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November 07, 2005

Big Growth in Young English-Learning Market

A recent survey has put a figure on the growth in the young English learner market, according to Kyodo News. The survey carried out by a research department of education provider Benesse Corp. shows that over the last five years, the percentage of preschool children attending English conversation lessons has almost tripled. 14.2% of children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years are learning English, up from 5% in 2000. By age bracket, the figures are: 1-year olds - 3% (up from 0.6%); 2-year olds - 7% (from 2%); 3-year olds - 10% (from 4%); 5-year olds - 21% (from 6%). The survey was taken in March by 2,980 parents in and around Tokyo. It also included other lifestyle indicators, such as how much time children spend watching TV or playing video games (down slightly), whether fathers help with housework (cleaning up after dinner and putting out the garbage were the only areas of improvement), and how much families spend on the children's education (¥8,771 per month, up from 2000 and similar to the 1995 level).

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