22 December 2008

Why English learning in Japan fails (summary so far)

Why English learning in Japan fails (summary so far of reasons 1-7)

This is a proposed ten-part series that the Japan HEO Blog hopes to fulfill by the end of 2008. In 2009 we would like to follow up with a look at some possible solutions to the issues the first series has raised. Before we finish off this series on "Why English learning fails in Japan", though, we would like to recapitulate the series so far. Each issue, from one to seven, is given a very brief summary below and links to the original article as archived at the Japan HEO Blog. Please see the original articles for more details and explanation of each issue.

Reason #1: Japan is linguistically and culturally self-sufficient--so most Japanese do not have a pressing need to learn or use English (English is a FOREIGN language).

Reason #2: Japanese is not closely related to English--so it takes longer for beginners to learn how to learn English.

Reason #3: Japanese is not written with an alphabet--this makes literacy for EFL a hindrance to learning the language.

Reason #4: Learning to read and write Japanese fluently takes away too much time from the rest of the curriculum, including EFL learning.

Reason #5: Lack of national consensus on foreign language education--most agree change is needed, but it is hard to get agreement on concrete steps.

Reason #6: The situation at universities--negative washback from entrance exams and the preparation for them at the senior highs.

Reason #7: The situation at universities--elite academics, non-elite students, mismatch of expectations, poor results with general education studies.

100 Best Lifehack Lists for Recent College Grads

100 Best Lifehack Lists for Recent College Grads

By Laura Milligan

Recent college graduates tend to be anxious and excited about the new adventures that face them, but even the most capable grads can have a hard time adjusting to moving across the country alone, dealing with rejection on the job front, and maintaining a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle after school. To help them out, we've put together 100 lifehack lists that feature countless tips on staying fit, eating right, keeping track of a sensible budget and more.

See entire list of lifehack lists.

New issue of SLEID (free online journal about HE)

Vol. 5, No. 4 (2008) of Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development has now been published online at http://sleid.cqu.edu.au/viewissue.php?id=18


OEDb's Online College Rankings 2008


OEDb's Online College Rankings 2008

excerpt/introduction to the rankings:
Online higher education is growing, but a lack of transparency is preventing it from reaching its full potential. Even though online colleges are now receiving increased respect from top employers, diploma mills and the like limit the prestige of a legitimate online degree. We think more transparency is a good thing; a set of objective, quantitative rankings — however imperfect — should help shed some light on the relative attractiveness of the most popular accredited online colleges.

See the list of ranked online institutions at the OEDb website:

Online Education Database (OEDb) and Online Rankings

The future of institutional and program accreditation and certification must encompass specialization, internationalization, and on-line delivery. For example, for better quality in distance learning degrees delivered largely over the internet, students needs better guarantees of the quality and validity of the content in terms of the academic or technical speciality, global standards and effective use of internet-driven communication technologies.

The Online Education Database (OEDb) focuses on accredited institutions and the programs and degrees they offer over the internet. These are mostly American universities and colleges, but at least some are attempting to educate people who do not reside in the US.

The OEDb will be listed at the Japan HEO Blog as a permanent entry under "HE and Japan HE Rankings, Directories, Listings, Databases, Etc." (on the left side of the blog's homepage) and watched for future developments.


Welcome to the Online Education Database. OEDb currently contains reviews of 1,082 programs from 87 accredited online colleges. Unlike other leading online education directories, our database only lists accredited online colleges so that you can be sure that these degrees will be respected by potential employers. Our database allows you to sort reviews by program, college, or degree level. Our library section will educate you on the basics of online universities.

Japan's universities bit hard by global bear

Japan's universities bit hard by global bear

While the US-UK investment bubbles were still percolating, many Japanese universities envied the way American universities invested their endowments in order to gain high returns. So some jumped into the heady world of financial investing and speculation, only to find that 1) it's not as easy as it looks and 2) they bet on a continued bull when the global bear markets emerged with a vengeance.

See these stories:


Japan’s Colleges Had 69 Billion Yen Paper Losses, Yomiuri Says

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s market turmoil led to 68.8 billion yen ($770 million) in unrealized investment losses at 18 private universities as of March 31 and the amount since then is probably much more, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.


Japan University Official Fired After Swap Losses, Asahi Says

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s Komazawa University fired a director yesterday after the institution reported a 15.4 billion yen ($172 million) loss from currency-swap trading, the Asahi newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.


Japan's `Ivy League' Schools Latest Victims of Financial Rout

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Japan's top universities are falling victim to the global financial crisis that has caused $964.6 billion in writedowns and losses at financial institutions.

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