Category Archives: raising a bilingual child

Japanese podcast review: “僕と、嫁さんと、息子と、ゲームと” (My wife, my son, games, and me)

In this post I’d like to discuss the Japanese podcast “僕と、嫁さんと、息子と、ゲームと” which I’ve been listening to almost every day during my commutes to work lately. (By the way, if you aren’t using podcasts to help supplement your Japanese studies, you’re missing out! You can see a few other of my podcast reviews here) This podcast, translated as “My… Read More »

Vocabulary list: Chess in Japanese

Though I really enjoy studying Japanese, it’s that much better when I can combine Japanese with one of my other hobbies, like Legos or fiction novels. Another one of my hobbies is Chess, and lately I’ve been noticing a lack in my vocabulary when trying to express some of the basic chess concepts to my son,… Read More »

Richmond Elementary School: one of the few true Japanese immersion programs in the US

We recently went to Oregon to visit some friends and decided to check out a special school we had recently discovered: Richmond Elementary School (which I’ll abbreviate here as RES). Richmond, for those of you not familiar with the area, is a neighborhood of Portland in the southeast part of the city. Japanese immersion programs… Read More »

Japanese children’s book review: “It might be an apple” 「りんごかもしれない」by Shinsuke Yoshitake

Me and my wife stumbled on this book in a Kinokuniya bookstore (either New York or San Jose, I forget which), and decided to purchase it to read to our son who we are raising bilingual Japanese/English. This book is based on a simple premise – imaging up various possibilities for a apple which the narrator,… Read More »

Searching out opportunities to think in a foreign language

Sometime ago I wrote a post on thinking in a foreign language, which to me is one of the milestones of true fluency. Near the end of that article I briefly mentioned how I sometimes “pre-cache” Japanese phrases in my head before speaking, though I downplayed it at the time, and felt it was more… Read More »

Japanese Book Review: ザ・ギフティッド 「The gifted」by 大川翔 「Sho Okawa」

It’s been some time since I’ve written an article about bilingual education, so I thought I would review “The Gifted”, a book published last year. This book is about the Japanese boy genius Sho Okawa, who moved to Canada when he was 5 and was declared as “Gifted” at age 9. Only five years later, Sho… Read More »

Tokio Heidi – Japanese children’s songs

One great thing about having kids is you get to see all the cutesy videos made for them. When my son was very young he was into the “Super Simple Learning” videos on Youtube, especially the “Twinkle Twinkle little star” one, which has great visuals and sound. Bringing up my son bilingually Japanese, I also… Read More »

The amazing educational Shimajiro! (followup)

Sometime back, I wrote a post about Benesse’s distance program learning for children, in particular their Shimajiro series of books. In my household we have been reading these books fairly often to our young son, and he has really grown to love them in a way that surprised me. On several occasions he will run… Read More »

バトンタッチ (“Baton Touch”) in Japanese

This expression is an interesting one, which I’ve seen used in a unique way in both real life and in a Japanese movie. The original meaning is pretty easy to guess – it’s the term for when passing a baton on in a relay race from one runner to the next. However the meaning has… Read More »

Shimajiro and Benesse’s distance learning program for kids

For those of us raising a child bilingual Japanese/English child, it can be difficult to find appropriate teaching materials, especially if you live outside of an area with a large Japanese population like California and New York. Fortunately, these are a few excellent distance learning (通信教育)programs designed for young learners in mind. Benesse’s “Child Challenge”… Read More »