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Volume 6 Number 2, Summer 2009, Pages 1-231   

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Toward Communicative Competence in the Japanese Context: The Challenges Facing Japanese English Teachers

    Yuko Iwai

In the twenty-first century, as the world has become more global, the English language has been considered a significant tool for communication. This study examines how to effectively teach English communicative skills to students in the Japanese setting. Based on the selected review of literature, this paper revisits concepts of communicative competence and Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). It also examines the objectives of the English curriculum in Japan developed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology [MEXT] and describes current situation of its implementation. Finally, this paper proposes some tips for Japanese English teachers. It is highly recommended for the teachers to understand and teach communicative competence within the frame of grammatical, sociolinguistic, discourse, and strategic competence. Developing qualifications of the teachers and their inter-cultural awareness also contributes to a more adequate implementation of CLT in the Japanese context.

Keywords: Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), Japanese English teachers, communicative competence, MEXT