English education to start from elementary school 3rd grade

Up to now, English teaching in elementary schools has not been considered another subject but rather a foreign language activity, for which no textbooks have been used nor have student’s learning been graded. The activity is started from the elementary school 5th grade.

The Japanese Ministry of Education announced Wednesday that, in the near future, English classes in primary schools will begin two years earlier, in the 3rd grade. On top of that, students will start getting graded, and will have to use textbooks from the 5th grade.

The focus is to teach basic English to students from an early age, and increase internationally-oriented human resources in Japan. The change is scheduled to be in place by 2020.