Bilingual Kids, Raising of|
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Bilingual Kids, Raising of
By Alison on Thursday, July 1, 1999 - 5:40 pm:
I am American, my husband is Japanese and our nanny is a Philipina. I would like my daughter to be bilingual (English / Japanese) but since both I and her nanny speak to her in English, she is not getting exposure to Japanese. I do not want to put her into a full time day care center. Are there day care centers in Shibuya-ku that would accept a 2 year old for a couple of days a week? Are there any other ways to expose her to Japanese children?
By Debbie on Thursday, July 15, 1999 - 9:39 pm:
Child Play in Yoyogi Uehara accepts children from 18 months and has a mixed group. Classes are two or three days a week. You might check them out and see what you think.
By Cornelia on Thursday, March 16, 2000 - 12:35 pm:
You ask if there are any other ways to expose your two year old to Japanese children. I can think of one great way, go to the parks and playgrounds with her. Encourage any attempts by other mothers to converse with you, make friends, invite them for coffee along with their kids, it's a lot easier than you think. At two years old, your child will pick up Japanese like a sponge soaks up water.
By Ornella on Monday, April 3, 2000 - 1:26 pm:
I'm a Canadian mom with a 3 year-old daughter who attends Japanese daycare on a fulltime basis.
I'm desperately looking for any kind of class, held in English and attended by other biracial or native English speaking children on weekends.
Does anyone know of any class I can enroll my daughter in that wouldn't be too far from the Suginami (Kugayama) area?
By Jonathan Wilson on Tuesday, April 4, 2000 - 5:09 pm:
I have been thinking about that problem for quite a while. I am the pastor of an International church in Sangenjaya (Setagaya) with two bicultural children of my own. We are seriously considering opening an English language school for bicultural kids of all ages who are either in Japanese schools or being homeschooled. I would appreciate any comments or interest that you might have.
God Bless You, Jon
By Roger Berman on Thursday, April 6, 2000 - 2:31 am:
I'm interested in your idea for an English language school for bicultural children. Would the school be non-religious? I may be interested in enrolling my daughter
You may also want to check out my comments under the English as a Second Language Schools discussion. Coincidentally, I've also been thinking about setting up some form of bilingual educational opportunity for my daughter and other bicultural children.
Ideally, what I have in mind is a school that follows the "Saturday School" model that Japanese children living abroad go to. The Saturday Schools help them retain their language and educational level with a view to eventually returning to the Japanese education system.
I'd be interested in comments from anyone on the idea of a Saturday School focusing on ESL and Engish-language arts. I'd envisage such a school running for about 3 hours on Saturday mornings during (Japanese) school terms. Ideally it would be run on a parent-volunteer basis to keep costs minimal.
By hirakawa on Saturday, April 8, 2000 - 5:33 pm:
Both YOIS and K International College international schools have an after-school program that any one can join. Check out their home pages from tokyowithkids's great list of international schools.
By Mari Warren on Friday, May 19, 2000 - 12:31 pm:
Does anyone know of Kokuritsu or private schools that will accept application by foreign nationals?
By kurz on Saturday, May 20, 2000 - 9:02 am:
I wrote about my experience entering the lottery for a Kokuritsu school at:
I personally know of one "half" child that is attending the Ochanomizu Kokuritsu Yochien. (Japanese father/American mother)
By Cornelia on Thursday, July 6, 2000 - 4:16 am:
related articles on schooling in Japan archived on the TELL website apparently around June 1995:
The Japanese School Option:
Ruth McCreery interviews Susan Schmidt, mother of two children who have been in Japanese daycare and schools since they were 3 months old (now in junior high and high school), an editor at University of Tokyo Press. June 1995
Gakko or School: The Bicultural Family Chooses
By Nancy Kobayashi
Seven Myths about Bilingualism
By Stephen Ryan
Bilingual Japan, the bimonthly newsletter of JALT's Bilingualism Group is available to non-language teachers for an annual subscription of ･2,000 (language teachers can subscribe through JALT). It contains news, views and practical information about bilingualism in Japan as well as regular columns on children's books, bilingual child-raising and a case study in each issue of one family's experience of bilingualism. For a sample copy, contact Stephen Ryan on 0726 95 7356.
