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January 16, 2012

The Week in English Language Teaching: FT Reviews, Pearson, Newsweek, Grammar Comics...

Teaching-English-in-Japan-Education-roundup1" From this week onwards, will be rounding up notable news from the world of language learning and ELT and publishing them here. For more frequent updates, please check out our Facebook page.

FT on Language Books
The Financial Times rounded up and reviewed a selection of notable books on language, including David Crystal's The Story of English in 100 Words and David Bellos' Is That a Fish in Your Ear?

Big in China
Pearson-owned Wall Street English confirmed it will open 15 new English schools in China, taking its total to 70 whilst EF which has nearly 150 centres in more than 50 cities, plans to open 200 new premises. Disney now runs 30 schools in Japan, aimed at children.

Grammar Comics
We discovered a delightful series of comic strips that amusingly and effectively covered issues such "Ten Worlds You Need to Stop Misspelling" and "How to Use a Semi-Colon".

Signs and Apostrophes
Language Log covered some rather shocking "Sale!" signs in Japan and looked at how Japanese is also being misused in a similar way. LL also had some interesting comments on the Waterstone's / Waterstones rebranding and the debate that ensued on the apostrophe on Radio 4. Peter Viney updated an article of his on "Intelligent Apostrophes and Dumb Apostrophes" for his blog.

New CUP Head
Cambridge University Press said goodbye to Dr. Richard Ziemacki, the president of its US operations who worked for 37 years for the press. To replace him, Michael Peluse has joined the New York office as Managing Director and will also serve as global Managing Director for English Language Teaching, a division which accounts for over a third of Cambridge's publishing sales revenue.

Hilary Takes on British Council
The US state department announced it would be seeking to promote its ELT expertise more aggressively to help meet the growing demand for language learning. The department's partner for what is being seen as a shift in strategy will be the main US ELT professional association Tesol, which has 9,000 members in the US and a further 3,000 abroad. The new partnership is likely to be similar to the model created by the British Council, the UK government-sponsored cultural and education promotion organisation, which actively markets UK ELT goods and services internationally and sells its own language courses and tests. Tesol spokesman John Segota acknowledges that US ELT providers have lagged behind the UK's export efforts, in part because they have been occupied with the massive domestic ELT market.

Lexile for TOEIC
In Japan, MetaMetrics partnered with with the Institute for International Business Communication (IIBC). The Lexile English Reading Guide is now offered through IIBC and provides TOEIC test-takers in Japan with access to a personal library of targeted books and a limited number of daily recommended articles. To date, more than 3,600 Japanese TOEIC test takers have registered for this free service.

More Great JET Comics
Cartoonist Lars Martinson released the second of his "Kameoka Diaries". The author of the Tonoharu graphic novel is back teaching on the JET scheme.

ELTNEWS Partners with Newsweek teamed up with Newsweek to offer the cheapest subscription rates in Japan for the venerable weekly. Teachers and schools can now become "resellers" of Newsweek by providing their students with a special code that provides a special student discount for subscriptions ordered from

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