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Non Japanese speaking kids in Japanese public schools

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  • #16
    To the OP, have you sat down with your kids and asked them how much Japanese they can actually understand?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by nightsdawn View Post

      Nightsdawn: I hear you on the Japanese schools - they can be hard to take in. I remember back in 1996 there was a student that was embarrassed by the teacher for calling him names when he was late for class. She took him into the hallway to scold him, and he stabbed and killed her! Yikes. Teaching English at a High School in Japan was not the best job. I would say 80% of them could care less about learning English, and were only there because they had too. So a certain attitudes will begin to show. And while overall schools here in Canada/BC are good, they have problems as well. This week in the news is a teacher here in BC that was more or less forcing a student to have sex with her. So no one culture is better, both have issues. I was more curious about peoples experience of putting their kids in Japanese schools when they could not speak the language. I got mail today from my former boss in Nagoya, he is from Sweden, and his soon is half Japanese and went all the way through school there with no problems. He thinks that it's usually the foreign parents and their thoughts that create any problems. We are speaking it more Japanese at home now, just in case we do go back. Like I say, at 6 he could speak only Japanese... so we are hoping to tap into the memory banks

      Cheers
      Just to clarify, I didn't say there were no problems in Canadian schools. Of course there will always be the crazy, messed up teacher that somehow made it through the system. That happens in every country, unfortunately.
      But hitting or touching students in Japan is not a rare thing and that is the reality I wanted to inform you of. I am studying to become a teacher, so I am very passionate about education and good school systems.
      I understand that you are only interested in discussing about the language barrier that may or may not become a problem for your kids. But you have to consider other issues as well since this is a big decision that would change their life. You have to think about how well they can expect to do on the high school entrance exams. Kids in Japan have been going to juku and studying as early as the beginning of elementary school, so they can do well on the high school entrance exams. Your younger boy should be okay, but your older boy will have a tough time with it. You could just put him in a private high school, but again extra costs. And after all is said and done, your children's language ability will depend on how much effort you, the parents, will put into helping your children learn this language.

      About the cost of living, I don't know that much about the west side of Canada's real-estate, but it's definitely cheaper on the east side. Newfoundland is very cheap and Ontario isn't too bad. You just have to look around and find a good price. At least if you buy a house in Canada, you can have a nice front and back yard. Here, houses are boxed in and land is expensive. I know because we are looking for a house in Japan. Plus, Canada's free health care is nice. I know there have been cuts, and the waiting time is long, but it puts ones mind at ease. I was having such a hard time with doctors in my area who couldn't find out what was wrong with me. When I went home to Canada, my doctor was so friendly and found the reason so quickly, I almost cried because I missed that kind of treatment. We pay high taxes in Canada, but soon Japan's taxes will be high and with no added bonuses like health care. I am not saying the health system is bad in Japan, but it's a lot different.
      Don't get me wrong, I like Japan, and my future will be here, but I understand the advantages and disadvantages and have given my decision a lot of thought.

      About what your Swedish friend said, his son started in Japan and continued his education there...that is different from children who do their education in one country then switch to another. Your friend could be right in saying that some parents might make the adjustment harder on the children, but I dislike the generalization of "foreign parents". I think there is too much judgment in that statement. Personally, I think that anyone who moves from their country to live in another will have difficulties with their new country of residence sometimes. It's natural. Parents who do their best to be a good example for their kids, will always help their kids adjust better. It depends on the parent.
      I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't move here. Just that you know all the realities of moving here. It will be a good experience to allow your children to get in touch with their Japanese heritage. They will just need a lot of support. Keep monitoring their transition and listen to how they feel about the whole thing. Good luck!
      Last edited by nightsdawn; 2012-03-26, 10:27 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by nightsdawn View Post
        You have to think about how well they can expect to do on the high school entrance exams. Kids in Japan have been going to juku and studying as early as the beginning of elementary school, so they can do well on the high school entrance exams. Your younger boy should be okay, but your older boy will have a tough time with it. You could just put him in a private high school, but again extra costs.
        That's what I meant. School is mandatory only till JHS and my impression is that afterwards it is either a difficult-to-enter public school or expensive private school. An alternative might be an international school with classes fully or partly in english, but these are expensive as well (Y 2 mio / year / child ).

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        • #19
          I came across this thread today. Kinda old but relevant to what the OP is asking about.

          http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discuss...es/151/41.html

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ttokyo View Post
            That's what I meant. School is mandatory only till JHS and my impression is that afterwards it is either a difficult-to-enter public school or expensive private school. An alternative might be an international school with classes fully or partly in english, but these are expensive as well (Y 2 mio / year / child ).
            I've read about homeschooled kids in Japan. It isn't nearly as common as it is in many Western countries, but it happens.

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            • #21
              Who is pushing you to move, you or your wife?

              I would have said the quality of life in Canada would have been much better than Japan.

              It's hard to way up the costs, but raising kids in Japan is going to be expensive. I rekon more than Canada.

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