 20s traveling around inside his country for a weekend trying to learn some more about history. I thought that was pretty cool. I asked him if he was with any friends, he said no because nobody else had time that weekend and he had 4 days in a row for some reason.

He spoke a little bit of English. I was impressed at how much he could understand. He:s not as good as my cousins are, but good enough to have a short conversation with some hand signals and fingerdrawings.

He told me that Japanese kids are required to learn English starting in 9th grade for 4 years. I was a little surprised at that number. Korean kids are required now to start learning English in 2nd grade. Apparently Korea finds it much more important that their kids know how to communicate with the western world. That must be part of the reason why most people in the public in Japan that I meet don:t know enough English to say more than just "hi" and "thank you".

I:m surprised because Japan is a first world nation now, and Korea is still probably considered second world, yet Korea finds it much more important to know how to speak English? Funky. Maybe Japan feels that it doesn:t need to communicate in English with the other countries?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home