English language education in Japanese dental schools

Eur J Dent Educ. 2001 Nov;5(4):168-72. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0579.2001.50405.x.


English is the common language of international scientific and cultural exchange. As the world becomes more globalized and with increasing dependence on the Internet, English becomes increasingly important as a second language. English is the official language for all international associations, societies, organizations etc and their meetings and publications. High quality international collaboration usually requires a high standard of English language proficiency. There is very little information regarding English language education in dentistry on a global basis, particularly in Japan. In 1999 we undertook a comprehensive survey of English education in all 29 Japanese dental schools in the form of a questionnaire. Few schools had native-speaking educators or those at native speaker level and most did not have a background in dentistry or the health sciences. There are no ideal textbooks for dental students studying English. Most disciplines within dentistry have a professional society or an association with meetings and publications. Currently there is no such group for English-language education in dentistry. Closer collaboration amongst those concerned may help improve the quality of education. The level of English-language ability of current dental students will affect the quality of future dental educators and researchers.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Research
  • Education, Dental*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Language*
  • Multilingualism
  • Schools, Dental*
  • Societies, Dental
  • Surveys and Questionnaires