Nowadays, a majority of the population in Japan wants to learn English. This is inclusive of all major cross-sections of people.
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“There were days when your intellect as a Japanese would be measured in terms of how well you knew the different dialects of the Japanese language. All that is slowly changing nowadays. What I hear from Japan is that knowing English is slowly being used as a benchmark to judge a person?s dialect. That is a big sea change for a country that has made a lot of progress in 60 years after the atomic bombings.
Now, students are exposed to English at a very early age. The thinking of Japanese citizens is that if they learn English at a very young age, they would not have problems communicating in English when they grow up. It is this thought that forces a lot of English teaching jobs in schools and universities. Please do not be surprised when a kid sings ?Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star? or ?Mary had a little lamb to you?. English teaching has acquired unprecedented popularity in Japan and kids aged 6-12 are one amongst the first to be educated.
The teens, who are aged 13-18 are also being a part of the revolution. I am told that there are compulsory English classes in their schools. Though for now, English is not their primary medium of communication for all other subjects, it is learnt as a second language. That in itself is a good change. I am also being told that everyone enrolling in schools must complete tests in English. Without passing the tests, they would not be allowed to go to the next grade.
The last set of popular age group that has been taking to education in English quite predominantly is the middle aged people. Quite a lot of these guys are employed with MNC Firms. With most of the firms in the world going global, Japanese have realized that they would need efficient communication in English for them to survive. It is this need that is forcing a lot of these guys to take to English. More importantly, a lot of these guys learn English as an additional skill for them to apply for jobs. A lot of companies in Japan give weight to your resume if you know English.
All this tells you that if you are an English Teacher, you have a wide base of people that you can target. It just requires you to be certified and if you are, chances are you could land a high paying English teaching job.”