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November 15, 2004

Preschool English Immersion Beneficial

Friday's Daily Yomiuri carried the latest Practical Linguist column by Marshall R. Childs, in which he looked at the effectiveness of pre-school immersion programs. Following up on an earlier article, he addressed the questions of whether bilingualism confuses children's minds or dilutes their Japanese identity, and the long-term effects of early immersion. In particular, he looked at the results achieved at the Katoh Gakuen immersion program in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Among the perceived benefits are obvious ones such as a solid base in hearing and speaking English; a head start in international awareness; and a broader outlook on life. He also cites a claim that students even have an advantage in learning their first language, contrary to what is believed by many Japanese academics.
Preschool English immersion beneficial (link will expire)

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