Japan Gets Catalyzed

Japanese Paper Umbrella Great news for Japan-based EFL Instructors. Apple has decreed that you and your students will finally have access to a wider range of ebooks including the first-ever interactive, multi-touch ESL/EFL textbook built specifically for the iPad platform: Catalyst: A Conversation Taskbook for English Language Learners. In announcing the long-awaited changes to iBookstore, Apple promised “titles from major and independent publishers” such as yours truly here at Speekeezy Publication Workshop. Starting today you can view or download Catalyst here at iBookstore Japan.

The change comes with minor strings attached, however. Users in Japan will have to upgrade to iBooks 3.1 for expanded access.

In spite of having the world’s highest literacy rates, Japan has had to wait three long and restless years for access to Apple’s signature e-bookstore. The delay, confounded by technological challenges related to the display of double-bit fonts, has been ascribed in part by an unwillingness on the part of major Japanese publishers to kowtow to Apple’s draconian boilerplate terms and conditions.

Japan is a critical market where ELT publishing is concerned. Other key markets throughout the rest of Asia, the Middle East and Africa remain locked out.

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