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February 07, 2005

In Pursuit of English

The Daily Yomiuri has continued its "In Pursuit of English" series over the last few days. Friday's article was on a 7-year old first grader who, together with her younger sister, has attained a high level of English fluency despite the fact that their parents speak no English. The parents started their children's English education early, with videos, CDs and flashcards, and enrolled them in an international preschool. The elder sister has already passed the level 2 STEP test, considered suitable for high school graduates.
Jumping past mother's tongue
Saturday's article looked at the growing number of private schools that offer English immersion programs. These include Katoh School in Shizuoka prefecture, Linden Hall in Fukuoka prefecture, and the Gunma Kokusai Academy, which is set to open in April.
Private schools blaze trails
Yesterday's article continued the theme of schools with an English immersion program. The Chuo Secondary School in Takasaki, Gunma prefecture currently employs only one non-Japanese teacher, to teach music and English, but plans to hire one more this year. Finding such teachers is considered the biggest headache in running such a program. The article also looks at the difficulties imeersion programs pose for both schools and students.
Success equals right teacher in job (all links will expire)

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