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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)

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