Today, I received my score of TOEIC I took a month ago.
TOEIC, Test of English for International Communication, is an examination performed by Institute of International Business Communication (IIBC).
In Japan TOEIC is a very popular examination, rather than TOEFL test. Many companies recommend their employees taking TOEIC. Some companies such as Softbank give awards for good performers. If you were employed of Softbank, you would get $10,000 for your score of TOEIC over 900.
Japanese is deemed as poor English speakers, even though a lot of Japanese are willing to learn English. Many private schools for English conversation have established. Recently, online English schools, such as Langrich which I had used, are increasing. They offer non-native English speaking teachers via internet video service with low cost. Many college students work as a part time teacher at the Langrich whose main office is in Cebu Island. They have little knowledge about English, but have clear pronunciation and a cheerful smile.
Why cannot Japanese speak English well? One of the reasons is a necessity I think. We need not speak English in daily life in Japan at all. Nearly all of Japanese can speak Japanese and write Japanese. In a business context, most clients of our products are domestic Japanese. So opportunity of communication with foreigners is limited.
However the future is different. Japan is rushing into the era of decreasing population. Younger people think to run out from Japan for survival. I guess younger people are better English speakers than elders now.
Number of TOEIC takers are about 1.7M. Some people criticize TOEIC because its style is not pragmatic. I do not think so. TOEIC is a very busy test. Completion of answering all questions in time is difficult. I think this feature is similar to the real world. The conversation never waits for me.
Now my score of TOEIC is 825. It means B rank. Of course I am still a poor English speaker.