Japan: “English education and English sheepdogs”

This article, published in the Japan Times, takes a light-hearted look at English language teaching in Japan and may well strike a chord with teachers around the world.

“Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to globalize Japan’s workforce and says that Japan must become more competitive in the English language. This has touched off a debate among native English teachers, Japanese who teach English, Japanese speakers who don’t speak English, and English sheepdogs owned by both Japanese and English speakers.” … To continue reading, click here.

English in Japan

© http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/01/forget-dragons-japans-biggest-quest-is-for-english/

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2nd term for Barack Obama – What does it mean for US education?

After a long and closely fought campaign, US President Barack Obama was re-elected with a clear majority in the electoral college, even before Florida’s recount confirms the final tally.

But what does his 2nd term mean for US education? Here are some reactions to Obama’s re-election and predictions about what it means for schools, students and educators in the United States:

The Chronicle of Higher Education: ‘With Obama’s Win, Colleges Anticipate 4 More Years of Reform

National Education Association: ‘Reelection of President Obama a Victory for Public Education and Students

Center for Education Reform press release

The Fiscal Times: ‘Obama’s Re-election Mandate: Fix Our Failing Schools

Education Week: ‘Labor, Charter Forces Notch State-Level Election Wins’

CLERA research student wins JALT Research Grant

CLERA research student Marcus Grandon won a JALT Research Grant (2012) to conduct a study on classroom interaction in Japanese university classrooms. Results will be published in “The Language Teacher” with preliminary findings to be presented at the 2013 JALT International conference in Kobe, Japan.
In addition, judges selected a photograph by Grandon for a prize at a photo contest sponsored by Cengage Learning at the 2012 JALT conference. The photo was displayed in an exhibition at the conference alongside other works by award-winning National Geographic photographs.
The theme for the contest was “Kizuna:  Bringing people together”. Here’s a copy of the prize winning photo:

Call for papers: CamTESOL 2013

The 9th Annual CamTESOL Conference on English Language Teaching – Language and Empowerment will take place in Phnom Penh in Cambodia on 23-24 February 2013. The call for papers is out now, abstracts are accepted for papers, workshops or posters sessions (submission deadline: 15 September, 2012). Practising teachers of English are especially invited to participate.

For more information, click here.

US: AFT president suggests ‘bar exam for teachers’

In an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Randi Weingarten – president of the American Federation of Teachers, a teachers’ union representing some 1.5 million US teachers – launched her own ‘big idea’: In an effort to promote ‘higher quality outcomes for students’, she proposed the introduction of a ‘bar exam for teachers’, based on ‘national standards’ set by a national board and adopted by the individual states.

Click here to read the article and the interesting comments page in The Atlantic.