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May 26, 2005

English Boom in Ise

An article on the Asahi.com web site looks at the English learning boom happening in the city of Ise, Mie Prefecture. With the Ise Jingu shrine and Mikimoto pearls, the city has long been a popular destination for foreign tourists. Recently it has been caught up in the internationalization that has followed the opening of the Chubu International Airport and the Aichi World Expo, and residents are feeling a growing need to acquire English language skills. This spring the prefectural Ujiyamada Commercial High School became one of the latest additions to the government's SELHi (Super English Langugae High School) scheme and, according to the article, is the only one of the 31 SELHis this year to have laid out its English program in detail. Tokyo-based Zoo Phonics Academy recently opened a new school in the city to cash in on the demand for early English education. And Ise Jingu Shrine administrators have recently become more serious about providing quality information in English about their World Heritage site.
Story in Japanese

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