Learning the history of something learnable sometimes brings us insight into the future. This book is one of the best examples.

This book is all about the history of the English educational system and how our society is accepting the method of learning English. Although I do not generally agree with his opinion on learning English (especially the unnecessity of early-age learning for English), the history of English education in this country since the end of the Edo period attracted me. I have encountered a controversial discussion on the English education system in the middle of drastic curriculum changes recently. It clarified that we still need to be on the same page about learning English in and out of school, even nowadays as a whole society. But this sort of discussion has been introduced previously. I didn’t know the exact situation repeated several times through the history.

For instance, we are now employing a new education system focusing on verbal communication, which includes listening and speaking, while we traditionally study reading and writing much more. It is easy to imagine this transition led to controversy among the civilizations. We now know both approaches have pros and cons, but the people 100 years ago also had the same discussion.

The author says it’s a perfect time to learn the history of English education in our country to reflect the continuity of the debate instead of building the foundation from scratch. I agree with this perspective.