Adult education campaigners lose 25% of assets

October 17, 2008

LONDON, UK–The country’s leading campaigning group for lifelong learning has lost a quarter of its assets with the banking collapse in Iceland. Niace, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, had £1.9m invested on a six-month fixed-term deposit with the investment bank Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander, which went into administration last week. full story


Study debunks myth that early immigrants quickly learned English

October 17, 2008

MADISON, WI–Joseph Salmons has always been struck by the pervasiveness of the argument. In his visits across Wisconsin, in many newspaper letters to the editor, and in the national debates raging over modern immigration, he encounters the same refrain: “My great, great grandparents came to America and quickly learned English to survive. Why can’t today’s immigrants do the same? full story


Study abroad agent apologizes to clients, says it won’t pay them

October 17, 2008

TOKYO, JAPAN–Gateway21 Co., a failed private agency to help Japanese study overseas, apologized to its clients Sunday but said it has no money to pay them back. “I am really sorry that your dreams and lives fell apart” because of the company, President Tomomasa Fukui said as he threw himself on the ground and bowed in apology. full story  related story


Canadian schools to help stranded Japanese students of Gateway21

October 17, 2008

NEW YORK, NY–A Canadian language school chain said Friday it will not charge tuition to Japanese students who have been studying at its member schools through Japan’s bankrupt school broker Gateway21 Co. Subject to the benefit are about 160 students already studying the English and French languages at 13 member schools of the British Columbia-based full story  related story


Kagame reiterates need to use English as Education medium

October 17, 2008

KIGALI, RWANDA–President Paul Kagame yesterday stressed the urgency in the process of using English as a medium of education in all Rwandan schools, saying it is a choice Rwandans have to make if they need development. He said this while visiting Ecole Primaire d’Application de Kimihurura (EPAK), a primary school located in Kimihurura, Gasabo District. full story


Get that accent right with Bangalore’s English teachers

October 17, 2008

BANGALORE, INDIA–At first glance, one would mistake Sadhana Govindraj, 32, to be practising English pronunciation with a headphone attached to a computer assisting her at her home in the uspscale Jayanagar neighbourhood of south Bangalore. She is, in fact, teaching her students miles away to speak English the way it should be spoken. full story


Quality Education, Qualified Teachers

October 17, 2008

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA–There is a general assumption that one of the problems with English education in Korea is the poor quality of English teachers. Is this true? How do we decide who is a “quality teacher?” How do we define “qualified?” I distinctly remember a conversation I had many years ago. I was with other native-speaker English teachers at a nightspot in Seoul. full story


Northern territory kids get four hours a day in English

October 17, 2008

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA–In an effort to address failings in indigenous bilingual education, the Northern Territory Government will require the first four hours of every school day to be conducted in English. Announcing the decision yesterday, Territory Education Minister Marion Scrymgour said she supported indigenous language and culture, but her priority was to get full story 


Maps: 1,000 dialects and 6,912 living languages

October 17, 2008

BABBEL BLOG–Last week we had Mara interviewing the Dialect Doctor, who claims to cure accents and strengthen dialects. Well, now here is databank of roughly nearly 1,000 speech samples: Native and non-native speakers of English all read the same English paragraph; the recordings are collected and listenable over at the speech accent archive. They have the nice feature of a world map full story


Back to basics proposal for English pupils

October 17, 2008

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA–Children will be taught grammar for the first time in more than 30 years, under changes to the school curriculum proposed by the National Curriculum Board. In a shift set to excite English language purists, the board has recommended students once again learn to sound out words, spell and correctly punctuate and structure sentences. full story