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April 12, 2004

Kids' English Business Booming

Last week the Japan Times carried an article on the booming business of kids' English education. As one example, it looked at the growing number of young students attending classes organized by Benesse. The company has 260 classes throughout the country with a total of 4,600 students, and aims to grab a much larger share of the preschoolers' market, which it estimates at about ¥800 billion in 2002 and growing about 4% annually. And this figure does not include mail-order English education materials, CDs, picture books and toys. The article also quotes Kanji Watanabe, a supervisor at the National Institute for Educational Policy Research of Japan, who said that English education at elementary schools has produced "unexpected good results of making taciturn children more assertive" through participation in English games.
Japan Times

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