We appreciate your interest in Japanese and Japanese culture.
Japanese Language School Unified System(Kyodo System) has been teaching Japanese in southern California more than 50 years. Early Japanese schools taught Japanese to the children of first-generation Japanese. Now, for more than half of our students, Japanese is not their first language. We also have students who don’t have any Japanese background at all. Yet when those students with different language and cultural backgrounds have a chance to study together, they become friends right way. It is our pleasure to see our students enjoy talking so much to each other in a mixture of Japanese and English during breaks.
There is no question that being bilingual is advantageous for one’s personal life and future career. Unfortunately, however, language acquisition doesn’t happen overnight. You have to work at it continuously for a long time. In order to help our students in this effort, we use several different kinds of textbooks and other materials for easier understanding and to make learning Japanese fun.
Also, learning another language cannot take place without learning the culture. Throughout the year, we introduce Japanese annual events such as New Year’s Day, setsubun (the change of the season), and the Children’s Day in ways that closely resemble, so our students can learn about them and enjoy them at the same time. Beside those events, we also promote learning opportunities outside the classroom with activities like going out on fieldtrips and inviting guest speakers. For the upper level students, some of the instructors encourage classroom discussion and writing short essays on the differences they experienced between the two cultures.
Thus, we are aiming to be practical and up-to-date by actually using the language and experiencing, not just depending totally on the textbooks. We all keep on working together for the education of the students who can work actively and effectively in an international setting.