Around the World: ESL in the News
Language Proposal Has French Up In Arms
Education Minister Genevieve Fioraso this past week introduced
a bill that would allow French universities to teach more
courses in English, even when English is not the subject.
The goal, she explained, is to attract more students from
countries such as Brazil, China and India where English is
widely taught but French is reserved largely for literature
"Ten years ago, we were third in welcoming foreign students,
but today we are fifth," she said. A conference of university
presidents endorsed the idea, saying French-only classes are
a "powerful brake" on foreign student applications.
The idea, however, has sparked cultural and nationalist outrage.
Give Kids Early Start in English
and more parents in Japan are interested in having their children
start studying English even before they turn one, with an
eye on giving them an advantage in their future careers.
S&S International School, an English school for infants
in Yokohama, two-year-olds were fluently pronouncing the English
word "carbon" as a native English instructor showed
them chemical symbols.
the education program targeting children aged up to about
5, teachers get the young children to read English words repeatedly
and help them strengthen their writing skills and acquire
the ability to think in English.
30 percent of those enrolled in the program study at the school
instead of going to kindergartens or nursery schools, studying
about four hours a day.
program covers a wide range of challenging and complicated
subjects for children, including Darwin's theory of evolution,
Egyptian civilization, fractions and DNA.
Why is Spain Experiencing an English Language Boom?
per cent of Spain's population is unemployed - over six million
people. In a ferociously competitive job market, Spaniards
see learning a foreign language as the best way of distinguishing
themselves from others.
a trip on Madrid's Metro during the morning rush hour and
you will be struck by two things: the number of suited commuters
burying their heads in English language textbooks, and the
amount of wall space taken up by private schools, or academias,
advertising English courses.
Twenty-seven per cent of the population is unemployed; that's
over six million people. In a ferociously competitive job
market, Spaniards see learning a foreign language as the best
way of distinguishing themselves from others. While many here
struggle to make ends meet, while angry protests against politicians,
austerity and banks take place almost daily, English language
schools have never had it so good.
Reasons International Students Should Consider MOOCs
15, it seems unlikely Priya Prabhakar would know much about
college. But the rising high school sophomore has already
taken six college courses from some of America's best universities,
earning high marks in everything from poetry to computer programming.
Prabhakar, from Chennai, India, is one of thousands of students
across the globe taking massive open online courses. And she
can't get enough of them.
a curious person," says Prabhakar, who has already signed
up for at least four more courses. "I have interests
in many different fields and subjects." As a student
contemplating her future career, she says MOOCs are great
at fulfilling her curiosity about a variety of topics.
Canada's Internatonal Students
Need Better English Skills
at the University of Regina, which has doubled its international
student population from 730 in 2009 to 1,448 in 2013, say
students are being admitted without good enough English English
professor Susan Johnston said that some don't have the listening
skills to understand what's going on in classes and they also
appear to be crafting papers in one language and converting
them to English, "through some kind of Google Translator
or BabelFish program."
international student population grew by 60 per cent nationwide
between 2004 and 2012. While universities are happy to have
the extra tuition, funding and diversity that foreign students
bring, schools face pressure to make sure these new recruits
can read, write and speak well enough to succeed. The usefulness
of English tests used to admit students may be part of the
tests are also a problem, at least in the U.S.