The implementation of formal English language classes at the Japanese elementary school from the year 2020 has recently revived interest in early childhood English education programs among parents and educators. As more parents have become interested in providing children with language learning opportunities in English, so has the market – along with the number of English language preschools and internationally oriented nursery-kindergartens. Furthermore, the multitude and variability of these types of preschools and programs make it difficult for parents, given their individual family circumstances, to determine what is the best school for their child and his future. Knowing what kind of English language preschool programs are available can help inform parents to make sound decisions about their children's future. Simultaneously, when these programs or institutions are unaffordable or out of reach, by drawing upon proper knowledge about bilingualism, parents can implement an action plan for promoting long-term bilingualism. The paper first examines four different types of English language preschool programs and options that are available in Japan. Then it discusses common myths associated with bilingualism and attempts to debunk these myths based on research. Finally, the paper considers ways in which parents can create consistency, form and manage effective language boundaries, maximize language input and positively overcome obstacles towards fostering and educating their child bilingually in the realm of the home. Simultaneously, the paper will try to explore ways in which educational objectives and language input at the preschool can compliment or help reinforce what is taking place within the home.
Mikio Brooks, Asia University, Japan
Stream: International Education
This paper is part of the ACE2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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