Since I haven’t been writing a lot, I thought I should write two today so that I have a reason to escape writing for another couple of weeks. No, that’s not really true. I just had so much time today, I decided to read the blogs of other Singaporeans in Japan, and then decided to take upon myself to spread the
gospel truth about the JET about which people might have mistaken.
I read on a certain JET participant’s blog that says Singapore is the only Asian country participating in JET. This is not true. We were not chosen “along with other native English-speaking nations” and neither were we chosen because “English is our first language.”
If you take a proper look at the JET Program’s website here, you would realise that most of the 40 countries in the program are not native English-speaking nations. Some of the other participating Asian nations include Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, and Philippines. You can also see many European and South American countries where English is not the first language in the program.
I believe the reason why some people assume that Singapore is the only participating nation is because they think that JET is a Japan English Teaching program. This is again, incorrect. Take a look at the top left corner of the same website provided above. JET stands for Japan Exchange and Teaching. The main purpose of the program was never to improve the English standards of Japanese students. The official page states very clearly that, JET “is aimed at promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations.” English-teaching is just a medium through which the main aim is to be achieved. So don’t be surprised if you meet people from other Asian nations.