Tokyo plans tests to improve foreign students' Japanese skills

The Tokyo board of education says it will provide Japanese comprehension tests to help foreign students improve their language skills.

Education board officials have decided to hold the exams at all high schools run by the Tokyo metropolitan government and some public elementary and junior high schools.

The officials say the tests will assess students' listening and reading comprehension skills as well as vocabulary and grammar. They say high school students will take the exams online, and elementary and junior high students will do so in person.

The officials will draw up individual plans, including extra Japanese lessons, to help children with foreign backgrounds to improve their proficiency in the language.

They say the number of foreign students who require Japanese language education has been rising at public schools in Tokyo since coronavirus entry restrictions were eased. They say that as of last May, the figure stood at around 5,400, up 1.5-fold from a year earlier.

An official says language barriers sometimes lead to bullying, and they want to correctly identify students' weak points to make their school lives more fulfilling.