This research project aims to examine the current situation of the provision and practice of additional Japanese learning support for ethnic minority school children aged between 6 to 12 years of age currently enrolled in public elementary schools in a city located in the Kansai region of Japan. The research design for this study follows a qualitative approach being exploratory, descriptive and predictive in nature. The researcher preferred to gather experimental data rather than statistics or measurements, in an attempt to examine phenomena that impact the lives of individuals and groups of a particular cultural and social context. She placed a considerable amount of value on the understanding of the individual voices and experiences of forty-two participants. Individual interviews (40 to 50 minutes in length) were conducted with participants ranging from ethnic minority families, public school educators, Japanese language teachers and support volunteers. In analyzing the content of the interviews, common themes such as `insufficient services for language support`, `school community’s lack of awareness`, `lack of experience and expertise and resources to meet the needs of ethnic minority children` were discovered. The findings from the interviews have proved to reaffirm that while there may be ample systems and policies in place at some public elementary schools, it may be argued that there is insufficiency in the current quantity and quality of additional Japanese learning support in schools throughout the city.
Michi Saki, Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts, Japan