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Encouraging Developments

A couple of things in the news caught my eye that made me think Japan's approach to teaching English could be changing for the better.

From the Yomiuri Online:

The Japanese and U.S. governments are considering the establishment of a program that would send young Japanese teachers of English to the United States to improve their English ability, it has been learned.

Inayoshi Reclaims GEOS and NOVA

After giving up GEOS and Nova and his job, Masaki Inayoshi is back in the saddle.

According to the Asahi shimbun, GEOS, Nova, and its juku cram schools were sold (again!) as of October 1 by G.communication to Inayoshi Capital Holdings, an investment firm set up by former G.communication chairman Masaki Inayoshi, who gave up his position in August.

Sahashi Still Maintains He's Innocent

If you're sick and tired of reading anything having to do with NOVA and Sahashi, you might want to stop reading right now.

Sahashi was back in court to have his appeal heard.

His lawyers still maintain that he is innocent and that his use of money from an employees' fund was to pay refunds and therefore does not amount to embezzlement. Sahashi was originally sentenced to three and half years for the crime.

Eikaiwa: 

See BS News

CBS News is all gaga over how awesome Japanese education is given how it stresses the importance of respect and how much they accomplish with so little is spent on it.

How do they do so much with so little? By investing in top-notch teachers.

"Teachers are given a good deal of respect; they're expected to devote their life," said Catherine Lewis, distinguished research scholar at Mills College. "The whole system is set up to emphasize the development of teachers."

Interac No More

As of October 1st, Interac will cease to exist, being bought out by Advantage Partners. This comes from the General Union, which cites an August 24 official government gazette containing the notice of the buyout. More about the buyout can be found on ESL Cafe and Hoofin's blog.

Eikaiwa: 

Be Yes! English Teachers

When I saw this story in the Japan Times for a webisode series called "English Teachers" about the antics of teaching at Be Yes! School of English, I thought it would be a live version of Charisma Man.

Japan: 

GEOS North America Sold to Open Hearts International College

GEOS North America Announced on September 10 that it has signed a letter of intent [PDF] for the acquisition of all 12 GEOS schools in North America by Florida-based Open Hearts International College.*

Japan: 

Time to Say Goodbye to JET and Dispatch ALTs

Given all the talk of the JET Programme on the chopping block, I've been thinking about the discussion it has generated. The consensus seems to be that the program should be saved since it's a great soft power tool and exchange program for Japan.

David English House Closes its Doors

Citing a tough financial situation, Hiroshima-based David English House has closed its doors as of September 1 and filed for bankruptcy.

While some of its schools will close, a number of its teachers will go independent and take over existing contracts and keep other schools open. For the most part, it sounds it will be business as usual for its students.

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