By Yuki on Thursday, September 14, 2000 - 4:31 pm:
I am a Japanese, live in Shibuya, near yoyogi uehara.
I am looking for friends who want to learn Japanese with their child.
My daughter 20 months and I would like to learn English.
It would be wonderful to teach language each other, and play together at the park together.
We usually play at oyama park, sometimes Yoyogi park.
By Nupur Jain on Friday, December 29, 2000 - 10:23 am:
I have just moved to tokyo this year and would like my daughter to go to school in Yokohama/ tokyo from the next year in grade 3. I wonder what are the best options, Can any one guide me as to a school with the best facilities.
I live at Okurayama- toyoko line.
By Aniello D'Ascoli on Wednesday, January 24, 2001 - 1:44 am:
I will be moving somewhere near Yokohama next March. I am married with a Japanese and I would like my one year old son to join a bilingual playgroup or pre-school or anything else that would help him in learning English as well as Japanese. Does anybody have any information on it in that area?
By Aniello D'Ascoli on Wednesday, January 24, 2001 - 2:03 am:
I will be moving somewhere near Yokohama next March. I am married with a Japanese and I would like my one year old son to join a bilingual playgroup or pre-school or anything else that would help him in learning English as well as Japanese. Does anybody have any information on it in that area?
By Miki Natasha Ogawa on Sunday, February 11, 2001 - 1:44 am:
I am a bilingual mom-to-be living in Chigasaki, Kanagawa. I will give birth to my first child this May and am already anxious about providing a bilingual education for my child. Although I am bilingual, my husband speaks only Japanese so I never use English with him. Naturally, I don't want to be the only person who communicates in English with my child! The main problem is that we live a bit far from Tokyo where most International communities reside. I would be most thankful for any suggestions.
By A.K. on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 11:00 pm:
IN response to Miki:
The young child usually spends more time with the mother than with the father, and therefore the mother has a huge opportunity to start the child off in one language over another language. I am willing to bet that most of the English speaking Dads out there married to Japanese wives will agree with me. So, Miki, speak only English to your child when your husband is not around.
Also, start collecting all the children's movies and taping the English TV shows for kids (such as Animal Rescue on Channel 3). When your child starts showing an interest in TV (possibly by the age of 2), pull out these tapes, and watch them together, talking about what's going on.
Example: "Wow, that's a cute monkey. Well, actually it's a chimpanzee."
"Yes, it's a chimpinsea, mom."
The discussion reinforces what the kid is watching and hearing. The vocabulary is learned through use. About around the age of 4, the child becomes accutely aware that there are actually two (or more!) different languages.
At this point it really helps if your husband is with you on this. If your husband feels left out of conversations that take place multi-lingually, the child will pick up on this very quickly. The child will probably stop speaking English in front of Dad, and may try to stop speaking English altogether, especially if the mother understands and speaks Japanese perfectly well. The greatest incentive for a child to speak English (in a country where everyone speaks Japanese) at this age is to be able to communicate with MOM or some other non-Japanese speaking friends or relative with whom the child spends a fair bit of time with.
So, finding some English-only speaking friends is ideal. But this means more than just having them over for playing. It means your child gets to go to their homes as well. Here, there is a huge cultural block.
Japanese mothers are very reluctant to let their children under a certain age leave their direct supervision or that of another family member. In the USA for example it is really common for the kids to play together at one mother's house one day for a few hours and at the other mother's house another day for a few hours. However, here, I have found that I am not welcome to leave my daughter for an hour or two, I must stay there with her; nor will they allow their child or children over to my place for an hour or so unattended by Mom or Grandma or whoever. (I have never actually received an explanation as to why this is, but I suspect that they are simply very reluctant to take the responsibility for another person's young child or to depend on someone else to do a good job with their children. I can understand it, but have found it very inconvenient since there aren't any other Americans with like-aged kids living close by! There just doesn't seem to be room in this culture for things like "babysitting pools" or trading a few childcare hours for some R&R time).
