Japan turns to Basil Fawlty to help English language students

Fawlty Towers (Rex)

It may not be everybody’s first choice to learn a language.

But teachers in Japan have turned to the classic comedy series Fawlty Towers to teach people there how to speak English.

The bizarre move is happening because Japan is struggling to find enough proficient English speakers for when Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

The teachers are using the John Cleese classic to show students how use spoken English – rather than focusing on written language and grammar – according to the BBC, which first aired the comedy back in the 1970s.

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The need for more proficient English speakers comes as Japan is hoping to use the sports tournaments to boost tourism and global trade.

Organisers also want professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to speak to English to visitors in three years’ time.

John Cleese during the promotion of a Fawlty Towers stage event in Australia last year (Rex)

Despite it being compulsory in schools, Japanese is still rarely spoken in classrooms.

It is not known which episodes of Fawlty Towers, set in a Torquay hotel, would use, though it is likely not to be the one where Basil Fawlty is ruled to German guests.

Despite its fame, the acclaimed comedy series, which was aired in 1975 and 1979, only had 12 episodes, all written by Cleese and his ex-wife Connie Booth, who also appeared in the programme as Polly the hotel maid.