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The Gazette editorial team’s selection of ELT news from around the world

BevelledIraq 300px 1Iraq: Iraqi universities are gearing up to offer more English language tuition. English is in demand in the Iraqi job market, and employers often need to send their employees abroad to study.

books

Receiving a box full of books signed by Noam Chomsky is probably a linguist’s ultimate dream. But this fantasy scenario really did happen to Mosab Abu-Toha, a 24-year-old English literature graduate and EFL teacher.

John Gillespie School children of Nara JAPAN STORY

Japan’s Education Ministry has published its latest draft guidelines on public education, to come into effect from 2020 after a ‘transition’ from 2018. Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reports that the principal aim of the guidelines, released in February, is ‘to reinforce the teaching of English’.

Here are the latest UK language centre rankings. 

Madrid People Spain story Manuel

A new survey by the Centre for Sociological Research (CIS), part of the Ministry of the Presidency in Spain, revealed that six out of ten Spaniards can’t write or speak English and only 10 per cent study a foreign language. Experts suggest the main causes of this problem include the education system, dubbing of films and students’ lack of confidence, 20 minutos newspaper reported.

Credits US Embassy Panama Panamá Bilingue programme

Over 70,000 Panamanian students and teachers will have been trained in English by the end of this year thanks to the Panama Bilingual programme, ANPanama news agency reports. In January the final cohort of 1,000 teachers and students at the international teacher training Panamá Bilingüe 2017 programme were sent by the government to study for eight weeks in universities in the US, Canada, the UK and Barbados.

Pic story Medellín Colombia Pic courtesy Secretaría de Movilidad de Medellín

Medellin, Colombia’s second city (above), has launched a new bilingual programme which introduces English language to children in early childhood. Pilot project Semilla Bilingüe (bilingual seed) has been implemented in eighteen kindergartens and fifteen primary schools since January.

Kurt Bauschardt Parliament UK

A report by a policy-forming group within the UK Parliament has called for mandatory Esol classes for newly arrived immigrants – but also called for a lot more money to pay for this. The UK’s cross-party All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration has a mission to examine ‘how government and local authorities could better support communities to manage rapid demographic change’ in times of Brexit and an alarming rise in xenophobic hate crime nationally.

Pedro Szekely Montreal Canada

Authorities in Quebec, Canada have announced investigations into two English school boards following press reports of international students scammed by their agents. Management of both the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) and the Lester B. Pearson School Board, also in Montreal, have denied any wrongdoing.

International students returning to study in the US were among those worst affected by the travel ban imposed by President Trump’s executive order in January, Melanie Butler writes. This included a 90-day ban on Iranian, Somali, Yemeni, Syrian, Sudanese, Iraqi and Libyan nationals arriving. In the picture above is one of many protests that broke out in US airports, this one at San Francisco International.

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