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Are new kids held back in school?

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  • Are new kids held back in school?

    I'm in a pinch right now. I've had to put off moving to Japan for my own continuing education and now I am in a pickle. When foreign children start school in Japan, does the school hold the child back one grade because that child does not speak the language? The best situation for young children to learn another language, I think, is by immersion and I want my kids to have this chance (as well as learn about their heritage). I do not want to sacrifice the chance that my eldest will be held back because of her lack of japanese speaking ability. So is it better to have her try and learn enough Japanese here so that she is not held back a grade or do schools in Japan allow for children to enter their grade level no matter their language ability? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    If the kid does not speak Japanese, yup they'll be held back. Better to come up with the money for International School as they normally teach in English. There is no way they can learn enough Japanese outside Japan. They will hold them back just for principle.

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    • #3
      Put them to English medium school

      A lot of good convent schools are on the way.
      Kids will learn Japanese through social mixup.
      -------------------------------------------------------------
      A carrier gets spoiled in Japanese school.

      Originally posted by haggydoggy View Post
      I'm in a pinch right now. I've had to put off moving to Japan for my own continuing education and now I am in a pickle. When foreign children start school in Japan, does the school hold the child back one grade because that child does not speak the language? The best situation for young children to learn another language, I think, is by immersion and I want my kids to have this chance (as well as learn about their heritage). I do not want to sacrifice the chance that my eldest will be held back because of her lack of japanese speaking ability. So is it better to have her try and learn enough Japanese here so that she is not held back a grade or do schools in Japan allow for children to enter their grade level no matter their language ability? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

      Comment


      • #4
        So there is no real way of testing into one's grade level, no matter the language ability?

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        • #5
          being held back should be the least of your worries, when you experience a japanese school you will understand what i mean. lowest common denominator education. lowest level everyone passes. any bright kid is held back by the system, foreign kids are in more danger, check your kids home room teachers qualifications and go see some classes, dont trust them with the raising of your child, they will see them way more than you.

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          • #6
            Well, the schools in the US aren't doing that much better. I just tutored a sophomore student, who's classmates thought that the atomic bomb was dropped on China.

            Actually, a student tends to spend about 10-12% of their lives at school from 0-18 years, this is an American statistic not sure how the numbers play in Japan.

            " any bright kid is held back by the system, foreign kids are in more danger, check your kids home room teachers qualifications and go see some classes, dont trust them with the raising of your child,"

            That is actually painful information, especially since I'm working on a MA in education.

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            • #7
              Wouldn't a student in the US be held back for similar reasons? Even if a kid was, say, the right age to be in the third grade, but didn't speak much English and wasn't able to do the work at a third grade level... wouldn't most schools place the child in the first or second grade instead? It might depend on when your child was born too... cutoff dates for school years in the US are different depending on where you live (at least, they were when I was a kid, we had kids transfer in from out of state who would be a whole year or more older or younger than most of the kids in the class, without being held back or anything) and in some cases the school will give the parents a CHOICE of which grade to put the child in if they were born around the cutoff date and/or show signs of exceptional intelligence or developmental delay.

              The best thing to do would be to check with the city where you'd be living (if you know where that would be, your wife's hometown etc. If you don't know... I don't know!) let them know the exact birthdate of your child and information on the Japanese language ability (for example, if she can speak quite well but has never been formally educated and therefore doesn't know all the knaji for her grade level, etc) and ask them what grade she would be put in. If you're lucky, the difference in the cutoff date for the school year might even mean that being "held back" would only put her in the same grade?

              It doesn't seem terrible to me if they DO hold kids back if they honestly don't speak Japanese at the same level as the other kids... but I don't think you'll know for sure unless you check with whoever would be making that decision.

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              • #8
                There is a trend in American schools of trying not to hold children back because of language ability but rather on their ability to do the work. This changes district to district and area to area depending on the financial need of the school district and the ability of the school to provide an ESL teacher or even have an ESL classroom.

                I didn't even think about the cutoff dates in Japan, I know that in the area that I am in the cutoff dates are different based on the schools choice.

                So let me guess, the schools in Japan are not so progressive in dealing with non-Japanese speaking students? There are some schools in my area that will send a child to a different school because they do not have staffing ability to fill the needs of these students.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by haggydoggy View Post

                  So let me guess, the schools in Japan are not so progressive in dealing with non-Japanese speaking students? There are some schools in my area that will send a child to a different school because they do not have staffing ability to fill the needs of these students.
                  haha, if anything theyre regressive. Real special needs students are thrown together, differing grades, into a classroom and left in the hands of a regular teacher and volunteers.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by -pY- View Post
                    haha, if anything theyre regressive. Real special needs students are thrown together, differing grades, into a classroom and left in the hands of a regular teacher and volunteers.
                    When you say real special need, how special? They don't have a properly trained Special education teacher working with the students? Granted volunteers are nice to have but dealing with sped students takes proper training. In fact most of the special ed classes i know of have trained faculty and I still feel like the schools here are very lacking.

