AIPJapan is here to help you start, grow, expand, and succeed as an international preschool in Japan.

We are committed to supporting, guiding, building, and helping the international preschool community grow and succeed in Japan! The level of English instruction at Japanese public educational institutions is among the poorest in the developed world. A 2019 ranking had Japan at #53, just behind Vietnam and just in-front of Pakistan, a fall of more than 40 places in the last 10 years. It's not so much a reflection of the English ability in Japan dropping as it is a testament to how well the world has improved. While Japan is gradually introducing English at the elementary school level, we feel this is too little and too late. Our members feel that the best opportunity to start learning functional English, meaning, students can communicate verbally and in writing with native English speakers, is at the preschool age level. 
We have multiple reasons we feel this way, a few are below:
Students Have Time:
Students between the ages of 2-6-years-old have time to learn English. What we mean by "have time" is that most students are in need of daycare and students have no institutional educational requirements placed on them by the Japanese government. The national and local governments provide subsidizes to both encourage people to have children and to encourage both parents to work, thus increasing GDP. As a result, most families in Japan place their children in some form of daycare. In addition, English speaking students will have more free-time, no need to study at an Eikaiwa or for English in compulsory education. Students can use their time to dedicate to the things that bring them joy and pleasure, or to improve their ability in subjects that are more difficult for them.

Students Do Not Have Pressure:

Students in an international preschool are not being driven to learn English to pass a test for class ranking or as nationally mandated. Thus, students learn English without the stigma of it being difficult or a "kyouka", subject. English is learned for communication and entertainment purposes and not for testing. Once students have compulsory education to attend, and have government mandated standards to meet, they lose their opportunity to learn English freely without "studying." Once studying English becomes a principle driver in elementary school, the student's see English as a subject and learning English often becomes burden and de-evolves into a test to pass, not a communication tool, and falls inline with the juku system of Japan.

Students Have Better English Ability:
Students between the ages of 2-6-years-old have improved English abilities compared to students that start learning English later in life. While it is considered debatable whether 2-6-year-olds learn languages easier or quicker than older children or adults; it is not debatable whether pronunciation is improved by starting at a younger age. Students that begin to hear and speak English at a younger age have better pronunciation ability and can hear English nuances better than those that learn English later in life.

Students Become Acclimated/Accustomed/Familiar/Comfortable to Other Cultures:

Students between the ages of 2-6-years-old that learn English from teachers from foreign cultures develop greater cultural awareness. Younger students have much less inhibition towards asking "uncomfortable" questions. Students will boldly state that a skin-tone is darker, hair-color is lighter, eye-color is different, or even that facial features are more pronounced. They then start trying to understand why, and ask questions that lead to explanations that lead to understanding. Also, students get to experience foreign culture activities, holidays, events, mannerisms, and more without viewing it as "foreign" and rather just as it is , different. This broadens students' thinking about what is considered "normal" and students are more able to understand and adjust to cultural differences as they grow. Of course, students also become more accustomed to being around non-Japanese due to experience with English teachers. This helps English speaking students to have more confidence when approaching and communicating with non-Japanese. Students' ideas and thinking toward foreign cultures is more flexible and resilient.

Students Have Advantages That Carry Forward:
Students that speak English from a young age have several advantages that carry forward as they age and mature. The public and private school systems both highly value English ability in students. It raises the marks or prestige for the schools, so they obviously want exceptional students. This makes enrolling in private schools and in prestigious public high schools easier. English speaking students also have access to the worlds best information through English media, including, books, television, movies, YouTube, and technology. Also, perhaps most important, English speakers have the opportunity to 
offer their skills abroad, whether by remote work or by physically moving. In addition, English speakers have the opportunity to access others skills that are abroad, often cheaper or better, whether by remote access or by physically locating the talent and moving them locally. In essence, English allows the best and most talented to collaborate.

By learning English between the ages of 2-6-years-old, we are removing a barrier, and opening paths for them to explore and lead others down!

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If you have feedback, questions or just want to know more, please feel free to send us a message.
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