stereotype 2

At RocketNews24, we’ve covered how English education in Japan is currently faring, with many people agreeing that much can be done to improve it. Of the many problems, one improvement could certainly be the textbook, which many people believe is bland, uses English improperly and teaches English that feels very outdated. What’s needed is something that surpasses all those inadequacies and features English students would encounter in real life.

Well, how about a textbook that includes dialogues where people use bribes, exploit other people’s weaknesses and make giant broad stereotypes about countries as a whole? Yes, let’s try something like that!

It’s only one page from what we hope is just the tip of the offensive iceberg, but this textbook features worldly characters like Liu Yin talking with Zhang Min, and their conversation revolves around asking what he was doing yesterday afternoon. Behold!

stereotype 1

What has the internet stumbled upon!?! It seems like a fairly normal conversation until Liu Yin is incredulous about Zhang Min being able to beat Americans at basketball, their favorite sport!

Whoa, whoa, whoa…hold your pandas, General Liu’s chicken. Basketball is their favorite sport? What about “Baseball, America’s pastime” or the record number of people that watch the Super Bowl, the championships for the National Football League?

But what really sets this textbook apart from others is what’s said by Zhang Min at the end.

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You can beat Americas at basketball by bribing them with beer? YEAH RI…wait, nope. That sounds completely legit. But whether or not beer is the favorite drink of Americans remains in question.

It’s not completely clear where this textbook is being used or whether it is a fabrication of Photoshop. The original picture posted was captioned “ESL textbooks in Korea are on to us.” But with names like Zhang and Liu as well as the use of “favourite” instead of “favorite”, maybe this is used in China rather than Korea. Some believe the text in question is called Let’s Have Fun With Stereotypes! but it appears to be out of print now.

What seems to be missing is the life lesson of “don’t try and bribe Americans with a terrible beer” (unless they’re in college, because then they’ll drink anything), but perhaps that is on the next page. We hope English education in Japan can be as fulfilling and successful as a “Zhang Min” bribe.

Source: Raba Q
Images: Imgur