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J-education for immigrants


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
More schools facing language barriers

According to the Education, Science and Technology Ministry, about 80 percent of schools that have accepted foreign children have less than five of them in attendance, but the number of teachers who have language skills and can teach Japanese to those children is relatively small. Other measures, such as asking volunteers to help, are left to the discretion of the school.

Sounds like a good opportunity for bilinguals...

According to the ministry, the number of foreign children who needed to learn Japanese last year was 19,250 (up 4.4 percent from the previous year) and the number of schools that accept these children was 5,296 (up 1.2 percent). The figures were the highest since the survey began in 1991. By mother tongue, 7,518 of the children (39.1 percent) speak Portuguese, 5,532 (28.7 percent) speak Chinese and 2,405 (12.5 percent) speak Spanish.

=> http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021210wob3.htm

Expert says integrating foreign children into society vital

"Japanese education for those non-Japanese children is now facing a turning point," said Ikuo Kawakami, professor of the Center for Japanese Language at Waseda University. "With the increase of such children, many schools are being confronted with the problem of how to teach them, and the number of children who cannot participate in class because of the language barrier is also increasing."

Kawakami, an expert on teaching Japanese as a second language (JSL), worries about these "dropout" children, who can get proper education in neither Japanese nor their mother tongue. "If children aged 8 to 10 come to Japan, before they have a firm foundation in their mother tongue, they can't develop their mother tongue or Japanese. They absorb the language but cannot understand it systematically," he said.

=> http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021210wob2.htm
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