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July 08, 2010

Japanese study English by tweeting


The Wall Street Journal reports that tweeting in Japan is on the increase - Japan now has the world record for tweets per second after a recent World Cup game - and is now increasingly being used for learning English.

Twitter is a friendly tool even for the easily intimidated, says Masato Homma, chief executive of a Tokyo-based consulting company called Learnology Co. and author of the book “How To Study English With Twitter — Connect With the World.” “With 140 characters, you’re lucky if you can get 30 words out of it. That’s one long sentence or two short ones,” he says. “There’s no need to worry about grammar. Come up with a jazzy adjective and you’re basically done.”

Birdtaka, a 43-year-old consultant who prefers to tweet in anonymity, recently started tweeting in English several times a day. “I don’t think of Twitter as studying,” Birdtaka said in a phone interview. But he says he finds himself thinking more and more in English as he thinks up his next tweet. “I didn’t expect tweeting in English would work for my English practice, but it’s actually working,” he tweeted recently – in English, of course. “It makes my brain English mode.”

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