                    Now I'm kind of nervous. Does anyone if home schooling is an option?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by haggydoggy View Post
                      When you say real special need, how special? They don't have a properly trained Special education teacher working with the students? Granted volunteers are nice to have but dealing with sped students takes proper training. In fact most of the special ed classes i know of have trained faculty and I still feel like the schools here are very lacking.

                      Now I'm kind of nervous. Does anyone if home schooling is an option?
                      special needs as in anything from mild retardation to major physical problems to violent raging personality disorder, their teacher is usually just one of the regular staff thats gets landed with that class. The kids suffer for it, miss out on vital training for later life.

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                      • #12
                        The Japanese education system is for the Japanese (ie. useless for non Japanese). It's as simple as that. An international school is a good option for non Japanese kids. But, if your kids are going to stay in Japan as Japanese, then, a regular J-school should be good.
                        When a child is behind a year or two during the school years, that could count against him/her at the time of entering the labor market. Japanese hiring managers look at the age and the year of graduation. Upon finding a discrepancy, they think he/she is not smart and intelligent.

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                        • #13
                          I have read these replies and I wonder if any of these people have any real knowledge of the Japanese public school system at all.
                          To the OP- I have been working in the public schools for a few years and I know FOR A FACT that there is NO SYSTEM in Japan of holding students back against the parent's will up the the end of 9th grade. The school can only SUGGEST that your student be held back. I was a FULL TIME ALT last year in a JHS and a very special 3rd year boy graduated the JHS. What made him special?? I NEVER SAW HIM BEFORE! He didn't come to school ONCE in the whole year.
                          Further, the school will not put your child in a special needs class just because he can't speak Japanese. He will be put in a special needs class only if he really has a mental handicap- and EVEN THEN, the school MUST ASK THE PARENTS FOR PERMISSION. I know this for a fact because I have had many kids in my class that SHOULD HAVE BEEN in the special education class, but were not. I asked the Japanese teachers why they were still in the normal classes and the invariable answer was "His/Her parents won't submit the paper work."
                          If there is a new student that can't speak Japanese- The school usually arranges that one of the teachers (or sometimes an outside teacher) tutors the child in question in a one to one Japanese lesson 1-2 times/ week. This is not enough, though, you need to get the kid to a language school fast so that he/she can pick it up faster and catch up with the rest of the class.
                          So under NO CIRCUMSTANCE will your child be held back up through the end of JHS.
                          BUT...!
                          If ANY child in ANY country can't speak the language, they will do very poorly in the classes and in Japan, a child with poor Japanese ability has little chance to get into a HS of any merit. But this is not total bad news. I have seen a kid go from zero Japanese to passing JPT level 2 in less than 2 years, but that kid was going to a private language school about 2-3 times/week and working really hard to learn Japanese ASAP!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nynapaj View Post
                            I have read these replies and I wonder if any of these people have any real knowledge of the Japanese public school system at all.
                            To the OP- I have been working in the public schools for a few years and I know FOR A FACT that there is NO SYSTEM in Japan of holding students back against the parent's will up the the end of 9th grade. The school can only SUGGEST that your student be held back. I was a FULL TIME ALT last year in a JHS and a very special 3rd year boy graduated the JHS. What made him special?? I NEVER SAW HIM BEFORE! He didn't come to school ONCE in the whole year.
                            Further, the school will not put your child in a special needs class just because he can't speak Japanese. He will be put in a special needs class only if he really has a mental handicap- and EVEN THEN, the school MUST ASK THE PARENTS FOR PERMISSION. I know this for a fact because I have had many kids in my class that SHOULD HAVE BEEN in the special education class, but were not. I asked the Japanese teachers why they were still in the normal classes and the invariable answer was "His/Her parents won't submit the paper work."
                            If there is a new student that can't speak Japanese- The school usually arranges that one of the teachers (or sometimes an outside teacher) tutors the child in question in a one to one Japanese lesson 1-2 times/ week. This is not enough, though, you need to get the kid to a language school fast so that he/she can pick it up faster and catch up with the rest of the class.
                            So under NO CIRCUMSTANCE will your child be held back up through the end of JHS.
                            BUT...!
                            If ANY child in ANY country can't speak the language, they will do very poorly in the classes and in Japan, a child with poor Japanese ability has little chance to get into a HS of any merit. But this is not total bad news. I have seen a kid go from zero Japanese to passing JPT level 2 in less than 2 years, but that kid was going to a private language school about 2-3 times/week and working really hard to learn Japanese ASAP!

                            An elementary school student would not understand the concepts nor the the vocabulary for level 2.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by -pY- View Post
                              An elementary school student would not understand the concepts nor the the vocabulary for level 2.
                              The "kid" I mentioned came to Japan at age 12 and passed at age 14.

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