Unfortunately, the kids don't really let themselves get into a different mode when Mom is watching. They will keep speaking Japanese while Japanese Mom or Japanese Grandma is around, and acting all giggly and silly when they do try a sentence in English. Even some mothers from the US or Canada, etc. married to Japanese, are unhappy about leaving their kids at a friend's place because their Japanese mother-in-law will have a fit when she finds out.
Again, this sort of thing has to be worked out ahead of time with the father. If he's willing to put up with the heat, then you as the MOM have that much more support in your quest to raise your child bi-lingually.
Vacations in English speaking countries: A BIG PLUS if at all possible and start young!
International schools including pre-school, that are teaching in English: A BIG PLUS if you can afford it!
Start from the moment of birth! Talk English, play English music, listen to English radio, play English only videos, talk English over the phone to English speaking friends, etc. The odds are against you with a non-English speaking spouse, so you have to treat this sort of like an obsession if you want to be successful.
I used to know an American man in Chigasaki with a Japanese wife and four children. They are all tall handsome kids, speaking as little English as possible, though they understand a fair amount. (They are all in high school or already in college). I'm sure if you dig, you can find some other bi-lingual families in or close to Chigasaki hopefully even with a new baby on the way!
By joseph tomei on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 - 6:42 pm:
My name is Joe Tomei and I'm posting from Kumamoto. Cornelia has been posting to a local list that I'm on, which led me to this site. I'd like to pass on some information about the Bilingualism Special Interest Group of JALT (the Japan Association of Language Teachers)
If you join JALT, you can join the SIG for 1,500 yen more, but if you don't want to join JALT, you can join the SIG for 2,000 yen a year. They publish a newsletter "Bilingual Japan" 6 times a year. They also have published monographs on bilingualism that you can order from them. Here is the list
#3 Bilingual Family Case Studies V. 1 450 yen + postage
#4 Adding Biliteracy to Bilingualism: Teaching your Child to read English in Japan 600yen + postage
#5 Bilingual Family Case Studies V. 2 600 yen + postage
#6 Growing up Bilingually: The Pleasures and Pains 450 yen + postage
#7 Bullying in Japanese Schools: International Perspectives 600 yen + postage
#8 The best of Bilingual Japan 600 yen + postage
# 2 Nihonjin katei de no eigo ko sodate 300 yen + postage
(postage 250 yen for up to 3 monographs, 320 for more than 3)
If you'd like to join, you can contact Laurel Kamada (email@example.com) or you can pay by furikae (acct name Bilngual Japan acct # 00990-8-89485)
They also have a web site at
By Tarek Merabtene on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 10:23 am:
I am moving to Tokyo by July first and looking forward to have my kids (both boys are 9 and 7 years old) admitted to International school (IS) in Tokyo or Yokohama area.
However, for them to be eligible to apply to IS they must have studied all school programs in English.
Does any one know an after school service for every day English study. I wish my kids can brush up their English and be able to join an IS from next September 2002. My kids are currently going to Japanese national school and does not speak or understand much English, which has been a handicap for them to be accepted at any IS.
Any information on these regards would be thankful and warmly appreciated!
By langager on Friday, July 6, 2001 - 7:20 pm:
I live in Mitaka and have son who is going into grade 3, American schoolyear, 2nd grade JSY. I am interested in starting a Saturday cooperative with other "Eigo-jin" families with children in local Japanese schools. I have purchased a home-schooling curriculum for Language Arts and Social Studies (Life-Pac, Alpha-Omega). I got him the 4th grade level, as that is where he seems to be at.
Anyone interested please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), even if your child isn't at exactly the same level. I am interested in finding other kids who speak English willingly and fluently, and for whom English maintenance is a serious pursuit.
