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May 21, 2002

English Increasingly Important in Business

A recent Nikkei Weekly article reported on the boom in English study among businesspeople. Among the statistics quoted were the almost 5 million copies of books to accompany NHK's latest series of language programs; the number of people taking the TOEIC test in 2001 was 1.28 million, up 17% from the previous year, of which 90% were company employees. The Institute for International Busines Communication reported an increasing trend for companies to require employees to achieve a minimum TOEIC score, with over half the companies in a poll saying that they consider TOEIC scores when deciding promotions. Incidentally, the institute also reported that the average score for examinees in 2001 was 513 out of the maximum 990.

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