RSI Corporate - Licensing

Immersion an effective way to develop kids’ skills

The Japan News – Mikiko Miyakawa and Yomiuri Shimbun

“Since their introduction about four decades ago, language immersion programs have proved highly successful in the United States, as more people there have developed an increased awareness of the importance of learning foreign languages and have recognized immigrant children as important resources in society. As Japan prepares itself for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 and globalization beyond, it could also try introducing such programs in more schools to improve children’s proficiency in foreign languages. Located in the picturesque city of Eugene, Ore., Yujin Gakuen has cultivated Japanese language education for children in the city for almost three decades. With Japanese-themed motifs such as cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, carp streamers and the rising sun, the huge, colorful mural at the school entrance instantly captures the hearts of everyone who visits the school. “Fourth- and fifth-graders of the school created the artwork last year,” said Izumi Sakimoto, a Japanese parent of Yujin Gakuen students. She moved to Eugene with her American husband so their kids could attend the school.”(more)

The Importance (and Hardship) of Becoming Bilingual

Asian Fortune News – Aozora Brockman

“A few summers ago I found myself listening to a concert at the annual Okinawan festival in O’ahu, Hawai’i. I closed my eyes and began to sway to the sound of the strumming of the sanshin and to the melodic tilting of the woman singer’s voice. She sang in a way that enveloped me in love, yet pierced me with nostalgic sadness at the same time. Later, as I began to dance with others on the grounds in front of the elevated stage, I realized that the overwhelming feelings of love and nostalgia came from the fact that she sang in Japanese. I had been raised speaking Japanese in my home in Central Illinois, so hearing the language made me feel safe, protected. But when I returned to my seat to catch my breath, I realized that the audience members, mostly made up of local Japanese, were conversing in English between the songs. For some reason this conflict of language between the stage and the audience was jarring to me. Did those in the audience long to know what the lyrics meant? Did they ever feel like they missed out on not learning Japanese? I thought back to how I learned in one of my college courses that after being put into camps during World War II, Japanese American second and third generations (called nisei and sansei) tended to disengage themselves from the Japanese community. Japanese language schools that were numerous before the war became almost nonexistent. I was saddened by the thought of Japanese Americans feeling as if they had to show that they were as “American” as possible by distancing themselves from both Japanese culture and language.”(more)

Students drawn to study Mandarin and Japanese

The Sydney Morning Herald – Henry Belot

“Japanese and Chinese languages remain among the most popular studied at the Australian National University…Dr Mark Strange, head of the Department of East Asian Studies at the ANU, said the interest in the languages reflected both the geopolitical and economic importance of China and Japan…” (more)

Japan Seeks Edge With Global Talent

The New York Times – Miki Tanikawa

“Brendan White, a senior at Temple University’s Japan campus, says he has it all figured out. He is dressed in his “job hunt” black suit, accessorized with shiny leather shoes, a crisp white shirt — plain, no stripes and no wrinkles — and a black briefcase, for which he ponied up $20, just for this job-hunting season.” (more)