If you are reading this it’s very likely that you are looking for English classes for your eldest child. As we all know, English in Japan is really taking off for kids, particularly now that the Japanese government is pushing schools to start teaching it earlier. For many of you who are looking this will also likely be the very first time you expose your first child to the English language. After all you want to do your best for your kids and giving them a head start in English classes will give them an advantage in the workforce as adults.
Before we take this further lets take a very interesting look at the nature of parenting. Researchers have recently discovered that first born children receive special mental stimulation and care from their parents that second and third siblings do not. The excitement and enthusiasm and the quality of care that first borns receive then drops off with each extra child born after this. This extra care and attention actually goes a long way to making your first born smarter which then results in higher level of education and better paying jobs.
Feeling guilty? If this is the case with your family don't panic yet, because there is a way that you can balance things out and make it up to your second child.
What I’m about to tell you may be surprising for some readers. If your looking for English classes for your 6 year old first born Japanese child, its already too late. The golden years for learning any language are between the ages of 2 and 6 . Your first born will still be able to learn from English classes of course, but the results will be very different than if they had started at age two.
So while your first born has already received the benefits of your great parenting, they have most likely now missed the opportunity for the best possible start in learning English. Now then, may be the best time to make it up to your second child by enrolling them in an International Daycare, Kindergarten or Preschool. If they become bilingual from the age of 6 years old they will then be on a par with their older brother or sister.
While time may prove me wrong, I would even go so far as predict that the Japanese government will eventually begin to push English Classes for children closer and closer to these golden years until it is mandatory for all preschoolers to learn it. At that time, and only then, are we likely to see some really positive results in English at the national level.
So how then does an International Daycare, Kindergarten, or Preschool make your child bilingual by the age of 6? Actually it's a very natural process and one that involves a minimum amount of effort from your child. In fact your child will hardly even notice the process. Depending on the school, your child may be exposed to 100% English all day, everyday from teachers and fellow students as they study various interesting subjects in depth. Of course there are also formal English classes, involving reading, writing and conversation. If your child starts learning English from the age of 2 they will then able to study English more deeply at the age of 5 or 6. It is this early learning that may set them up for a life of equal opportunity.
Apart from English Schools, formal English classes at Daycare, Kindergarten and Preschool are also used and may involve the following:
· English Classes for children aged 1-2yrs old; The preschool teacher will use a great variety of flashcards to build your child’s vocabulary. Singing will also play a large part. At this stage listening is what is most important. Phonics are also introduced.
· English Classes for children aged 2 to 3yrs old; They will be exposed to writing through the act of tracing the letters of their name or that of 3 letter words such as “cat” or “Hat.” Children may be able to sing English songs by memory at this stage. Words that involve self help skills are also practiced.
· English Classes for children aged 3-4yrs old; The children may have their own writing book for developing 5 word sentences. Craft making may be used to explore various subjects, particularly those that involve self identity.
· English Classes for children aged 4-5yrs old; Exploration of various subjects through construction may begin at this level. 10 word sentences.
· English Classes for children aged 5-6yrs old; Theatre, design, construction and the use of various disciplines such as Architecture and map making all converge to engage your child’s English abilities.
· English Classes for children aged 6 years old; The child will be able to read and write a short story in English on their own. They will be able to talk fluently in English about a large variety of subjects therefore conversation about various topics are frequent. Students are encouraged to do their own research on topics of interest to them.