When it comes to English proficiency, I feel that the direction individuals are heading in may be subtly different.
For current Japanese people, improving their English proficiency is essential. This is not just necessary for students and the working generation, but seniors will also need English proficiency for daily life from now on. I believe this is an inevitable reality in the near future.
Certainly, there may be differences in the frequency and importance of using English depending on the person. For those who cannot speak English or are not proficient, conversations may be conducted using translation machines or smartphone functions.
However, the basic skill is a must. It is necessary to become able to speak English. That is what I think.
What the Japanese society is demanding from now on is "English proficiency", which refers to the comprehensive power that combines the four skills of "listening", "reading", "speaking", and "writing".
I have been doing online English conversation for about three years and suddenly realized that it may not result in high scores on the TOEIC test.
What is honed through daily online English conversation is the ability to "speak" and "listen". For Japanese people who have few chances to speak English in their daily lives, "speaking" and "listening" are probably the weakest English skills.
Because that's how it was for me back then. I was someone who couldn't speak English at all. Lol.
However, after continuing online English conversation for about three years, the feeling of inferiority towards English disappears. Words come out of my mouth reasonably well. I have room to enjoy conversation and occasionally even make the other person laugh.
However, what companies are seeking are visible numbers, such as TOEIC scores. The TOEIC score is what companies use to judge their employees' English proficiency.
You may understand that TOEIC alone can only judge a biased English proficiency.
TOEIC tests only "listening" and "reading", not "speaking" or "writing".
That means that even if you can have a conversation with a foreigner, it cannot be confirmed on the TOEIC test.
This is why it is said that even if you get a high score on the TOEIC test, you cannot speak English.
But if I were to concede by about 100 steps, I could understand it to some extent. If you can score high on "listening" and "reading", it may lead to high comprehensive English proficiency.
Many companies may think that by looking at only "listening" and "reading", they can judge all four English skills. Probably.
But you know, the most sought-after skills are "listening" and "speaking", aren't they? I feel like the direction is subtly different.