I look forward to hearing from you,
By caroline Li on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 3:25 pm:
I wanted to let you guys know about a bi-lingual free-time pre-school i work at in tachikawa-shi in tokyo. children are allowed to come in part-time, full-time, or free-time, meaning whenever you want! There are 3 American teachers and 4 Japanese teachers that work here. Our curriculum in done naturally in Japanese and English. We do not "teach" we learn through communication and play! we accept ages 5 months to 5 years old and have a small program of 15 children maximum. if you are interested please check out our homepage. http://isweb27.infoseek.co.jp/school/e-suku/
or e-mail me. thanks!
By Chae Hirano on Monday, October 1, 2001 - 9:30 pm:
You probably don't remember me, we were corresponding over two years ago when I was living in Tokyo for a few months.
I am a korean-american mother of a four year old. My husband is japanese-american. We have lived in Sydney now for two 1/2 years, with plans to live in Tokyo early 2002.
Since my husband is not being sponsored by a company, the thought of paying the tuition of these international schools in Tokyo really pains me! However we have not ruled out the idea completely. I have already sent out applications to ASIJ and Nishimachi. We are very keen for our daughter to become bi-lingual, so Nichimachi is our first choice.
We have also discussed the option of japanese public school. I am just wondering what you or anyone else has to say about that. Our daughter does not know any japanese at all and I am a bit weary of her having to cope in an environment where she will not be able to communicate readily. We are hoping that it will be true in her case that she will pick it up very quickly.
And, just wondering if, like in the states as well in Australia, are some public schools better than others? If so, do you know which ones they may be? We would like to live in Shibuya or the Setagaya area.
Regards, Chae Hirano
By Cornelia on Thursday, October 4, 2001 - 9:26 am:
Of course I remember you. I still have the card you sent with the B&W photo of you, your husband and daughter!
In Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku is known to have the best schools. But it is sort of a hyped up reputation (just as Harvard University gets extremely high marks in the USA, it is still no guarantee that a particular daughter or son will do well in that school). Bunkyo-ku has a very high number of kokuritsu schools, private schools and higher education schools. Many families particularly concerned with education move to this area so maybe the child population is coming from families that place a higher importance on education thus raising the general level of highly motivated and interested students. In reality, these correlations may not always be useful to one individual child. There are decent schools everywhere, and even more importantly, excellent teachers are to be found everywhere. Parents do not get to choose the teacher, and it is hard to change the designated school for your child in the public system (which is determined by your address). Japan has a reputable school system in general (compared to other countries), but there are some schools that have poor reputations, more notably in junior high and high. I'm sure there are other parents who could say much more on this subject. My daughter is also young and I have not personally had experience yet with the public schools, so you may take my words with a grain of salt.
One thing I can safely state, at four your daughter will have an easier period of adjustment to Japanese than at 6, or 9 or 12. I have been saving for the eventuality of international school since my daughter was born, but the Japanese schools enjoy a particularly shiny reputation in their kindergarten and early elementary programs, so I personally have decided to use them for the time being until I see a conflict between my idea of what my daughter's education should be like for her, her own comfort, and what the system wants from her. I am confident that I can home-school her in the English components of her education for the time being.
Finally, there are two international schools that are slightly more reasonably priced. ASIJ enjoys an enormous reputation but is also the most expensive and receives far more applications than places available. K International is currently just under one million yen per year. New International School in Ikebukuro is 1.2 million right now. All of the international schools have good reputations and parents who have been very happy with their experiences there, or in the case of New International School which just opened it's doors a month ago, highly experienced administrators and staff from the international schooling community.
I tend to view four year olds as small rocket scientists in terms of brain capacity. Given the right soil (stimulation), their minds will take off. The school is only one small component. Friends, parents, exposure to variety and positive home culture are also extremely important. I am glad you wrote your post to a public forum, because hopefully someone else can contribute something in direct response to your questions regarding Setagaya and Shibuya.
Also, to take a look at the bigger picture you may want to read all the discussions regarding Japanese schools and international schools. There are some things to take into consideration "down the road" when your daughter is looking at high schools for example. Even if you don't know which country you will be living in...
