In preparation for the Olympics, Tokyo announced some of the “Long Term Visions” for English in preparation for the 2020 Games, and through 2024. This plan is geared to help Tokyo become the “best city in the world.” Besides encouraging and supporting students to take part in foreign exchange programs and helping Japanese people be better English teachers, they also want to give elementary, junior high and high school students the chance to spend time in an “English Village” where the only language of communication allowed is English.
This isn’t a weekend trip to fun English land, this will be a fully functional town that will use English as its official language. It’s bound to be tough to pull off, but it takes big ideas and motivation to make it to the top. Some of the features of the village are to have restaurants, shops and sports centers; typical buildings that can be found in any city. The staff would be foreigners who have the support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and also the JET Program, which already assists in bringing thousands of English speakers to Japan each and every year. The details of the plan will be finalized within the next three years with plans to open it to every citizen also in the plans.
I – Word Understanding
geared – to make ready
pull off – to accomplish successfully despite difficulties
II – Have Your Say
A. What is the secret to reaching fluency in a language? There are no absolute answers. But here are things you definitely need to improve your English skills:
3. Willingness to make mistakes
4. Friends / people who can speak English
5. Books, videos, websites and other learning resources
B. Omotenashi can be translated as “Japanese hospitality”. The host anticipates the needs of the guest in advance and offers a pleasant service that guests don’t expect. What can Japan do to show omotenashi in the coming Olympics 2020?