News In Brief

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CHINA: A recent survey of Chinese students currently overseas found that 87 per cent were worried about being infected by Covid-19, followed by impact on studies (73 per cent), and the inability to return to China (66 per cent); 63 per cent said that they were not satisfied with the actions of their host country, and 86 per cent said they would prefer to return to China to feel safer.

GIBRALTAR: The Chamber of Commerce is offering free English classes to the non-English speaking staff of member companies. They will be able to take part in one 45-minute English lesson a week. Priority will be given to “frontline, customer-facing staff” in customer service or hospitality roles, according to the Gibraltar Chronicle.

QATAR: The Ministry of Justice’s Judicial and Legal Services centre has recently started English for Law courses for “researchers” and legal specialists from across various government agencies of the Gulf state. The Qatar News Agency reported that courses would focus on drafting legislation, regulations, resolutions and Memoranda of Understanding in English.

NEW ZEALAND: Lianne Dalziel, Mayor of the City of Christchurch, has apologised to a group of visiting relatives of victims of the 2011 earthquake. The collapse of one building killed 29 English language students – mostly from Japan – who were studying in a sixth-floor language school. A 2012 inquiry found the building’s structure did not meet safety standards.

INDIA: The Karnataka Development Authority has sent a letter to the Education Minister of State, demanding the withdrawal of the licence for an English medium school which threatened to fine students using the state language, Kannada. The school told News Minute the warning was sent out “by mistake” and has since been “rescinded”.

ISRAEL: Objections to the teaching of “secular” subjects, including English, in schools serving the ultra-Orthodox communities have apparently been lifted. Al Monitor news website reports that English will be introduced “if there is a demand from parents”. This compromise follows the failure of attempts to deny state funding to schools that refuse to teach English.

Image courtesy of Library
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Matt Salusbury
MATT SALUSBURY, news editor and journalist, has worked for EL Gazette since 2007. He is also joint Chair of the London Freelance Branch of the National Union of Journalists and co-edits its newsletter, the Freelance. He taught English language for 15 years in the Netherlands, in Turkey, in a North London further education college and now as an English for Academic Purposes tutor, most recently at the London School of Economics. He is a native English speaker and is also fluent in Dutch.