With Japanese primary schools about to start compulsory English lessons, this survey from iShare took a look at people’s English ability and children’s English lessons. As it’s rather a long survey and lends itself into splitting into two, I’ll do just that.
Over the 17th and 18th of January 2011 1,722 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service in full-time employment completed a private internet-based survey. 579 people had children of primary school age or younger, 62.0% of the sample were male, 52.2% in their thirties, and 47.8% in their forties.
Q3 is a funny one to me – I don’t really associate primary school with studying, so I can’t say there is anything academic I should have put more effort into, although I do wish I’d persevered more with music-making as I wish I didn’t have such a tin ear.
My employer requires various levels of TOEIC scores before promotion to higher levels and there is also some indirect input of English skill into a system for rating skill level. Conversely, they have zero requirement for foreigners to speak Japanese, an issue that I regularly take up with personnel.
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Q1: How much confidence do you have in your own English ability? (Sample size=1,722)
|None at all||79.3%||79.5%||78.9%|
Q2: Regardless of your own ability, do you think English ability is necessary in today’s society? (Sample size=1,722)
|Definitely (to SQ)||36.3%||38.9%||32.1%|
|A little (to SQ)||44.3%||40.2%||51.0%|
|Not at all||19.4%||20.9%||16.9%|
Q2SQ: Are you something concrete to improve your English ability? For example, video or audio-based lessons, games machine or PC-based lessons, internet-based lessons, being taught by someone who speaks English, attending English classes, etc. (Sample size=1,388)
I don’t know why there wasn’t a break-down to see which methods people used.
Q3: Do you wish you’d put more effort into studying a subject when you were in elementary school? (Sample size=1,722)
|Yes (to SQ)||53.3%||49.6%||59.4%|
Q3SQ: Which subjects do you wish you’d put more effort into studying when you were in elementary school? (Sample size=918, multiple answer)
|Physical education, sports||19.2%||20.6%||17.2%|
|Arts and crafts||13.9%||13.0%||15.2%|
Q4: Does your workplace have any company rules regarding improving your English ability? (Sample size=1,722)
|Yes (to SQs)||7.2%||8.7%||4.7%|
Q4SQ1: What company rules are there regarding improving your English ability? (Sample size=124, multiple answer)
|Regular English ability tests||65.3%||65.6%||64.5%|
|Optional English classes outside of working hours||43.5%||47.3%||32.3%|
|Salary increase for better English ability||12.1%||14.0%||6.5%|
|Requirement for regular English study||6.5%||3.2%||16.1%|
|Plan to adopt English as the company language at some point||4.8%||5.4%||3.2%|
|Definite schedule to adopt English as the company language||2.4%||2.2%||3.2%|
Q4SQ2: How are the company rules regarding improving your English ability applied? (Sample size=124)
|Not at all proactively||52.4%||50.5%||58.1%|
Q5: Do you think it will be necessary for children now of elementary age to have English ability when they become adults? (Sample size=1,722)
|Very much so (to SQs)||52.2%||53.9%||49.5%|
|To some degree so (to SQ)||37.9%||35.7%||41.4%|
|Not at all so||9.9%||10.4%||9.2%|
Q5SQ: Why do you most think that English ability will be needed? (Sample size=1,551)
|In order to widen their sphere of communication||39.3%||38.2%||41.0%|
|In order to increase their job opportunities||31.5%||32.9%||29.1%|
|In order to have a global way of thinking||12.3%||12.0%||12.6%|
|In order to get a job||8.6%||8.7%||8.4%|
|In order to contribute to international society||4.3%||3.8%||5.0%|