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Thread: 20% of Japanese University student with 13 to 15 year-old reading abilities

  1. #26
    Hullu RockLee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stupidumboy
    Yes, my comments has nothing to do with this topic but I just mentioned about elite students because I found PISA related posts here.

    based on my experinces of meeting some really ahead students in math and science ,I was really amazed by their ability.

    I felt limitation and aveage people like me need much more efforts to become their level or impossible. No I cannot be like them even if I driled that much.

    I seriously thought they are the real humans who will lead the global improvement.

    Thats all and NO, I do not decry the average or lower class students.
    I just value them highly.
    I also have more respect for someone who is limited in skills but does his utter best than someone who does nothing and gets elite scores...but I don't think in the future they will lead to global improvement tho



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  2. #27
    Regular Member stupidumboy's Avatar
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    but what if you saw a man who is able to do mental calculation for hydrodynamics?
    (not just a few typical problems but he can do every various situated kind of problems by using mental calculation so i was just very zmazed)

    hmm,sorry ,should I have used the word "genius" instead of 'elite' ?
    I do not think not every olympiad participants are genius but anyways I think I can call them at least as elites.

    I think the genius persons or some elite persons that I am mentioning have higher chances to make contribution towards any sciencetific or technological innovations.

    I thought that kind of genius' thought was deeper and wider than general average people's. But if they become very insolent or arrogant,they will lose chance to shine their ability. but if they keep on their regular track ,they are going to hold better chances.

    Sure average persons like me still have chances but needs much more time and efforts to become those genius level.

    anyways its offtopic,lets close this genius/elite talks.
    The world is very wide and there are many kind of people.


  3. #28
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stupidumboy
    but what if you saw a man who is able to do mental calculation for hydrodynamics?
    (not just a few typical problems but he can do every various situated kind of problems by using mental calculation so i was just very zmazed)
    I still think it's not very useful in the age of computers. Would have been great and very looked after until the 1950 or 60's though.

    hmm,sorry ,should I have used the word "genius" instead of 'elite' ?
    Then non-verbal IQ tests (like those of Mensa) are more relevant than Olympiads, as preparation is almost useless and it is culturally fair.

    I do not think not every olympiad participants are genius but anyways I think I can call them at least as elites.[/quote]

    I don't agree. Anybody can participate and it's only a matter of how many people really participate (as a %age of the total) and how motivated they are, to determine which countries performs the best.

    I think the genius persons or some elite persons that I am mentioning have higher chances to make contribution towards any sciencetific or technological innovations.
    Only if they are creative, motivated and have relevant interests.

    I thought that kind of genius' thought was deeper and wider than general average people's. But if they become very insolent or arrogant,they will lose chance to shine their ability. but if they keep on their regular track ,they are going to hold better chances.
    Really ? What about luck and the social environement in all this ? Many geniuses have never the opportunity to work for any big company or governmental organization to put their intelligence into practice. Some try and don't manage to reach the right place, others just don't care or don't realise they are geniuses. That's a big problem. Lot's of brilliant minds are wasted all over the world.

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  4. #29
    Regular Member stupidumboy's Avatar
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    Even in this age of comupter ,deeper and quicker undersatnding programmers have higher chances to do better jobs.
    The computer is nothing if the user does not understand anything about the working theories.
    The computer result would be slower if the users understand the progress slower.
    The computer would output endless errors if the users input wrong numbers due to his mistake and short understanding of the working thoeries.

    Maybe mental calculation might be too much for this age but still the better mental calculators have higher chances. since better calculators can be considered as the persons who better grasp of the progress of making the best answers in the whole pic.

    Interests and motivation is just basic esential thing. we do not need to mention about them here.


    Does every person who want can participate in the International math Olympiad?
    I never knew that.

  5. #30
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stupidumboy
    Even in this age of comupter ,deeper and quicker undersatnding programmers have higher chances to do better jobs.
    But you change completely the topic. First you talk about mental calculations (arithmetic), then about understanding things quickly and deeply. These are two very different things. Understanding depends more on IQ, and can be very different depeding on the "subject". Some people understand very quickly maths, but can't make head or tail of how politics work or are very bad at understanding people's minds (psychology). Other people are geniuses of music, but can't solve a simple math problem.

    Arithmetic is more about drill and learning the "tricks" than about real intelligence.


    Does every person who want can participate in the International math Olympiad?
    Of course. Or are the rules different for each country ?

