Tokyo, July 31 (Jiji Press)–Japanese junior high school third-graders find speaking and writing English difficult, the results of an annual test conducted by the education ministry showed Wednesday.
The latest national achievement test for elementary school sixth-graders and junior high school third-graders was conducted in April, covering 2.02 million students in a total of 29,405 public and private schools nationwide.
The English language test, with listening, reading, writing and speaking sections, was newly introduced this year for junior high school students.
The results of the speaking section were not included in the overall results as some 500 schools did not conduct the test on that ability.
In the writing section, 1.9 pct of students answered correctly a question offering a choice of two pictograms each symbolizing a school and asking for written reasons for their decision of 25 or more words.
For the speaking part, the share of students who succeeded in asking relevant questions after listening to conversations about a family totaled 10.5 pct.
The share of correct answers for the Japanese language and arithmetic tests among elementary school students came to 64.0 pct and 66.7 pct, respectively. Among junior high school students, the figures stood at 73.2 pct for the Japanese language test and 60.3 pct for the mathematics test.
As in the previous tests, the results in the April test showed that students have difficulty picking necessary information from several texts and answering applied questions in mathematics.
Students in Akita, Ishikawa and Fukui scored higher than those in other prefectures. The gap between high- and low-ranked prefectures, however, was small. The ministry believes that the result reflects municipal efforts to improve students’ academic abilities.
Among the country’s 20 ordinance-designated major cities, those that scored better than other cities in the same prefectures in all the subjects were Sendai, Saitama, Chiba, Yokohama and Kawasaki.
By contrast, Kitakyushu scored lower than other cities in Fukuoka Prefecture in all the subjects.