At any rate regardless of your choice it is hard to make a decision so wrong at this early stage that it can never be corrected. Good luck.
By Dave Carlson on Monday, December 3, 2001 - 3:51 pm:
I wrote an article about our bilingual family situation. It includes a discussion of my daughter's school and homeschool experiences.
If you're interested, there's a web version at
By savenell on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 11:23 am:
I am Australian and my wife is Japanese. We currently live in Kanagawa. We have three-year old and a four month old. As you can probably imagine, there are very few chances for the 3 year old to interact with foreigners or biracial kids in this area. Over the summer we went to Australia for three months, and on our return we noticed a change in the 3 year old. Up until the trip to Australia he had been happily going to the local swimming pool for lessons with Japanese kids, but on our return he started to cry during the lessons and eventually said he didn't want to go anymore. After some gentle prompting he said that he "wanted everyone to speak English." My wife and I have been dilligently trying to bring him up bilingual, and since we live with her parents his Japanese is really good. I read to him often, and for a 3 year old, think that his English is extremely good too. The bottom line is that I don't think his problem is about language. I think he is starting to realize that he is different from the other kids. In other words, he is starting to wonder about his identity. I have put a notice in the playgroup section of this page in search of foreigners living in the Fujisawa area (Chigasaki, Kamakura etc). I wonder if anybody out there knows of some story books aimed at biracial kids (around 3-5). I figure that this might be one way to help him come to terms with his complex identity. Any suggestions would be really welcome.
By Cornelia on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 2:48 pm:
My daughter is 5 now. She also began to notice that she was "different" around 3. Her reaction was a bit different which I think I would probably put down to different personality. Also she has been attending Japanese public daycare since she was 5 months old so she has been in with some of the same kids since she was a baby, in other words with peers that she has known for years. Even though some kids move and some new kids join every year, there is this basic core group that has not changed.
She is still exploring the differences even at age 5 and will continue to do so for the rest of her life if my personal history is anything to go on (I was transplanted into a different culture at a young age, learned English, etc. so our cases are similar).
I don't know any children's books that deal specifically with being bi-racial, but I find that shows like Sesame Street deal with multi-ethnic interaction constantly and are easily accessible if you have a TV with an antenna. Sesame Street (Saturday mornings for an hour) always has some little vignette about African or Spanish culture, etc. Also NHK Educational (channel 3 in Tokyo, channel 12 I think in Kyoto) has a show in the morning that shows a person from another culture with a food from that culture and so on speaking in English to this Japanese boy. This show also shows acceptance of people who are different.
It's unfortunate that you son was put off a bit from his swimming lessons. I am suspicious that some other child said something bruising. That happened several times at my daughter's hoikuen and I had to defend her right to be different to her (not to the other child). Once she got it down that it wasn't something wrong, she just sassed the other child back in some way and it stopped.
I imagine that different responses would be more appropriate in different age groups. Right now it is clear that basically her classmates are feeling some combination of 1) intrigued 2) somewhat jealous, and all include her totally as part of the group.
Our main periods of difficulty have been after we return from our summer holiday in the USA. This year it took about a month for things to get back into a groove. I don't think the issue is "bi-racial" as much as it is "bi-cultural" though I suppose in the past these two terms were more or less synonymous.
Anyway, as the Admin for all these lists I am moving this to another conversation that already covers this topic so please everyone continue this at:
Tokyo With Kids - Forums: Education in Japan: Bilingual children, Raising of
By Janet Fuentes on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 1:08 pm:
My son is a second grader at a public school. He speaks Japanese at school and he attends an Eikaiwa school 2 to 3 times a week. However, his classmates at the Eikaiwa school are all Japanese and majority of his teachers are Japanese who speak English with an accent so I want to look for a group where he can practice speaking English in a more natural, fun way like a playgroup or something similar. Also, his tuition fees for the Eikawa are going up so I thought of just teaching him at home but I have no idea what curriculum or materials to use. I would really appreciate any ideas. BTW, we (my husband, my son and I) are all Filipinos but we speak English at home to expose my son to the language but somehow, I feel it's not enough. His English is not developing at a pace I hoped it would.
