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December 01, 2003

Raising Multilingual Tots

Marshall Childs' "The Practical Linguist" column in last Friday's Daily Yomiuri was on the topic of raising young children to be bilingual or even multilingual in this country. He talks of a "grass roots" movement in Japan, with hundreds or even thousands of families raising their kids to speak both Japanese and English. Some run Web sites and mailing lists for like-minded parents, providing a growing support network. The necessity for such grass roots efforts is largely due to the failure of the education system in this area. Childs also mentions the commonly held fear that learning English from an early age will impede a Japanese child's ability to learn their own language, adding that these particular parents "do not seem to have such qualms."
Daily Yomiuri article

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