In recent years the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) has been encouraging public elementary schools to provide English conversation lessons during the periods devoted to General Studies. This has led to widespread discussion concerning whether English should be made a compulsory subject at the elementary level.
What is YOUR opinion?

  • Do you think that English should be made a compulsory subject from the first grade of elementary school in Japan?
  • Or, do you think that English should not be taught in elementary school at all?
  • Or, is your opinion somewhere between these two extremes?

Write a paragraph defending ONE of these three positions, giving at least one appropriate reason to support your opinion.



Children are taught not to lie, but in fact sometimes people do. Is it ever a good thing to tell a lie? Explain.



Nowadays almost everywhere you go there is a surveillance camera(防犯カメラ)taking pictures of you. How do you feel about this?



Do you think the following statement is true? Explain your answer by writing a paragraph in English within the box provided on the ANSWER SHEET.
A blind respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.



“When people succeed, it is because of hard work. Luck has nothing to do with success.” Do you agree or disagree with the quotation above? Use specific reasons and examples to explain your positions in the box provided on the ANSWER SHEET.



The graphs below show the career ambitions of students from the Faculty of International Liberal Arts (FILA) and the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE).

Describe the differences in the ambitions of the students from the two faculties. Write your answer in English within the box provided on the ANSWER SHEET.

Student Plans after Graduation



What do you think is the single biggest problem that Japan will face in the year 2050? Explain your answer in ENGLISH within the box provided on the ANSWER SHEET.



According to the Ministry of Education, in the five-year period between 2004 and 2009, the number of Japanese college students studying abroad dropped by 28 percent from over eighty thousand to below sixty thousand, and still seems to be in decline. Write a paragraph in ENGLISH giving your own interpretation of BOTH the likely CAUSES and CONSEQUENCES of this situation. Because of the restricted space, please limit your answer to TWO causes and TWO consequences.



The social networking service Facebook has a rule that users opening an account must be at least thirteen years old. However, recent surveys suggest that over five million children under thirteen were using Facebook in the United States alone, many of them with the consent of their parents. Write a paragraph in ENGLISH giving your own opinion concerning whether the current Facebook age limitation should be charged. You should support your answer with appropriate reasons.



The age at which a child can be held criminally responsible for breaking the law varies a good deal from country to country. According to UNICEF, this currently varies from as low as six to as high as eighteen, with Japan somewhere in between at fourteen. In your opinion, at what point should the age of criminal responsibility be set? Write in ENGLISH and give appropriate reasons to support your answer.



In some countries secondary education is conducted in separate junior and senior high schools, while in others it takes place in a single secondary school. Which system do you consider to be preferable? Write a paragraph in ENGLISH, providing specific reasons and examples in support of your answer.



In recent years, many local and national governments have considered imposing a tax on sugary drinks (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, etc.), because such drinks are thought to be a major contributor to health problems such as being significantly overweight. Would you support or oppose a tax on sugary drinks? Write a paragraph in ENGLISH, providing specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.


Qualities like mental focus and dexterity are very important in some sports. This has led some people to propose that playing video games should be recognized as an Olympic sport. Write a paragraph in ENGLISH giving your own opinion on this proposal, with appropriate reasons and examples.


Write a paragraph in ENGLISH explaining whether you agree or diagree with the statement in the box below. You should offer at least one reason and/or example to support your view.

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

(Professor Dumbledore to Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling, The Chamber of Secrets, 1998)