‘Teaching English in Japan – Carolyn Biggs’

Please click here to view this documentary from the homepage of Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland.


Carolyn Biggs worked in Japan for three years, firstly as an Assistant Language Teacher of English (ALT) at a primary school and two junior high schools, and secondly at a company dispatching ALTs to schools. She talks about challenges of teaching English in Japan. For example, she observes that a Japanese letter has two sounds, with a consonant sound always followed by a vowel sound. How did she teach English sounds?

She also talks about challenges of being in a class as an ALT, together with a Japanese teacher of English. How dis she handle a situation when a Japanese teacher makes mistakes? She also talks about her life outside the classroom, and lots of happy memories. 

As a sequel to this documentary, ‘Japanese isn’t English‘ was made.


Camera: Fumi Nakabachi
Directed and edited by: Yushin Toda
Produced by Fumi Nakabachi and Yushin Toda, Japan Desk Scotland
22 minutes
In English
©2015 Japan Desk Scotland


This is part of documentary films production. This has been shown on:

(1) Wednesday 11 October 2015 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2015/16;

(2) Monday 2 November 2015 at the Japanese Class, Daiwa Sports, Wishaw, Scotland;

(3) Wednesday 6 July 2016 at Faculty of Administration and Social Sciences, Fukushima University, Fukushima, Japan, as part of comparative culture series; and

(4) Wednesday 12 October 2016 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2016/17.