118 , 2015-06 , DSPM Research Lab, Mostaganem University Press
English is vigorously learned in Japan, but the average level of English pro ciency of Japanese students is still low compared to that of other developed countries. This article will consider the purpose and signi cance of learning English for Japanese at the college level, based on the author’s experience, both as a student and a teacher, at Kyoto University, Japan. The English taught in Japanese universities, at present just as 40 years ago, has a tendency to be a humanities subject and thus make light of oralaural elements. This trait, rooted in the teachers’ general lack of &uency and a false notion that spoken English is void of content, and therefore inferior to written English, needs improvement. It is the responsibility of those involved in higher education to help each student to harbour rich content by cultivating robust thinking and motivate expression. English classes are mostly taught using Japanese, which also needs serious reconsideration. Considering Japan’s place both from the global and East-Asian points of view, English as a lingua franca and Asian languages as a lingua vicinas (languages of neighbours) should be in the college curriculum. The notion of English as lingua franca that emphasizes communication rather than grammatical correctness suits the situation where Japanese non-native English teachers teach students. There is no such thing as a perfect speaker of any language. Those who have content—here, what they want to convey to younger users of English as a lingua franca—are all quali ed to teach English.