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April 21, 2004

Hooked Up for English

An English school in Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture has hooked up with a British primary school to offer lessons by video telephone. Students at Queen's Park school in Bournemouth play card games or quizzes with their Japanese counterparts separated by 9,000km and nine time zones. School owner Ken Nagasawa (31) says, "I want to help students develop a more international outlook that will help them enjoy and want to speak English." Nagasawa was introduced to the British coastal town school by one of his teachers, a graduate of the school. February and March were spent setting up and testing the system. The first lesson took place earlier this month at six in the evening, mid-morning UK time, and there will be 16 lessons during the year. Only about eight students can take part in the one-hour lesson, meaning participating students at both ends will rotate each time. One 8-year old Japanese student said, "I've been studying English for a year. This lesson was confusing at first, but I enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the next time."
Story in Japanese (asahi.com)

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