When you think of Japan, diverse doesn’t spring to mind. But if our little school is anything to go by, Japan is changing. When we first started Dave and Amy English School, all of our students were Japanese. Not anymore. Japan's demographic is changing rapidly.
Recently, we have noticed a sharp increase in foreign students hailing from China, South Korea, Germany, Vietnam, India with a sprinkling of mixed families from English speaking countries like England, Australia, Singapore. It’s great having such diversity in the classes.
By far the biggest number of students come from China. These students often have Japanese names despite both parents coming from China. I only discover their origins when speaking to their Moms in trial lessons. They have accented Japanese, so I will ask where they are from. It’s interesting to hear their stories. Many parents are physicians, traders, business people… A Sri Lankan/Indian couple are unable to live in their own countries because of religious and political legalities.
If anyone fears bilingualism will affect the primary language, don’t be. Many of these kids are trilingual. The children usually speak the parents' language at home, Japanese at school and English with us. They are often our best students, working diligently and confidently.
We like to mention their home country as much as possible, capital city, national foods, color of flag etc. The Japanese students learn from them and make friends with them. We haven't experienced any prejudices, only positives. We’re interested to see what the future holds.
*** to add: we just signed up 2 new students from Indonesia. ***