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December 05, 2002

Bilingual School to Open in Gunma

The city of Ota in Gunma Prefecture, one of the government-assigned "special reform zones", is to open a school in 2004 that will teach almost all subjects in English. Lessons other than those such as Japanese, Japanese History and Social Studies will be taught by native English-speaking teachers. The plan is to open a pre-school in mid-2003 to help future elementary school students get accustomed to English. After that, 30 students divided into two classes will move through elementary, junior and senior high school in the bilingual system. Ota Mayor Masayoshi Shimizu has based the plan on a school in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture which started a similar system from the kindergarten level in 1992. He has been studying their use of textbooks and how they hire teachers.

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