Japanese School for My Daughter

At the moment, my daughter only has my wife to speak Japanese with her. But today, we met a couple families whose husbands are Canadian and wives are Japanese. Both families have several children older than my daughter.

One of the topics that came up was the Japanese school. There’s one here in Edmonton, and it apparently has around 130 students. We’d like our daughter to attend, so she can meet other kids who speak Japanese, and she can maintain her Japanese fluency. That’ll be very good for her, as she’ll be able to be fully bilingual. It’ll be great for her future. I hope she likes it.


27 thoughts on “Japanese School for My Daughter”

  1. When I moved to France I attended an international school. Most lessons were in French but I had 8h per week of my mother tongue (I had German but there is even a Japanese and American section I that school), the younger kids had less than 8 hours of their mother tongue but also less than us in normal hours.
    What really helps us having other kids with whom she can speak Japanese. 🙂
    Oh and audio books are amazing for keeping a language alive 🙂

  2. I’m glad to hear that she will have the opportunity for bilingual school experiences. Here in the states it is a huge problem because kids do not know adequate English, and the stupid English-only laws in some school systems causes a real problem. I know of a teacher in Texas that insisted on using a bilingual approach in teaching and she was told by her principal that she should do what she thought best…but keep quiet about it so it wouldn’t affect their funding.

    At our community college they had an English-as-a-second-language program, and I helped tutor. We had students from many countries. At Ford Motor Co. plant there were a number of Japanese engineers and others who hired one of my colleagues to teach special classes for them. Their children had an easier time of it because they already knew some English, and their age helped as they were younger and not so set in their language ways.

    1. The schools here have ESL programs. My daughter’s school has some ESL support, actually. Universities and colleges also have ESL classes for foreign students. Seems to be a lot of support for them here.

      1. when at Akron U I participated in a “conversation partner” ESL program…they matched me with a Korean engineer who knew almost no English. I didn’t know Korean, either, but we found some common interest (like land reclamation) and we ended up being good friends.

          1. he learned enough. Actually his wife was an English teacher (Korean) but he wanted experience in casual conversation. He is an engineer, and some English skills helped with his job.

            1. I’m sure he had some very technical English. I’ve taught engineers and scientists who had technical language, but poor conversational language.

            2. since we were approximately the same age (around-50s) we were paired as “conversation partners” part of an ESL class he was taking. He had done his graduate thesis on the White House, and I helped him find library information on the architect. His English was very minimum. He was trying to learn English…he and his family subsequently to the U.S.

            3. Interesting. Now that my wife is getting her permanent residency in order (she’ll arrive back in Canada on Wednesday with her status changing to permanent resident), she can start taking English classes. They’re free, but we don’t know much about it. I think she’ll be getting information from immigration, though we can do some searching here. I wonder who she’ll study with.

            4. that is interesting. There are ESL classes here, at colleges, etc. I tutored in one class here, and they had all ages of people, a lot from Pueto Rico, and local people such as wives who had raided kids and now trying to learn more English.

            5. What interests me is where the people are from. I would imagine that people would have interesting stories to tell in ESL classes.

            6. here in one city there were about 50 men who came up from Mexico, then sent for their wives and kids later. They refused to allow their kids to speak Spanish…insisted they speak English…so they learned “street Spanish” and then when they were grown up and wanted to speak proper Spanish they had to take Spanish lessons. 🙂

            7. That’s the way it was when my grandfather came to Canada when he was a child. His family spoke Russian, but they stopped using Russian entirely when they came to Canada. It really is unfortunate that people had that mentality.

            8. well I think that’s because of pressure from society at large…the “English only” movement here in the states is a perfect example…its a xenophobic thing which is very stupid if ya ask me. Vicious circle, PR kids in don’t have workable English/teachers are forbidden to teach them in their first language/the kids can’t learn/so they get kicked out of school/…

            9. The support just isn’t good enough. Too many kids fall through the cracks because they can’t get the support they need.

  3. What a great opportunity for her. She won’t realize for a long time how useful being bilingual is, but the time and practice she spends now will pay off later. Here in the US, we take for granted that people in so many parts of the world speak English. As we become so much more global, though, it’s such a benefit to know multiple languages.

    1. It is a big benefit. One reason I’m trying to study multiple languages. Even if I only know survival level for different languages, it makes a big difference when traveling.

      1. I really wish I’d been more diligent about learning languages when I was young–or that my school had a program to begin it earlier. Being able to speak in multiple languages seems like such a gift.

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