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French / Spanish / Chinese speaking families

Japan With Kids - Forums: Education in Japan: French / Spanish / Chinese speaking families
By Caroline on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 10:25 pm:

Does anyone know of activities for children whose first language is French or Spanish, such as reading circles, dance workshops or music appreciation sessions. Any information welcome. Caroline (0422) 20-7553 -

By Yukari Heron on Wednesday, April 18, 2001 - 6:26 pm:

Does anyone know of good pre-school in central Tokyo (preferbly around Minato-ku) for 18 months old? Any information will be appreciated.

By Betty Roberts on Sunday, July 8, 2001 - 8:06 am:

There is a possibility that I will be teaching on an American naval base near Yokohama. My ll-year-old son speaks English and Spanish. Although I would like for him to be exposed to Japanese, I do not want him to lose his Spanish. What schools serve Spanish speaking children in the diplomatic community? Also, he dances flamenco and ballet. Does anyone know of any good dance studios that offers ballet and flamenco. I would have no problem commuting to Tokyo.

By Esther on Wednesday, January 9, 2002 - 6:36 am:

I would like to teach french in Japan or in almost any country! I'm from Canada and I will graduate as a french teacher in about three months. If anyone knows who I could contact. Please, let me know!
Thanks! Esther

By Dumitru Camelia on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 2:03 pm:

I am a Romanian woman, french teacher,living in Tokyo, Fuchu shi. I was a kindergarten and elementary school teacher and i enjoy working with children. I have a bachelor's degree in Lingvistics and Letters, french and romanian language and culture. I can teach french your child, i have experience in teaching french at highschool and primary school. My email adress is: or you can reach me at my phone number 0423334067.

By MK on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 5:38 pm:

We are currently living in singapore with our 2 1/2 years old son who's attending a local nursery here (in chinese and english).

We're most likely to go Tokyo next year and was told to book the kindergarten in advance.

My questions are :

-If we don't book now, does that mean he will have the wait another year ? and can he start in summer instead of april ?
-do kindergarten starts at the age of 3?
-Any recommendation for an english or chinese kindergarten in Tokyo ? we'll live in Nerima.
So not that far is preferable.
-Any playgroup for english, french or chinese (mandarin) speaking kids in town ?

thanks in advance.

By Cornelia on Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - 10:37 am:

If you intend to send your son to a private international school kindergarten you very well may need to start the application process prior to your arrival. There is a school in Ikebukuro called the New International School that has a couple of really phenomenal teachers at the nursery school level. Then by age 5 the kids are placed in the K+1+2 multi-age classes.

Depending on where in Nerima-ku you may also have reasonable access to Santa Maria school.
But I don't know anything about their kindergarten. You can find both of these schools listed at:

By MK on Saturday, January 18, 2003 - 2:38 am:

We are moving back to Japan this coming March. We have a 3 years old boy who's becoming quite fluent in french and learning chinese (mandarin). In order to not forget the language we are looking for a chinese and french playgroups or a place where there is a group lesson. Any places not too far from Nerima Ward ? or Ikebukuro ?

By Cornelia on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 4:58 am:

Dear MK,
The only pre-school in French that I've heard about is in not far from Iidabashi (where the ecole Francais is). See the topic entitled "French Language Learning".

However the following school offers 25 languages, including I think French or Chinese, as a 3rd language (on top of Japanese and English):
Sophia International School
1-19-10-4F Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-5958-4907, Fax: 03-5958-4905
5 minutes walks from JR Ikebukuro Station

If you are ready to give up on the French and the Chinese, then you might try the Doremi Preschool at Kanamecho station (one stop out from Ikebukuro, web site:

You will not find any public schools offering any foreign languages in that age group, except the token English bits and pieces, certainly nothing resembling immersion.

The New International School that I mentioned above in October does have Chinese as a 3rd language but not, I think, at the "Teddy Bear" level, and decidedly not on an immersion basis. However, there are some Chinese families sending their kids there, which might provide an opportunity... maybe for an after school playdate. Very difficult to arrange since the cultures and child-rearing priorities are sometimes very different.

By Anne on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 3:14 pm:

French Speaking Support Group

If you are a French speaking mom or mom-to-be, looking for support and friendship please have a look at our new web site:

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