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Thailand: Peacekeeping English for troops

The British Council in Thailand has arranged a "peacekeeping English" intensive course directed at police officers and air force personnel to prepare them for the UN's peacekeeping selections test.

Since Thailand is likely to increase its number of UN peacekeepers, Brian Stott, British Council Thailand's head of English projects and the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs have discussed the possibility of establishing a central peacekeeping training centre.

For more information, check the following web page: http://mag.digitalpc.co.uk/Olive/ODE/ELGAZETTE/

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JAPAN: Learn English with Obama

According to the New York Times, this peculiar way of learning English is currently increasing in Japan.

Taking advantage of Barack Obama's popularity, Asashi Press had the original idea of releasing a CD featuring the US President's speeches. At the time of writing, half a million copies have been sold.

Other publishers have copied the scheme; with language learning titles such as "Learn English Grammar from Obama" or "Yes, I can with Obama" the success is guaranteed.

Obama's enthusiastic speeches, his eloquence and his clear pronounciation convinced many Japanese to start learning English with this method.

For full story, see:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E01E2D71338F931A25753C1A96F9C8B63&scp=7&sq=obama+speech+in+japan&st=nyt

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CHINA: English is spoken.

 Despite the global economic recession, the TEFL market in China is still considered the world largest.

According to a British Council survey, around three hundred million Chinese students learn English and the prospects for growth are more than realistic, as the command of English is essential in China, where the competition for jobs is extremely intense.

For full story, see "EL Gazette" October 2009 edition

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Wiz World - the latest method in ELT

Wiz World is a virtual language training application designed as a PC game which allows players to interact in spoken English with computer generated characters. These "language robots" will correct the players' word choice and pronunciation.

Wiz World is already available in China, but its founder, Alex Wang, hopes to expand his idea across Asia and other global areas.

However, the idea of learning a language through video games is not new: in the 1990's the language learning video games were quite popular. Currently, the US military "Tactical Language Training System" supports soldiers with Iraqui language training and cultural norms in a virtual setting.

For full story, see:

www.masshightech.com/stories/2009/05/25/weekly8-8D-World-aims-to-teach-English-language-through-gaming.html

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