DOI: 10.3390/soc13090197 ISSN:

Stakeholders’ Experiences and Perceptions of the Provision and Practice of Language Support for Ethnic Minority School Children in Japan

Michi Saki
  • General Social Sciences

This study examines experiences and perceptions concerning the provision of Japanese language support for ethnic minority school children between the ages of 6 and 12 enrolled in public elementary schools in a city located in the Kansai region of Japan (hereinafter referred to as “City M”). This paper will focus in particular on interpreting the experiences and perspectives of language support teachers, volunteer interpreters, mother-tongue language supporters (hereafter referred to as MTLS) as well as three principals of three public elementary schools located in particularly different areas of the City M. Each of the school’s history, backgrounds and current situations are varied and unique. One-on-one interviews of 40 to 60 min in length were conducted with a total of 9 participants consisting of public elementary school principals and Japanese language support teachers. These results of the data collection provided a deeper understanding and explanation of the reasons behind current trends and challenges regarding the accessibility, implementation, provision, and practice of language learning support for ethnic minority school children. The findings from this research will increase awareness of current issues faced by practitioners supporting ethnic minority children in their learning. The research findings also provide insight into what obstacles need to be overcome in order to provide adequate, sufficient, and sustainable educational support for children from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds within the mainstream Japanese education system.

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