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ERIC Number: EJ1187986
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1345-8353
The Expected Oral Proficiency Level for Japan's Secondary School English Teachers: Analysis of the Eiken Pre-1st Grade Interview Exam
Tatsukawa, Keiso
Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, v22 n1 p89-104 2018
This paper aims to clarify the expected oral proficiency level for secondary school English teachers in Japan. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (hereafter MEXT) encourages public secondary school English teachers to reach a threshold level of the Pre-1st Grade of Eiken (an English proficiency test). However, the number of teachers attaining those levels has yet to reach MEXT's target. An analysis of the Pre-1st interview tests can give an indication of what MEXT expects Japanese English teachers to be able to do in oral communication. In this paper, a brief history of Eiken is reported, and the proficiency level of the Pre-1st Grade and the test contents are summarized. Then, features of the picture cards and questions used for the second-stage interviews from 2007 through 2015 are analyzed: (1) a series of four pictures for story narration (in total 54 cards), and (2) four questions to be asked afterwards (in total 216 question items). Some unique linguistic features are found as well as popular test topics. Also, interview questions have several featured sentence patterns and many basic-level words, as well as topic-related vocabulary items. This research will be of some help for understanding the threshold level of speaking abilities for secondary school English teachers in Japan.
Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics. Cheongji National University of Education. Main Bldg #506, 2065 Cheongnam-ro, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do 28690, Korea. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan