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February 22, 2005

Englishwoman Promoting Cultural Understanding in Kawasaki

The Japan Times recently carried an article on Cosmopolitan Consultancy in Kawasaki, described as a study center that "concentrates on using English to introduce and explain other cultures to Japan." The center was established by Englishwoman Suzan Matkin, who first came to Japan many years ago to introduce the Royal Society for the Arts' new examination in 'communicative competence.' After a spell teaching business English at a school in Tokyo, she decided she wanted to work more in the field of intercultural understanding. While the CC does still occasionally teach English, the main focus is on organizing and running courses for businesses and clubs outside their own center.
Cosmopolitan stands for cultural understanding As Suzan explains: "We call this a study center rather than a school. We've covered some 80 countries, using native teachers and speakers, but all through English." Back in the late 1960s, Suzan left her native Diss in England's East Anglia to study English language and literature at the University of London. By the '70s she was teaching in the Cotswolds, at the Western Language Center, where she mingled with students from all over the world. Deciding she wanted to work abroad, she considered Germany, Kuwait and Japan.

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