Sunday, 25 June 2017

Why Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya High School recognises Cambridge English Exams

Press release on Cambridge English website, June 14th 2017

"Cambridge English Exams have been recognised by Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya High School, the top feeder community school in Japan to the University of Tokyo.

Mr Takamichi Nakamura, Head of the English Department, explained why they have decided to adopt the Cambridge English qualifications Cambridge English: Preliminary and Cambridge English: First.

‘There were a number of reasons for the school’s decision to begin testing students using Cambridge English. Firstly, as part of Tokyo Government’s recent new initiative, Hibiya High School is a “Tokyo Global 10” school, a designation which carries with it a responsibility to focus more on global issues and considerations. A natural extension of this is an increased focus on foreign languages and English in particular, as the tool with which Hibiya students could communicate their ideas on global topics.

With this mind, Hibiya High School was looking for a testing system that utilised a broad framework, allowing students both to easily compare their language skills with other schools and countries, and to supplement their studying with other textbooks at the appropriate level. As Cambridge English uses the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR), it makes it simple for students to achieve this.

Furthermore, Cambridge English certificates have a real world value; they can be used for admission to a huge number of academic and business institutions, which encourages students to engage more actively in their English classes, and rewards their efforts with certification. The use of a variety of accents in the listening section of the test was also helpful, as many textbooks focus only one particular variant of English, often leaving students surprised by the wide variety of English they might encounter in the wider world.

Finally, Cambridge English lends itself more to whole-class teaching than some other testing systems might. The skills tested by a Cambridge English exam are those that our students are mostly likely to need in situations they are most likely to encounter; speaking skills directed at communicating with strangers and gathering information, listening skills aimed at catching details in announcements at stations, or reading both for general themes and specific facts.

With all these points taken into consideration, Cambridge English seemed the most appropriate test to adopt.’

Year 1 students at Hibiya High School took Cambridge English: Preliminary in March 2017 and Year 2 sat Cambridge English: First in December 2016. Over 600 students took Cambridge English exams in the first year of the school recognising the exams."