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November 09, 2004

The Bilingual Language Specialist

Saturday's Japan Times carried a profile of anguage pathologist Marsha Rosenberg, who worked as an English teacher when she and her husband originally came to Japan 20 years ago. After three years, they left for Cleveland in the U.S. and Rosenberg got her masters in speech and language pathology. After several years of teaching at schools, they returned to Japan. Through her experience of raising her own children in English and Japanese, working as a speech and language pathologist at the nursery kindergarten of the American School in Japan, and at Nishimachi International School, she became a bilingual language specialist. She also became aware of different traps and the language confusion suffered by some children. "A variety of things can happen," she said. "Some children take a little bit longer to develop both languages. Some are not sure which language they are speaking. Each child is an individual, with a different background and personality, with many factors that have to be taken into account. I set up workshops for parents and teachers, helping them understand that bilingualism doesn't always happen naturally."
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