The way of teaching English in Elite school in Japan


Summary: I’ll tell you the way of teaching English in elite school. In this article, as the example of elite school, I ‘ll introduce “Tokyo Metropolitan Hakuo Senior High School – Junior High School”, one of the most intelligent public school in Tokyo.


What is Tokyo Metropolitan Hakuo Senior High School – Junior High School

Hakuo high school was born in 1950 (actually, it has so long history, but I omit much information). It was
Tokyo Metropolitan Hakuo Senior High School – Junior High School (later I call this school Hakuo) was just a common, public school in Tokyo. Education level was good, the level was from pre-advanced ~ upper intermediate, not top of top. “Hakuo was not top-level school, but so nice school”, this was the reputation about 20 years ago.
However, it changed radically. In 2005, it made affiliated junior high school. Unlike other public high school, students can study at the same school for 6 years (from the age of 12~18). Due to this, they can study with the coherent educational system.
As a result, Hakuo got one of the most noticeable and popular school in public schools in Tokyo.

The level of the students

To enter Hakuo school, elementary school students need to pass the entrance exam. Every year, the competitive ratio for entrance is about 7. Only super intelligent students can be Hakuo school students. Like these students study spontaneously without being said something like “Study hard.” from their parents.

Educational environment


Hakuo is famous for homework. It is not just a rumor. I had worked at a clam school as a part time job when I was a university student. In particular, in the clam school field, it is just a common sense that Hakuo school give a lot of homework to students. As this is another topic, it is also famous that the cost for the supplement teaching material is huge.

After school English lesson

After school, English teachers offer lessons focusing on listening 4 days in a week for junior high school students. One lesson is 50 minutes. In public junior high school, students take 4 English lessons in a week fundamentally. So, students at Hakuo can study 400 minutes (6 hour and 40 minutes) at school.
Of course, students can select the way which they don’t take after school lessons. But I heard that over 50 % students always take the after school English lesson. I couldn’t imagine that.

The result of teaching English

The learning objective of 3rd grade junior high school student in Hakuo school is “to get Eiken 2 grade.” It says that people need more than 5.000 words to pass Eiken 2 grade exam. In Japan, students reach 5.000 vocabularies when they are 3rd grade high school students. Hakuo students study English twice as fast as the average person in 3 years. To do this, they start to study listening English. In a sense, they study listening hard, so they can aim at getting Eiken 2.
I believe that to focus on listening English is the best way to teach English.
This is the article about how important to listen English to be English speakers.

School should make Only listening class to increase English speakers
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