U.S. RELO visit to Izumi High School

On May 17, 2012
Today I took a trip to the southside of Osaka prefecture to Izumi High School, where Toru Nakahara is Prinicipal. There, we met up again with Public Affairs office staff member Eri Nakanishi, and RELO George Scholz, based at the American Embassy in Seoul.

It has been around four months since our last meeting, and we all had lots to catch up on. Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of planning as well as trying to develop a solid plan for English education for first-time learners, so I had a lot of questions about Korea’s implementation of elementary school English.

After a couple of hours, we had learned a lot! Mr. Scholz gave us an in-depth review of what’s happening in Korea, where they are doing some truly great things. They’ve created their own tests and are doing consistent research and evaluation and adjustments to their programs across the country. They implemented English education in 1997, which puts them more than 15 years ahead of Japan at the moment. While it is obvious that we are well behind, I still feel that we can easily (and quickly) catch up and start giving our kids the education that so many want.

Mr. Nakahara was able to learn a variety of background information on Korea’s “NEAT” English tests for high school, as well as how TOEIC and TEFL tests are being used and what students need to prepare themselves for college and studying abroad.Overall, it was another fantastic meeting, and I’m looking forward to the next time that we can work together! Thank you as always, U.S. State Department officials.