Young Japanese desire English


How satisfied were you with school English education? graph of japanese statisticsI am always amazed at quite how high the desire to learn English is in Japan, as despite at least 5 years in school ability levels are pretty atrocious on the whole, and even given Nova’s demise there seems to be no fall-off in the popularity of study. This recent poll conducted by goo Research in conjuction with the Yomiuri Shimbun as part of their 13th Topi-Q Net survey into the matter of English showed youth keen to learn more.


Between the 21st and 25th of December 2007 549 young members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sex ratio was reported as 1:1 male to female, but there obviously was one odd person left over. The ages of the respondents ranged between teens to thirties, although the exact split is not reported. 40% of the sample were students in either secondary or tertiary education, 28% were full-time employees, and 12% homemakers, with the other 20% presumably made up of part-timers, NEETs, etc.

In Q1SQ, I thought it interesting that it was chance encounters with foreigners in the street or on holiday that was more of a reason to learn English when compared to other situations such as communicating better with foreign friends or dare I suggest looking for an exotic partner. I’ll also throw Q2 back at my readers.

Which aspect of Japanese do you feel is the most difficult?

View Results

Research results

Q1: Do you think it would be good to have more English ability? (Sample size=549)

Yes (to SQ)86%

Q1SQ: In what sorts of situations would you like to have more English ability? (Sample size=471, multiple answer)

When watching movies, videos, television44%
When on overseas travel44%
When using the internet39%
When studying for exams36%
When reading English newspapers, magazines, books34%
When foreigners stop me in the street32%
When it is necessary to use English at work27%
When studying overseas7%

Q2: Which aspects of English do you feel are difficult? (Sample size=549, multiple answer)


Q3: How satisfied were you (or are you) with your English education at middle and high school? (Sample size=549)

Satisfied to some extent23%
Dissatisfied to some extent49%

Q4: If you were to learn English other than through classes at school, with which method would you want to learn? (Sample size=549, multiple answer)

Language school, English conversation class46%42%51%
Using commercial text books30%31%28%
Television or radio lessons at home24%21%26%
Via the internet24%31%16%
Overseas English study course17%13%21%
Home tutor5%4%5%
Don’t plan to study outside of school15%14%16%
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