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Is veteran school chain Bell English turning its back on UK EFL?

09-11-2017 Hits:319 News Melanie Butler  - avatar Melanie Butler

The operating company Bell English is abandoning plans to increase its number of language schools in the UK, citing ‘a significant shift towards in-country English-language tuition’ and away from language...

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Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, recent commander of the International Space Station (ISS), has launched the Macmillan Life Skills suite of materials, which aims to combine ‘soft skills’ with ELT under the slogan ‘Language is a life skill.’

On the subject of soft skills, Commander Hadfield is best known for

By Matt Salusbury

Vietnam's largest city is struggling even to recruit English teachers from abroad, let alone pay them. In 2012 the Ho Chi Minh City municipal Department of Education and Training proposed that a hundred Filipino teachers be employed to teach English in its public-sector primary and secondary schools by the end of that year (see November 2013 Gazette, page 4).

As we went to press, a total of only thirteen teachers from the Philippines had been recruited to teach English in the city, which has a population of well over seven million, with a total of 917 ‘general education’ public-sector primary and secondary schools, according to Vietnam General Statistics Office figures. Vietnamese English-language daily Thanh Nien reports that another twenty-six Filipino teachers were due to start working sometime in early 2014. According to the Department of Education and Training plan, funding for the Filipino teachers’ salaries was to come from the municipal government as well as school budgets; however, this has not been the case. Lack of funding from the municipality has forced schools to look for financial support from parents.

The monthly salary for a Filipino teacher in Ho Chi Minh City is

By Rafaela Peteanu

After the UK Student Loans Company (SLC) froze funding for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals at private higher education colleges late last year (see February Gazette), similar problems are now facing university students from these countries.

According to the Independent, some Romanian and Bulgarian students at British universities have had their loans frozen by SLC. To qualify for these loans, EU students need to

By Matt Salusbury

Japan's ministry of education announced in January the start of a six-year mission leading up to the 2020 Olympics which will see English language classes taught exclusively through the medium of English starting from the age of thirteen or fourteen. The plan will also lead to primary school students starting English earlier, from the age of ten or eleven. And the English proficiency of secondary school teachers will be periodically tested, with English subject teachers deployed to teach in the last two years of primary school.

The ministry’s Execution Plan for Reform of English Education in Response to Globalisation is aimed at preparing for an expected influx of foreign visitors for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. By the first day of the new school year on 1 April 2020, all junior high school English subject classes will be delivered entirely in English, with some schools expected to implement this change by the beginning of the 2018 school year. An expert advisory panel was due to be set up in February 2014 to ‘study the details of the scheme’, according to the Mainichi newspaper.

English as the medium of instruction was introduced in the 2013–14 school year for

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