Tuesday 5 June 2012

7Y5M 5Y8M 最近のアラタ Arata's latest developments





Arata is going to finish his year 2 at primary school. He has already been at SCIPS for 1.5 years and he has recently started to read more English books. He seems to be able to write essays without any problem, although he still has lots of spelling errors - this is quite common among native speakers at this age anyway. His spoken English is still a bit broken.

On contrary, his Japanese hasn't improved much. Miki told me when she found her son struggling to explain what happened at school, she asked him to talk to her in English. He then started to speak flawlessly in English. When I heard about this, I said, "My boys are still ok." But this made me realise that the reason I often don't understand what Arata is saying is from the same reason.

As a Japanese mum, it's not a very happy discovery of my child, and I rather feel scared to find it out. But I tried once, I asked Arata to explain to me in English when I couldn't get what he was trying to say. He replied in Japanese, just repeated his explanation in Japanese. Well, I feel a bit relieved to be honest. But once Takara starts to speak English at home, that's it. Everybody believes this will come soon.

Japanese Saturday school really helps to keep Arata's Japanese at the moment. He reads a Japanese story even just a page per day, or he practises Kanji for mini-test at the school. Small efforts really help him to keep his Japanese. But Arata doesn't feel like going to the Japanese school during SCIPS's summer holiday this year. Probably because Taira has moved out of here and he has no more close friends. But my goal is sending boys to Hoshuko till year 3 level at Japanese secondary, so it's too early to drop out. I have to come up with some non-stressful strategies.

Arata has also changed how to view himself. He used to say he was Japanese and never felt happy if he was told he looked like Jason, or he had brown hair. SCIPS is having an Olympic event soon, and Arata proudly announced us that he would represent New Zealand.... not Japan... any more...?

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