Tokyo Holds English Speaking Test for High School Applicants

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Junior high school students enter a venue for an English speaking test in Tokyo on Sunday.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education on Sunday held its first English speaking test that forms part of the entrance examinations of metropolitan high schools.

About 76,000 students of public junior high schools in the Japanese capital took the test, introduced in hopes of developing globally competitive human resources.

At the Hibiya high school, one of the 197 test sites, junior high school third-year students with nervous looks on their faces were seen entering the school building.

In the 15-minute test, examinees spoke into a microphone on earphones to answer questions displayed on a tablet device.

The test was administered by educational service provider Benesse Corp. About 670 employees of the education board were dispatched to exam sites.

The results will be disclosed to exam takers online on Jan. 12, 2023.

Tokyo is the first Japanese local government that has introduced an English test administered by a private organization to the entrance examinations of local public high schools uniformly.

The English speaking test has drawn opposition partly because it excludes students of national and private junior high schools. Critics also say that the grading method is not fair or transparent.

Some residents have filed a lawsuit to stop public funds from being spent on the test.