Visiting El Marino Language school, a Japanese immersion in CA! カリフォルニア日本語イマージョンEl Marino小学校訪問!

去る1月にカリフォルニアの日本語バイリンガルプログラムのある El Marino小学校を訪問致しました。El Marino 小学校の日本語バイリンガルプログラムは25年前に開講したそうで、とても歴史のある学校です。キンダーガーテンでは90パーセントの授業内容は日本語で行われ、10パーセントは英語で行います。学年が上がるにつれて英語の比率が増え、4年生までには英語と日本語での授業が半分ずつになっていく、トータルイマージョンというモデルを取り入れていらっしゃいます。

Pumilia校長先生と Shiratori副校長先生がお忙しい時間を割いて1時間半もミーティングをしてくださいました。ミーティングではバイリンガルプログラムについて沢山の経験をシェアしてくださり、これから新しくできるPS147についてのアドバイスなども沢山頂きました。何もかも参考になる事ばかりで、お時間を下さったPumilia校長先生と Shiratori副校長先生には本当に感謝しています。先生方からのアドバイスを是非ともPS147のプログラムに役立てていきたいと思います。



アフタースクールプログラムがとても豊富で、日本文化にまつわるプログラムだけでなく、バレイ、ヨガ、サッカー、ピアノ、テニス、woodworking, クッキング、シアターなど、その他にも沢山のプログラムが充実していて驚きました。ランドセルで通学している子供達も沢山いました。経験豊富な先生方、優しい印象の柳瀬様、明るい校舎で楽しそうに学んでいた子供達など、とても素晴らしい学校でした!

El Marino Language School in California is one of the oldest public Japanese immersion programs in the US. The program has started over 25 years ago, and the school offers total immersion programs for Japanese and Spanish languages. What is total immersion is that, when students enter Kindergarten, they study 90 percent of time in target language and 10 percent of time in English. By 4th grade, children learns 50 percent of time in Japanese and 50 percent of time in English.

I had an opportunity to visit this wonderful school in the mid January this year. The principal Pumilia and the assistant principal Shiratori had very kindly opened up their busy schedules for my visit and spent an hour and half to share their experiences with me. They were both extremely knowledgeable professional educators that I cannot write enough here how much I have learned from them, and how this all becomes very valuable for our PS147 programs.

Ms.Yanase from admission office had taken me to the school tour. The school was very spacious. I had visited Kindergarten class rooms to 3rd grade class rooms. When I visited them in mid January, it was 5 month into the school year in CA. I was very surprised how the newly entered non-Japanese nativeKindergarten students are already writing and reading in Hiragana. By first grade, they were using Kanji characters, and by 3rd grade, they seemed to fully understand difficult subjects in Japanese. They were also traditional Japanese new year exhibits in the class rooms such as Japanese kites and Kadomatsu decoration made by students using craft papers. The students also get to experience Mochi pounding for new year. In fall, they celebrate Japanese traditional sports day called Undokai.

There are many Japanese books in their library. In the music class, the students get to learnkey-flute called Pianica which is very popular in Japan.They also have Japanese taiko drums and Okinawa taiko drums in their auditorium which they play at after school programs.  The school also offer variety after school programs. Not only cultural programs, they have programs like ballet, yoga, soccer, woodworking, cooking, theater and even more!

The school was really beautiful and it was so memorable that teachers were very experienced and supportive to their students. Also, it was really cute to see students commuting the school with randsel backpacks!


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