The first day consisted of demonstration classes at Omuta shi ritsu Meiji Shougakkou and the second day was an all day conference which consisted of speeches and panel discussions from 9:50 - 16:30. It was a little ironic that a conference that advocated learner-centered English activities would keep the participants in their seats listening the whole second day. Nevertheless, I got a lot of good information about the future of English activities in Japanese elementary school (when I managed to stay awake) and I would like to share some of that information in this post.
In the morning Masataka Kan who is one of the key planners of the current English education reforms which will take place in 2011 gave a speech outlining the plan for compulsory English activities in elementary schools and discussing its rationale. Here is what he said.