I) Overview
Several major revisions have been made in The New Course of Study guidelines for junior high schools which began spring of 2012. The number of class hours increased from 105 to 140 hours per year. Also, the vocabulary size students are to acquire has increased from 900 to 1,200 words.
Also, balance of the four langauge skills (listening, speaking, reading & writing) is clearly stressed and part of the overall objective in the classroom. The class time and vocabulary size has increased for practicing communication, not to increase the teaching of grammar.

II) Textbooks
Each municipal board of education chooses a textbook for each municipality throughout Chiba. How much an ALT and JTE rely on their textbook or supplement it depends on each situation. In Chiba Prefecture the junior high school textbooks include:
As of Spring 2012:
external image emoticon9.gifSunshine (8 districts)
external image emoticon9.gifTotal English (2 districts)
external image emoticon9.gifNew Crown (2 districts)
external image emoticon9.gifNew Horizon (3 districts)

III) Resources to Supplement Texts and Create Lessons