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February 03, 2011

Roundup: Oscar-nominated animator on new kids English program • ALC releases premium version of Eijiro • Osaka mayor boosts TOEFL study

Teaching-English-in-Japan-Education-Torikai" In step with the April introduction of English into the primary school curriculum for 11 and 12 year olds, NHK is launching a new kids English show "Pre-Basic English". The show will feature poet Arthur Binard and the work of Oscar-nominated animator Koji Yamamura.

Japan's most popular English/Japanese dictionary, Eijiro, has been released in a premium version. "Eijiro Pro" includes a number of advanced features, costs 315 yen per month and is free of ads.

The mayor of Osaka has announced that high school students in the city will start taking the TOEFL test, starting in 2012. A budget of 500,000,000 (about $6 million) is being allocated to the top 50 schools in addition to a special 200,000,000 yen budget for 24 schools that emphasize English.

Reported by: Russell Willis

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