Immediately following Boston Educational Services Chairman Perry Akins’ presentation in Tokyo last month, an article appeared in The Japan Times. Since then, word has continued to spread about iTEP in the Japanese media. Kyoiku Katei Shimbun, Japan’s educational newspaper, recently ran the story you see to your left (click the image, then click the expand icon in the top right corner to see the full size version).
Yahoo! Japan also featured iTEP in an in-depth article about English language testing. The following is a translation of the portion of the story concerning iTEP.
iTEP Works Toward Expansion
Starting this spring, another serious entrant into the market is iTEP, which was developed by the former president of the ELS Language Centers, the largest English-language training chain in the United States. Japanese English-language education has traditionally tended to focus on reading, comprehension, and grammar, and has long been criticized for being inadequate in practical situations. In addition to these three skills, iTEP adds speaking and writing to the areas in which it tests for proficiency. Of particular note is the fact that the test takes only 90 minutes, and the testing fee, less than ¥11,000 ($US99), is roughly half of TOEFL’s. Some 300 American universities accept iTEP as proof of the English proficiency of overseas students.
iTEP first made its appearance in Japan in 2011, but iTEP Japan was only established as a corporation in January of this year (Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo). Hereafter, it aims to make a serious push to increase its presence in Japan. According to one staff member, who has high hopes for the test, “Compared to existing English-language tests, iTEP does a better job of measuring communication skills. I want to make the test known to a wide variety of people, from students to business people.”