Engnet-education was previously based in London, England and served clients in both London, Oxford and Cambridge as well as online clients and providing online resources. Now, engnet-education’s main operations will be based in Japan. I have moved back to Tokyo in order to accept a teaching position at Sophia University, and as such I will not be able to personally attend schools in the UK on a regular basis, although I still intend to attend annual conferences such as IATEFL and EUROCALL, as well as the bi-annual Antwerp CALL conference. However, engnet-education will still be able to continue its UK operations thanks to several well trained and experienced colleagues who are also well suited to offer training days and consultations. Also, VOIP (Video Over Internet Protocol) consultations can easily be arranged if one of our UK agents is not available or you are not based in Japan or the UK. Basically, we are expanding!
This is very exciting for me, as the founder of engnet-education, for many reasons. First, I’ve been astounded by the success of the company and am very grateful to all my clients for the positive responses, feedback and of course for their valued custom in the first place! Most of the clients who have used our services came to see our IATEFL presentation in 2010: Setting up Self-Access for students through eLearning. For those who did not attend, the full presentation is available to watch on Vimeo and there is a write up in the IATEFL 2010 Conference Selections book, as well as a forthcoming expansion article in English Teaching Professional. Sadly, neither I nor any engnet-education representatives will be present at IATEFL this year, but we will certainly be back for 2012.
Another reason why the move to Japan is exciting is that it offers the chance for new challenges, new connections and new working relationships in what is certainly an amazing country for language teaching, most notably English Language which is what I specialise in. Although the Eikaiwa (Private Language School) industry is a little rocky, there are still lots of schools out there, not to mention the state and private Junior and High-School sections. It is also a great joy for me to be working at Sophia University, a leading Foreign Language Education institute and one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. It has long been an ambition of mine to teach Academic English in Japan and this year that dream will be realised.
Japan is a country with an interesting relationship with English. This is a theme which I shall be exploring in a more dedicated section of the site all about eLearning and Language Learning in general here in Japan. There are many Computer Aided Language Learning (CALL) specialists here, such as Glenn Stockwell and Lawrence Anthony, creator of AntConc the free concordancing software. Not to mention Thomas Robb and of course the well-established Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT) CALL Special Interest Group, with its own peer reviewed journal, conference and chapter events. Very much looking forward to participating there after having been a member for so long.
Despite the current economic climate, both globally and in Japan specifically, English Language Education is still of high importance in Japan, and so at engnet-education we are pleased to be able to offer our services to an industry which very much needs to stay on top of innovations in learning and teaching. We are also officially launching a new arm of the company, engnet-academy, which will provide both online and blended learning solutions to coroporate clients for their English Language Learning needs. We are also branching out further into materials development, producing a range of interactions for my former employee Kaplan International.
So, as you can see, 2011 certainly looks set to be a busy year for engnet-education. If you would like to learn more about what we are doing, or would like to get involved please send us an email, we would love to hear from you.