  6. #31
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    that Suomi is not an Indo-European language, and that Japanese has maybe (please confirm) more imported English words*, why do Finnish people usually speak very wel English while Japanese pain so much.
    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we consider ourselves a very small and rather insignifcant nation so we have to learn English if we want to do well. I'm pretty sure no American (for example) is willing to learn Finnish just to do business with us. Finland has also been called the most americanised country in Europe, so maybe that's another reason. We're less into the US nowadays, though ^^;

    I don't know if this is true at all, but if you consider how closed Japan used to be and also the fact that everyone always stress the difficulty to live in the japanese society, you could also find a partial reason for poor English skills in Japan. If you don't open your mind to learning the language, you probably won't learn it. This is clearly proved with the Swedish skills of Finns people: Swedish si the second official language in Finland, everyone has to begin studying it when they're 13 (we start studying our first foreign language when we're 9, usually it's Ebglish. My L1 is German, though). Basic Swedish is a lto easier than English. Even the spelling is a lot easier! And still, most people are able to speak English better than Swedish. This, I think, can be explained witht he fact that Finland was a part of Sweden for a long time and Swedish was a language of the upper classes, so most people probably didn't have very warm feelings towards speaking the language... Besides, right now the majority of Finns have to study the language of a minorityt hat makes up about 9% of the entire population.

    I'm not saying that they should stop teaching Swedish as a compulsory language, though, because in my oppinion it's easy to elarn and also very useful because Finland's a part of Scandinavia.

    How did they even managed to go to university (or highschool for that matter) ?
    I have to confess that I can't count. I really can't... And yet, I made it through high school and to university. Why? Because you can take either the more simple math courses or the more difficult ones in senior high. You learn soemthing so-so and then forget it because you really couldn't care less. As for university, you're not required to be able to do maths if you apply to the faculty of Arts, I was asked to analyse literature not formulas In my oppinion what you're implying here about the intelligence of people is pretty harsh... Some people just care about math. Intelligence can be measured in different many ways as you probably know.

  7. #32
    Regular Member stupidumboy's Avatar
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    The better mental calculator can be the persons who better grasp of the working theories amongst numbers,(although I agree its more related to the memory somehow) and it can be extended to many more subjects like economics or science(usually their head set by the abacus arrangement and they do not need to write them on the paper like other normal people but inside their brain they can draw the movement on the abacus and memorize more things than the genral persons-in other words their thinking capacity can process and imagine many more things compared to others on the same given time and situation and I think the abundance of imagination on one's brain would make a key role for any creation works.Memory still helps )

    If you know some famous achivements or thories by global renowned economists -you will find that their invented thories are more likely to be related to the advanced mathmatics-in other words they can be called as the mathmaticians.

    By the way,I consider the mathmatics itself is just simply the working under the regulated rules therefore the solving math problem itself has less things to do with creation or imagination but what I mentioned above is that the better calculators still are more likely to hold better imagination and memorization and that will help.

    About International math Oympiad,Korea adopts different selection system for the participants.Everybody who want to take part in the Olympiad has the right to apply for the regional qualification exam but they need to pass the qualification exam first and shoud get ahead of the other competitors,and we just select the best pupils to representative of the nation.

    If Korea and other participating countries can send every pupils who want to take part in the International math Olympiad?

  8. #33
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miu
    I have to confess that I can't count. I really can't... And yet, I made it through high school and to university. Why? Because you can take either the more simple math courses or the more difficult ones in senior high. You learn soemthing so-so and then forget it because you really couldn't care less. As for university, you're not required to be able to do maths if you apply to the faculty of Arts, I was asked to analyse literature not formulas In my oppinion what you're implying here about the intelligence of people is pretty harsh... Some people just care about math. Intelligence can be measured in different many ways as you probably know.
    Sorry, what I wanted to say is that I wonder how Japanese people, who have to take university entrance exams testing maths and Japanese skills, whatever subject they are planning to learn, managed to enter university if they can't do 12x13 in less than 15 sec. In most European countries there are no university entrance exams after completing secondary school, except maybe for engineering or medicine.

