Welcome to Yujin Gakuen Elementary Japanese Immersion Program!
We offer a unique K-12 bilingual education in English and Japanese language and culture. Our Japanese immersion program continues from elementary to Kelly Middle School and North Eugene High School. Our student body is made up of many different ethnic groups, as well as cultural backgrounds. We welcome families that are interested in providing their children with a bilingual and multicultural learning experience.
What is Language Immersion?
Language immersion is a way of teaching language by completely immersing the learner in that language for significant periods of time. The learner will hear only the target language for both regular conversation (i.e. talk about getting dressed and eating meals), as well as subject matter learning (i.e. math and science).
Research shows that with language immersion, young children learn their second language the same way they learned their first – by listening, absorbing, imitating, and then trying it out.
Why Learn Japanese?
Japan continues to be a vital economic, political, and cultural influence in our world. As we continue our relationship with Pacific Rim countries, learning Japanese opens the door for our children to develop a deeper and broader perspective of the world. For our students, Japanese will become an invaluable tool, giving them many opportunities in their future.
Japanese is spoken in Japan, Brazil, United States (esp. Hawaii), Guam, Marshall Islands, Palau, Taiwan, and Australia. With a total of 130 million speakers, it is the world’s ninth most commonly spoken language.
Studying Japanese is not difficult.
Japanese has a simple, analytical grammatical structure. There are no articles. It has only FIVE vowels and fewer consonants than many other languages. Japanese uses two native syllabaries (hiragana and katakana), Chinese characters (kanji), and an English Romanization. Japanese is full of borrowed, transliterated vocabulary that makes mastery of sophisticated word fairly easy. The following are some examples, koohii (coffee), aisukuriimu (ice cream), konpyuutaa (computer), iimeeru (email), Happii baasudee (Happy Birthday), and so on. Japanese pronunciation is not difficult.
As with many foreign languages, Japanese language study benefits students in numerous ways:
- Students can learn Japanese culture, which is very different and unique, through studying Japanese language.
“Japan, while most often being recognized as the world’s second largest economy, is also a very unique island country in which there is a rich history, a distinct culture of people and traditions, and one universal language. With the increasing contact among the people and societies so deeply intertwined, the demand and necessity for, as well as interest in, acquiring proficiency in an Asian language is apparent now more than ever.” (Marin Academy 2000)
- Because Japanese language and culture is so different, learning Japanese helps students learn about their own language and culture.
“One of the benefits gained by the study of Japanese is learning more about one’s native language and about language as a general phenomenon, gaining an appreciation of both one’s own and other languages and cultures, improving general cognitive and communicative skills, and gaining access to other cultures and bodies of knowledge. Studying a linguistically and culturally distant language like Japanese is especially likely to awaken in learners an understanding of the degree to which languages and cultures can vary and of what is distinctive about their own culture.” (Japanese National Standards Task Force 1998)
- For some students, studying Japanese contributes to retaining cultural heritage.
“For American students who have never been exposed to non-Western cultures, the study of Japanese opens the door to Asia. For Japanese-American students, it is a venue in which to understand their cultural heritage.” (Japanese National Standards Task Force 1998)
- Studying Japanese brings career opportunities for international business.
“With the increasing global importance of Asia and Pacific Rim, and economic and strategic significance of the US-Japan relationship, it is important that more Americans become proficient in Japanese in order to gain access to information available only in Japanese, to increase our national level of understanding of Japan, and to better communicate a deeper knowledge of the United States to Japan.” (Japanese National Standards Task Force 1998)