I read an interview on Mr. Yoshifumi Saito in a recent issue of the vernacular Asahi Shimbun (lit. Asahi Newspaper). He is a professor at the state-run University of Tokyo, known as the most prestigious university in Japan.

His opinion is rather shocking to me because he says that the acquisition of practical English at school is a fantasy.

He also says that a large number of Japanese people think that students should be able to use English after they study English for six to ten years at school and that this premise itself is funny.
Some people say that Japanese people cannot speak English well because they worry too much about English grammar. Professor Yoshifumi Saito says that it is untrue and concludes that grammar is important to the learning of English.

English is taught at Japanese junior high schools for three years and at high schools for another three years' period. Quite a few Japanese high school students go on to university, where they also study English. Most of them, however, cannot make themselves well understood in English.

In my opinion, the English education system of Japan is rather grammar-oriented and making a large number of Japanese people with linguistic xenophobia. I think the system should attach more importance to English speaking skills.

I would like to hear your opinion.

Let me have some information on the teaching system of English as a second language in your country, if you are a non-native speaker of English.
I really appreciate this post, since i am not a native English speaker, and willing to teach soon.
Let me start by giving my opinion about teaching English as a second language, which is becoming a must for a lot of people all over the word, according to the fact that English is the international language that is widely spread.
I have read few articles concerning the issue of teaching English for foreigners, and what I admire the most about that is a recent research about teaching, what's briefly called " acquisition "
According to a website called www.effortlessenglish.com
" Many students feel nervous when they try to speak English, what's called " English Trauma "
Its not the students' fault. English trauma is caused by schools, not students. Specifically, English
trauma is caused by specific teaching methods. These methods confuse students and create stress and damage students' ability to speak well. "
Allow me to shed a light on the term " teaching methods ", According to my humble experience in learning English, I have come up to believe that Learning greatly succeed by acquisition, and that English Language as any other language is built upon four basic cornerstones which are Listening, Speaking, Reading and writing.
Listening enrich our ability to speak, and Reading as a matter of fact our ability to write, which is over all a mix that can not be separated (For example, you can not teach a student how to speak, regarding to how to listen.)

The Sabis Educational System is quite efficient and effective, that is used by many teachers as well, in order to avoid the " Learning Trauma " that might be caused by ineffective methods of teaching
According to the Sabis System " We define efficiency in education as the teaching of a body of knowledge and skills in the shortest time possible, and with the least effort. We increase efficiency of learning by eliminating "wasted effort", and by taking maximum advantage of each teaching situation. This does not mean that we over-work students; we simply try to teach them the essential skills with minimum effort and time. The children can use the saved time to learn more and to relax more. "

I am sorry to expatiate upon this point, though, I tried to wrap up my words as much as possible.
I would love to hear more from the experts of this site .. 
I'm a university student in China,so I can only give some of my feelings instand of serious opinions.

I think the situation in my contry has few differences,many students can't speak English fluently after they graduated from high school even from university,they can only take English exams.Educators have realized this problems,so they put more listening and speaking part in test books and exams little by little,but that still have many obstacles,we don't have any visible result by now.

I think the interest is the most important thing in learning English.I love sing songs and watching movies,so during my English studing years,I've listened many English songs,watched many English speaking films,I think that helps me much,it's useful.

But if every little Asian child listening English songs,watching English movies every day to learn English,that may cause another problem:culture aggression.

I hope to listen more opinions about it.thank you!