22 Oct 2010, 12:45am




Ben ShearonMy name is Ben Shearon. I’m originally from Europe (British passport, born in Germany and grew up in Spain). I came to Sendai in July 2000 and have been here ever since, working in a variety of educational contexts.

After almost four years as an ALT working for the Sendai Board of Education (two in JHS, one in ES, and nine months in SHS), I was employed by the Miyagi Board of Education as Chief ALT Advisor for Miyagi, a position I held for four years. It was an incredible learning experience, but in March 2008 I left to work part-time at several universities in Sendai.

From April 2009 to March 2022 I worked at Tohoku University (in the Institute for Excellence in Higher Education,  previously the Centre for the Advancement of Higher Education), as well as serving on the boards of Nika Junior and Senior High School and Cambridge English. I am an active presenter at various conferences and events, and have presented on behalf of Oxford University Press; Sendai, Miyagi, and Niigata Boards of Education; and Tohoku University.

I am particularly interested in teaching English to children, especially through phonics and reading instruction; extensive reading; effectiveness in teaching; curriculum change; and the English education system in Japan.

From 2003 I have been helping my wife run her English school Cambridge English in Sendai.

I wrote a three-year, four-skills supplementary course for junior high school students with my colleague Daniel Eichhorst (The Fluency Course) for use in junior high schools, private English schools, and jukus.

In my spare time I run RetireJapan, a website/blog/forum/YouTube channel to provide impartial financial advice to English-speaking residents of Japan.

18 Mar 2012, 7:00pm
by Nora Ueda


Hello Ben,
I just like to say that I enjoyed your blog today and your comments on etj are often very sound and helpful.
Nora Ueda.

Hi Nora!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Glad you like the blog 🙂

9 Mar 2014, 10:53pm
by Barry Keith (Gunma University)


Hi Ben, I watched with great interest the Kaizen ER videos. Thanks for posting those. I wonder if I could get my hands on the Tohoku Dai guide to Extensive Reading?

Hi Barry
Thanks for posting and sorry for the delay getting back to you (I’ve been away for the last couple of weeks). If you send me your work address by email to sendaiben@gmail.com along with how many copies you would like, I’ll ask the office to send them on.

15 Mar 2024, 6:46pm
by Wilbur Blavatsky


Nice. You’re on the board of Cambridge English. Are you a Distinguished Fellow of Cambridge University?

Ha, ha, no. This is a language school in Sendai, Japan.


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