By jija han on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 12:45 pm:
There's a new preschool/kindergarten in minami-azabu called J's International School. I heard that they have strong bonds between other international schools and support the bilingals. As a tuition they are one of the lowest and accepts children from 2.5 years old to 6 years old. Also, they have after school cares till 4 and accepts children in all ages and cultures.
By Anna States on Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 9:25 am:
Hi! Exposure to other bilingual and
bicultural kids is super important! Would
you also like them to be able to read along
in both Japanese and English? I just
illustrated a picture book with my friend in
Tokyo - we published it in english AND
japanese (side by side). It is a beautiful
and fun way to explore both
languages, understand translation, AND
spend time with your kids!
you can read more about it and buy one
for yourself (we ship anywhere) at
By Theodora on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 12:24 am:
I am a mother of a 6 months old baby girl and planning a move to Tokyo this summer. I am French and my origins are Black African, My husband is mixed race Swedish-Sudanese.I speak to my daughter in French and also in an african language and her father speaks to her in Swedish. We live in London and my husband and I communicate in English.
I am very excited about the move to Tokyo but can't help thinking about how Tokyoit will treat us specially their relations to black people and how they will behave towards my baby. I would love to meet swedish, French and English mum's and babies.
By Chika on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 12:43 pm:
hi! wow! your family sounds really cool! im half jamaican and nigerian..my husband is japanese and soo my daughter is mixed...we live in the country here in japan and are somewhat of a rarity...i dont think you'll have any problems in tokyo because there are alot of cool families there...alot of international families...im sure youll have a great time...this site is quite nice too! best wishes!
if you do feel funny when you get here its probably because your are not japanese...
PS i do think its a good idea to find multi-lingual friends and playmates etc, but you probably already know that.
By Theodora on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 9:14 am:
Just to clarify my previous message which was referring to the languages my family speak; I'd like to meet up with all nationalities.
We are planning to move from London to Tokyo by the end of August/early september.
By chizuko matsui on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 6:16 pm:
English Studio, a part of JIEC which also runs Tokyo International School, is please to annouce the opening of a new International Kindergarten in Meguro. Our school is a full time ESL intensive kindergarten programme that runs classes through Mon to Fri, 9am to 2pm. The programme is based on the PYP style of learning and is available to children of all nationalities, with no English level requirements. We also offer extremely reasonable after hours care. Open Days with explanations of our school are available. Please vist our webtise(http://kinder.englishstudio.jp/) or feel free to contact our admissions officer in English or Japanese on 03-3712-3313 or e-mail email@example.com.
By urara noda on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 6:36 pm:
I've heard about English Studio, which offers Returnee kids a special program to keep their English Level and impruve their skills through my friend. They nurture children as builingual. The teachers in the school are all experienced and talk to each parent about their children's progress. I wonder if the kindergarten uses the same program.
By yvette takizawa on Monday, October 3, 2005 - 2:09 am:
Is there an English Studio in Ikebukuro?
By Pato on Monday, October 3, 2005 - 1:23 pm:
Hi Yvette, there's Victoria International Preschool in Ikebukuro. Look at http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discussions/messages/151/1423.html for more info.
By Kumon Materials Development Division on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 3:39 pm:
Kumon English Native Language Programme OPEN HOUSE
WEDNESDAY 19th OCTOBER from 4.15 P.M. to 7 P.M
The English Native Language Programme is an educational programme that aims to develop reading comprehension and self-study skills for children whose first or second language is English. The Programme is used in 17 countries, including the UK and Australia, but is only available in Japan at our Monitor Centre here in Ichigaya. This is a unique opportunity for children with an English speaking parent, children who have lived abroad and children studying at an international school to study the same English programme as those living in English-speaking countries.
Come along with your children to our OPEN HOUSE and learn more about the programme, our Monitor Centre and the Kumon Method of Native Language Study. Try our Diagnostic Test (used to gauge reading comprehension) free of charge, with no obligation to enrol.