    As for maths, as I said above, I think it's pretty useless and just measure people's preparation and drilling (as it's one of the subject that people forget the most easily). There are so many kinds of intelligence that it is very difficult to test all aptitudes. Then memory may not be intelligence, but it is as decisive for success in life. Openmindedness and interpersonal skills are also very, and sometimes more important than pure intelligence itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by stupidumboy
    If you know some famous achivements or thories by global renowned economists -you will find that their invented thories are more likely to be related to the advanced mathmatics-in other words they can be called as the mathmaticians.
    They could also be called scientists, as what is not pure mathematics is usually part of science (understanding the real world), including economic science, psycholgy, etc. I would rather say that mathematicians are purely theoretical scientists, rather than call economists or scientists mathematicians.

    What's more there is a huge difference between inventing theories, learning them (theoretically) and applying them in practice. Very often, people are better at one of these than the others two. People who calculate fast are good learners or have a good memory, but not sure they have a good enough imagination, creativity and knowledge of the world to make new theories. Personally, I feel muc stronger at inventing theories than applying them, with learning somewhere in the middle (closer to inventing). That's probably related to my personality as I am very creative and love learning, but dislike doing what people tell me to do (receiving orders or just do things I don't feel like doing). In other words, I would be a good inventor, creator, self-starter, entrepreneur, but a very bad employee.

  9. #34
    Regular Member stupidumboy's Avatar
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    Better memory still somehow(not absolutely though) can be related to the better imagination and creation.

    The better memory can mean how you can remind related things better.
    But maybe the higher motivation and interets can stimulate better imaginations.

    anyways I talked too much and that had nothing to do with this thread topic.
    So I'd better stop here.

  10. #35
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    Forgot mention to mention about the simplified characters:

    The simplification in Chinese just makes some of the characters really abstract... Take "car", for example. It looks nothing like a car, vehicle or a cart. I think the traditional version isn't even that much to write and it looks like what it means. But as a lazy person, I'm not all against into making things simpler ;)

  11. #36
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Guardian Unlimited : Japanese lost for words



    I don't think this should be attributed to manga. I have used manga to practice my kanji reading, and some manga use many non-Joyo kanji (true that I read a lot of historical manga, but it's also a fact that there are lot's of them). And in 3 years of very casual learning of Japanese (only 5 month of lessons in a language school to learn the very basics of Japanese, the self-learning when I feel like it), I also have reading abilities of a 13 to 15 years old (actually more 15 than 13) and know many kanji that some of my adult Japanese friends don't. That brings us back to the question : why are the average Japanese so bad at languages - and not just foriegn but even their own mother tongue ? I think it is partly due to a too relaxed approach to education (as a matter of fact, almost nobody has to repeat a school year in Japan, even if they fail in all subjects).
    I thought Japan has toughest education system in the world?

  12. #37
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahoujin Tsukai
    I thought Japan has toughest education system in the world?
    I also heard that before coming to Japan. After living and teaching (in schools, or working adults) for a few years in Japan, I know that it is very very far from the truth. What may be true is the time they spend studying is the longest of any country, although not at school itself but including the after-school "juku" (cram school), justly because the education system is not efficient and they don't learn anything there. The fact is, Japanese can hardly master their own language after after 12-years of schooling (let alone a single foreign language), and can only reach similar knowledge levels as Europeans in maths and sciences, but have no critical sense, no ability to debate and a virtually inexistent knowledge of history, art history, geography, geo-politics and philosophy when they leave highschool.

    I was told that the purpose of secondary education (highschool) was to create individuals with a good overview of human knowledge and society on the whole. In some EU countries secondary school is sometimes dubbed 'the Humanities', because people learn about Greek philosophy, Roman rhetoric, world history (so as to understand the present situation anywhere in the world), one's language's literature, about the current world's physical and political condition (geology, geography, geopolitics), several (modern) foreign languages, as well as the basics of maths, physics, chemistry and biology to be able to study one of these subjects, or engineering or medicine at university. A student completing secondary school should have the sufficient knowledge to study any subject at university.

    Japanese schools, however, mostly teach Japanese, maths and sciences, so that there is little difference between primary and secondary education in Japan. It only covers about 1/3 of the European-style education at the same age.

    I don't want to be harsh, but in my opinion the Japanese education system is highly deficient, ineffective and lax - compared to the European one, which I already found too easy before setting foot in Japan. Now if many Japanese find their schooling difficult, it may be because they have not been trained to think (I mean, "not just memorize") since an early age, or (of that is the only explanation left) because they do not have the same capabilities.

