The Japanese education ministry plans to promote the use of information and communications technology in order to improve the English language skills of schoolchildren, informed sources said Wednesday.

By adopting English teaching materials apps at elementary, junior and senior high school classrooms, the ministry aims to enhance the four language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, in line with the goals set out in its upcoming new school curriculum guidelines, the sources said.

As part of its budget request for fiscal 2019 from next April, the ministry intends to seek 250 million yen to cover related expenditures.

The apps will be adopted at selected schools, totaling 10 in each of Japan’s 47 prefectures, for three years from fiscal 2019.

Students will utilize tablet computers and electronic blackboards for activities designed to enhance the effects of learning, such as listing to pronunciations of native speakers via apps developed by private companies.

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