For an appointment, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax us on (03) 5276 7166.
By Chuchi Chan on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 1:26 pm:
We have a four month old baby and I would like to know the best way to raise him billingually. From what I understand I (the English speaker) should always speak to him in English and my wife (the Japanese speaker) should always speak to him in Japanese. Is this right? Is there anything else that we should be doing?
By Ian Copsey on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 2:57 pm:
That's certainly how we started our daughter off. On the assumption that he'll be with your wife for most of the time he'll probably be much stronger in Japanese. You may wish to later balance this by taking him to an English speaking play group.
Living in Singapore we put our daughter into international school and now her main language in English (her thought process is certainly that way as she makes the same mistakes in Japanese as I do!) but she also goes to a Japanese class once a week, plus a Japanese speaking school during holidays and she is pretty bi-lingual.
By Caroline on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 8:37 pm:
Sorry to disappoint you but this is probably not true for everyone, at least not in our family... My husband and I both speak French (my mother tongue) and Spanish (my husband's mother tongue) interchangeably to our kids and they are now bilingual and totally at ease with both languages and cultures. Actually, they are trilingual because they also speak Japanese which they picked up at yochien and with friends. We don't follow ANY set rules (like one parent one language), never prohibit a language, and so far we've had great results!! We do always try to find opportunities for them to use these languages outside the home, with friends and family, by traveling back home regularly, by joining camps, etc. Good luck with your plans!
By Jeremy Seminoff on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 10:05 pm:
My wife (Japanese) usually speaks Japanese with our children (3 and 5 years old) and I usually speak English with them. Like Caroline, we have never prohibited a language. We respond to whatever language they happen to use and they are quite good with both, even translating for their friends.
One thing I would advise against is mixing languages in a single sentence. It's an easy habit to start but 止めるのは難しい、right?
By Steve B on Thursday, June 22, 2006 - 6:13 pm:
My wife Tamura Kikue's book about the joys and trials raising a bilingual and bicultural kid in Tokyo will arrive at bookstores tomorrow, June 23, 2006. The title is Etsuraku Bairingaru Kosodachi (the joys of raising a bilingual child) and is priced at 1,050 yen.
Although all in Japanese, it is a mix of illustrations and text about our experiences, both practical and comical.
If you or your partner laughed through Darling Wa Gaikokujin (Darling is a Foreigner), Kikue's book should have you smiling and nodding your head in recognitiion of many scenes while also providing more depth and information.
Etsuraku Bairingaru Kosodachi
by Tamura Kikue
By Kumonmdd on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 3:02 pm:
Monitor Centre - Kumon English Native Language Programme
Please note that we have closed our old email address (email@example.com). Should you wish to contact us, please fax us on (03) 5276 7166.
Due to the special circumstances under which our Monitor Centre operates (the English Native Language Programme is not available in the Kumon study centres in Japan), we have a strict limit on the number of students we can enrol.
The Monitor Centre is running at full capacity with a long waiting list of interested students. It may take more than three to four years before a place becomes available. As a result we have changed our waiting list admissions guidelines to the following: (1) A child must be attending an English-speaking kindergarten or school (full-time / five days a week) or (2) a child’s first language at home must be English.
Thank you for your understanding.
By Multiage on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 1:06 pm:
We are a new international school located 3 minutes from Makuharihongo Station on the sobu line.
Our daytime classes cater to students from age 1.5 to 8 years old, while after school classes cater to students from 4 years old.
We provide multiage aducation in English by native English teachers. Having classes with the same age students can cause pressure to perform, we eliminate this stress by grouping our students based on their English abilities rather than their age. Multiage education Academy provides an educational system that is suitable for individual growth and understanding.
We also have begun our role in a sister school relationship with a preschool in Sydney, Australia. We feel that having an overseas school to communicate with will be a great way for our students to learn and respect other cultures and open many doors to our student's futures.
If you would like to know more about Multiage education Academy please visit our website at
or feel free to call us on
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!