  13. #38
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Yomiuri Shimbun : Location of Iraq on world map stumps students

    The location of Iraq is a mystery to 44 percent of university students, and 3 percent cannot find the United States on a world map, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Japanese Geographers.

    As a result of the findings, the association has called for an improvement in geography education.

    The survey of 3,800 students at 25 universities and 1,000 students at nine high schools was conducted between December and February. In the first survey of its kind, students were asked to identify 10 countries, including Iraq, North Korea and the United States from a list of 30 on a world map.

    The hardest country for students to find was Ukraine, with 54.8 percent of university students and 33 percent of high school students able to identify it correctly.

    Despite extensive media coverage of Iraq during the war and on the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces personnel, only 56.5 percent of university students and 54.1 percent of high school students could find it.

    Just over 76 percent of university students and 59.4 percent of high school students were able to correctly identify Greece, site of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

    The highest rate of recognition was for the United States, but about 3 percent of university students and about 7 percent of high school students still failed to correctly identify it on a map.
    The situation seems so desperate ! I couldn't even imagine that some Japanese students could not recognise such a huge and famous country as the USA on a world map !

    That is in sharp contrast to the basic geography education I received in Europe, where all 14 year old students are supposed not just to know and recognise all countries in th world, but also to name their capital (and in some regions also the names of the main rivers, mountains, plateaux, etc.).

    I remember some of my university professors who said they were appalled at the low general knowledge of some of this (my) generation's students, because some didn't know Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America or confused Pyong Yang with Phnom Penh (and I studied economics, not geography).

    Since revisions to government teaching guidelines in 1989, high school students have been required to choose at least two subjects, including world history, in the topic areas of geography and history. But only half of students choose the geography course, according to the association.
    I just can't believe that Japanese have to choose between either history (Japanese OR world-wide) and geography, while European students MUST take both for 6 YEARS EACH. I imagine that before the 1989 revision, that was even worse (maybe they didn't have any before university ?). How could Japan be considered a developed country education-wise ?

  14. #39
    大中華萬歲
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    Regarding Chinese Hanzi (Kanji)

    Mainland China's simplified Chinese characters do little to improve illiteracy in mainland China. Of course, the purpose of simplifying Hanzi was to increase illiteracy AND to differentiate themselves from the "old China". That act was more ideological than practical. Think about this, you're going to memorize 4000-6000 characters anyway, what difference does it REALLY make when a character has one less stroke or one less dot? Not really. For those who grow up in a Hanzi environment,and read/write/learn Hanzi practically everyday, they will know Hanzi, however "complex" they may be. For example, Taiwan (Republic of China) and Hong Kong, which both use traditional Chinese characters, have literacy of approximately 96%. While mainland China, which uses simplified system, has 90% literacy only. So when it comes to Hanzi, complexity doesn't play a big role. It may be troubling for foreigners at first, but which language isn't? In this case of China, general wealth and mass education are the only factors. However complex Hanzi is, as long as the country is rich enough to educate people, it is not a problem. Likewise, mainland China's relatively low literacy rate is due to poverty, not because Chinese people have to memorize 5000 Hanzi.

  15. #40
    観察するのが好きです cacawate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I found this about the 共通一次試験. Click on 受験 and try the test, Not so difficult I think.
    That was probably a joke, but for the readers who really think that's a university entrance exam; it's not. On a further note there is no more 共通一次, it's now called the センター試験 and if you'd like to try it or find out more about it here are some links:

    http://www.nabe3.net/center.html (センター試験について)

    http://season.goo.ne.jp/center2005/2004/ (センター試験)

    http://nyushi.yomiuri.co.jp/nyushi/honshi/05/index.htm (私立大学入試・二次試験)

    Happy testing!

    -Jeff

  16. #41
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I just can't believe that Japanese have to choose between either history (Japanese OR world-wide) and geography, while European students MUST take both for 6 YEARS EACH. I imagine that before the 1989 revision, that was even worse (maybe they didn't have any before university ?). How could Japan be considered a developed country education-wise ?
    Similar in my state of Australia.

    You do history and geography standard in primary school (but they aren't named, you just DO them. Thats seven years.

    Your first year of high school you do both. Syllabus rules.

    In 9th and 10th grade you must choose at least one out of History, Geography or Studies of Society. Can chose more than one, but must choose one at least.

    Then in 11th and 12th grade History (Modern or Ancient), Geography or SOS are completely elective. I didn't need any of them as pre-reqs for my uni course so I didn't do any.

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