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November 14, 2005

Bringing the World to Toyama

This weekend will see the end of a popular 10-class program for young children and their parents in the city of Nanto, Toyama Prefecture. "Ciara to Issho ni Eigo de Asobo" is a bi-weekly program based around English games and songs for third and fourth graders, and is run by Ciara Angela Janetta, an ALT at Fukumitsu High School, and her students. Janetta said she hoped the 90-minute classes would help the children develop an interest in the world and give them a chance to communicate with foreigners. Those who attend 70% or more of the classes receive a certificate from the local Toyama Kenmin College, where the classes are held. The Fukumitsu school is the first in the nation to be based on a cooperative of high schools - four in this case - in the city, and this year became the first school in Toyama to set up an international studies department. The school is said to be attracting interest as a model case of how to handle the demographic changes underway nationwide.
Article in Japanese
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