A reporter from Shukan NY Seikatsu attended our Open House and here is the article they wrote for the May 17th Issue (No. 490)!
From the article:
On May 5th, Public elementary school 147 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn opened their school for the potential Japanese/ English Dual language program starting 2015-2016 school year.
This is the first Japanese dual program in public elementary school in New York City, however, having dual programs, such as French and Spanish, is becoming popular in NYC. A small group of Japanese and American mothers have been working together for many months with the principal of the school, Ms.Noyola, to start the program September 2015.
The first program will be kindergarten class. As of now, the school is considering to teach students in Japanese in 50% of time and in English for the ther 50% of time. The classroom will be built for 12 Japanese speaking children and 12 non-Japanese speaking children.
The program will open for only kindergarteners next year, however, they plan to open 1st grade in following year as the children from kindergarten grow up to be 1st graders. Eventually, the school is planning to have K-5 Japanese dual language classes. The goal is that all students in the class will be fully literate in both English and Japanese. By pairing native and non-native students together in the class and by teaching instruction in both English and Japanese, all students will gain fluency in both languages together.
There are a lot of families who have an American parent with Japanese spouse in Brooklyn. Therefore, it is very important for those families to continue learning both Japanese and English. Many of these Japanese-American families believe that there needs to be a balance between retaining their Japanese language and culture on one hand, and integration with American culture and language on the other. Not only will this be wonderful for the native families, the children of the non-native families will grow up to be adults interested in Japanese culture and who share their love and appreciation of Japanese to those around them as they grow up and move through the world. It is important to not only preserve language culture for the Japanese with their own children but also with non-Japanese children.The school also thinks that cultural exchange is important in NYC, and when this program opens, it will be the first Japanese dual-language program in all of NYC public schools and it will change the entire community for all.
There were 50 families, 70 people attended to the open house.
For more information, please see their blog: wdlp.wordpress.com
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