Majority of Japanese children recognise the necessity of foreign languages


Do you want to go on an overseas holiday? graph of japanese statisticsThe social learning company Surala recently conducted a survey into school children’s opinions of overseas.


Between the 1st and 20th of August 2015 480 children who used the Surala social learning service completed a survey offered after they logged into the Surala service. The sample was 55.6% male, 15.8% in primary school, 74.8% in middle school, and 9.4% in senior school.

Note that although the Surala service appears to be free to use, the sample is not going to be that representative of Japanese children overall, so care should be taken reading the results, especially, I think, the desire to learn and recognition of the necessity of foreign languages.

Research results

Q1: Have you ever been for an overseas holiday? (Sample size=480)

(to SQ)
NoNo answer
Primary schoolers39.5%60.5%0.0%
Middle schoolers31.5%68.5%0.0%
High schoolers42.2%55.6%2.2%

Q1SQ: How old were you when you took your first overseas holiday? (Sample size=162)

SampleAverage age
All6.3 years old
Primary schoolers5.2 years old
Middle schoolers6.5 years old
High schoolers6.9 years old

Furthermore, those 162 who had been overseas had on average been overseas 3.6 times!

Q2: Do you want to go on an overseas holiday? (Sample size=480)

Yes (to SQ)72.9%
Perhaps (to SQ)12.9%
Perhaps not7.3%
No answer0.4%

Q2SQ: Where do you most want to go on an overseas holiday? (Sample size=412, top five)


Q3: Would you like to acquire foreign language abilities? (Sample size=480)

Yes (to SQ)71.7%
Perhaps (to SQ)20.4%
Perhaps not4.0%
No answer1.5%

Q3SQ: How would you like to acquire foreign language abilities? (Sample size=442, multiple answer)

Lessons at school54.8%
Language cram school54.8%
Foreign study tour, homestay34.0%
Smartphone app27.5%
Language conversation school24.0%
Reference books24.0%
e-learning materials20.2%
Skype online lessons16.7%

Q4: Outside of lessons at school, are you actually studying to acquiring foreign language abilities? (Sample size=480)

No answer1.3%

For those who said they wanted to go on an overseas holiday in Q2, 72.8% were taking additional measures to acquire a new language.

Q5: Do you think one needs to acquire foreign language abilities while at school? (Sample size=480)

 NeededPerhaps neededNot really neededNot neededNo answer
Primary school67.1%27.6%2.6%1.3%1.3%
Middle school65.7%26.2%4.5%2.2%1.4%
High school64.4%33.3%2.2%0.0%0.0%
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