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February 12, 2011

English as a universal language

"There are about 400 million people whose native tongue is English. But English is also the official language of countries such as India and Singapore, and when you factor in the peoples of such countries, plus those who speak English as a foreign language, the total number of English speakers by far exceeds 1 billion around the world. "(Torikai Kumiko) http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201101210361.html http://bit.ly/gZSDIH

If English is becoming a universal language for all the peoples of the world, it might be inevitable that the English language will fall into decline. If we want to keep the language's integrity, "we" ought to protect "at least" the " 'core' English grammar and pronunciation."


February 02, 2011

Freakonomics or the existence of cheating among sumo wrestlers

The following is a tweet from The Daily Yomiuri:
"Text messages implying match-fixing were found on #sumo wrestlers' cell phones seized by Tokyo police in July, sources reveal. #Japan"

There was a baseball-betting scandal among sumo wrestlers last year.
"The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)'s organized crime division arrested three former sumo wrestlers and a woman on Jan. 26 on suspicion of involvement in a baseball-betting scandal that shook the sumo world to its foundations last year." http://bit.ly/euBhPz

In the process of the investigation, evidence was found that shows there had been cheating or match-fixing among sumo wrestlers.

In 2005, "Freakonomics" demonstrated the existence of cheating among sumo wrestlers, relying on a statistical analysis. Freakonomics does not use ordinary economic theories. It is a statistical analysis of social problems.


February 01, 2011

Stephen Krashen's article

Applying the Comprehension Hypothesis: Some Suggestions Stephen Krashen http://www.sdkrashen.com/articles/eta_paper/index.html http://bit.ly/iakY8a

Krashen's article is very interesting. He treats testable hypotheses, and his conclusions are based on data. If there are any drawbacks in his theories, they might be related to the fact that he is mainly concerned with language education for students in classrooms. What do you think of this?


About the appearance of generational inequalities in Japan

"While many nations have aging populations, Japan’s demographic crisis is truly dire, with forecasts showing that 40 percent of the population will be 65 and over by 2055. Some of the consequences have been long foreseen, like deflation: as more Japanese retire and live off their savings, they spend less, further depressing Japan’s anemic levels of domestic consumption. But a less anticipated outcome has been the appearance of generational inequalities." In Japan, Young Face Generational Roadblocks http://nyti.ms/fMiXGj

It might be true that one aspect of generational inequalities in Japan may be the result of its aging population. Some old people have both more power and more money than other old people. It is a well known fact that more conspicuous inequalities exist among old people than among young people.

"As this fading economic superpower rapidly grays, it desperately needs to increase productivity and unleash the entrepreneurial energies of its shrinking number of younger people. But Japan seems to be doing just the opposite." In Japan, Young Face Generational Roadblocks http://nyti.ms/fMiXGj

Some people think that productivity can be increased and entrepreneurial energies can be unleashed under fierce competition or unstable fixed-term employment. Most of the "powerless" old people, who have been paying their children's educational costs, are not responsible for the introduction of the "inhumane" and "unjust" system that young people are currently dealing with.

I think that Martin Fackler cannot see both the true state of affairs and the root cause of "generational inequality."


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