| | Re: What age group do you prefer?
It sounds as though not a lot has changed, as most ALTs faced similar problems in Fukushima schools, too. Like I said, I got lucky, even if I pulled my hair out on more than one occasion in frustration. But it also took a lot of hard work to really get recognized in my school to do more than serve as a human tape recorder or game machine. The JLTs just don't know how to best utilize a native speaker in the classroom.
The Japanese education system has a lot of problems, particularly when it comes to language learning. The system used hasn't changed much from the grammar-translation method advocated one hundred years ago, and there doesn't seem to be any changes on the horizon.
I read (and barely half understood) an interesting article in a Japanese business journal that Japan will find itself very much left behind in world affairs because of their inability to use English. Already a great number of non-Japanese are heading major corporations here, but the reverse isn't true -- few Japanese head organizations outside the country. The article even suggested that America might dump Japan as an equal partner in Asia if it falls behind on the world stage, which could very likely happen.