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October 31, 2006

English Boot Camps in Osaka

A program by education authorities in Osaka has seen hundreds of junior high and high school language teachers head off to intensive immersion programs. This campaign is part of a bigger effort to ensure that students are getting the most out of their English classes. The push began in 2002, with the national government's often-cited program to enhance English-language education in the country. In Osaka, approximately 600 teachers will have taken the intensive lessons by 2007.

One beneficiary of these regulations has been eikaiwas (English conversation schools). As governments raise the bar on education, and provide funding for extra training, many school boards have been turning to eikaiwas for solutions. NOVA, the largest eikaiwa chain in the country, is currently working with about 30 local governments to provide English courses to junior high and high school teaching staff.

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