Departmental Bulletin Paper Roles and Limitations for Assistant Language Teachers in Elementary School English Classes

Marchesseau, Gerard

6pp.27 - 36 , 2016/03 , 鳴門教育大学小学校英語教育センター
There are currently almost 4000 foreign nationals working as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET Program) as well as many others who are contracted outside of the JET Program. Previously, ALTs were engaged in team teaching with Japanese teachers of English in junior and senior high school. More recently, since English has been implemented at elementary school, ALTs often find themselves teaching at that level also. This has been a relatively new development and it is very important to realize that ALTs face unique challenges in elementary schools. Japanese teachers should be aware of the realities and limitations of the JET Program, especially when considering the elementary school context. This paper illuminates these limitations, describing the history of the JET Program before focusing on the current situation. Finally, some suggestions regarding the roles for Japanese homeroom teacher as well as ALTs are presented.

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