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鼓励多语种交流的日本国际学校
Japan’s New International school gives children a global upbringing

来源:FT中文网    2018-01-08 07:25



        The pupils were chatting away but neither of the two teachers had to raise their voice. Anyone who has had to sit through the tedium of classes in Japan, where normally you can hear a pin drop, would have felt green with envy.        学生们在聊天,但两位老师都没有干涉。只要是领教过日本静得掉根针都能听得到的沉闷课堂的人,都会对这样的景象感到无比嫉妒。
        “That doesn’t look right. How about changing this word?” one pupil says to a classmate in English. “Why don’t we make the photos bigger for the presentation?” says another in Japanese.        一个同学用英语对另一个同学说:“这看起来不对。把这个词换掉怎么样?”另一个同学用日语说:“要不把这些图片放大一些,方便演示?”
        The nine to 11-year-olds were collaborating while switching between English and Japanese — an everyday scene at the New International School of Japan in Tokyo. “If you visit any other international school, some have signs saying ‘Speak English’,” says Steven Parr, the headmaster. “Language-use rules are very common. Usually they say ‘speak Japanese only in the Japanese class and speak English everywhere else’.”        这些9岁到11岁的孩子们夹杂着日语和英语进行协作,这是日本东京New International School of Japan的日常景象。校长史蒂文•帕尔(Steven Parr)表示:“如果你去其他国际学校参观,你会发现有些学校会贴出‘说英语’的告示。规定学生可以使用何种语言是很常见的。通常他们会要求‘只有在日语课上才能讲日语,其他时候都要讲英语’。”
        Instead, his school, where 70 per cent of students are from mixed nationality or foreign families, encourages translanguaging: using more than one language at the same time. “Language is a tool for expression,” says Mr Parr. “The kids can think, speak and do research in any language.” Sending children to international schools is popular with Japanese parents who can afford to give their offspring an edge associated with knowing English.        在帕尔的学校里则不是这样,70%的学生来自异国结婚的家庭或外国家庭,学校鼓励跨语言化:同时使用一种以上的语言。帕尔说:“语言是表达的工具。孩子们可以用任何语言思考、表达和研究问题。”会英语能够带来一种优势,在有能力让自己的孩子具备这一优势的父母中,将孩子送到国际学校是非常流行的做法。
        Japan has a low level of English proficiency and is ranked 59th of 63 countries for language skills by IMD, the Swiss business school. The number of students at English-language international schools reached 12,452 this year, up 27 per cent from five years ago.        日本人的英语水平较低。在瑞士洛桑国际管理发展学院(IMD)编制的63个国家语言技能排行榜中,日本排名第59位。英语国际学校的学生人数今年达到12452人,较五年前增加了27%。
        Yet as more parents realise that just speaking English is not enough in an increasingly globalised world, so the appeal grows of a comprehensive, multi-cultural approach to education such as that offered by New International, which charges four times as much as Japanese private schools. Says Akihiro Nojiri, a senior manager at a consultancy, whose six-year old son is at New International: “We came to think that truly international talent must be proficient in their mother tongue and in English, as well as having a deep understanding of multiple cultures.”        然而,随着越来越多的家长意识到,在一个日益全球化的世界中,只讲英语是不够的,所以像New International提供的那种全面而多种文化的教育方式日益受到青睐,New International的收费是日本私立学校的4倍。咨询公司高级经理Akihiro Nojiri说:“我们逐渐认识到,真正的国际化人才必须母语和英语同样熟练,而且要对多种文化有深刻理解。”
        The school, founded in 2001 by Mr Parr, who was keen to try new teaching methods after working at another international school in Japan, takes students from kindergarten to the end of secondary school. It receives applications for its summer-school from China, Singapore and the US. New International is also in line with the Japanese government’s policy goal of nurturing “global talent” as the country comes to grips with the limitations of an ageing, shrinking population and the need to look overseas for future growth.        帕尔在日本的另一所国际学校工作后渴望尝试新的教学方法,于是在2001年创立了New International,招收从幼儿园到中学的学生。它的暑期学校接受来自中国、新加坡和美国的申请。New International也符合日本政府培养“全球人才”的政策目标——日本正在努力应对人口日益老龄化和缩减带来的局限性,以及向海外寻求未来增长的需求。
        Ironically, by sending children to schools like New International, parents technically break Japan’s education law, which obliges parents to send their offspring to regular “Article 1” Japanese schools. Japanese parents with children in international schools are often called by education boards, which ask why their child is not at a Japanese school.        具有讽刺意味的是,父母们把孩子送到New International这样的学校,严格来说违反了日本的教育法,后者要求家长把孩子送到《第一条》(Article 1)规定的日本普通学校。把孩子送到国际学校里的日本父母往往接到教育委员会的电话,问他们的孩子为什么没在日本学校里就读。
        One such couple are Mizuki Hirai and his wife Ayumi, whose children aged 10 and seven are at New International.        Mizuki Hirai及其妻子Ayumi就是这样的一对夫妇,他们的两个孩子(分别为10岁和7岁)就读于New International。
        Ms Hirai says: “It’s not that I am against sending kids to Article 1 schools. Even if some people think I am not providing my children with compulsory education, I’m confident that it’s a quality education.” Her husband agrees. “Our eldest had a South Korean friend who could speak Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese,” he says. “We had hoped he would develop his English but he was so inspired by his friend that he learnt Korean. It’s not what we had in mind, but it is international nonetheless.”        Ayumi表示:“不是我反对把孩子们送到《第一条》规定的学校。即使有人认为我没有为孩子们提供义务教育,我仍然确信他们在接受的是优质教育。”她的丈夫对此表示同意,他说:“我们的大儿子有一位会讲日语、英语、韩语和中文的韩国朋友。我们本来希望他会提高英语水平,但是他受到他的朋友的激励,学习了韩语。这跟我们设想的不一样,但它仍然是国际性的。”
        New International is keen to emphasise that English is not the be-all and end-all of developing global talent. “Language skills could be important, two or more languages is obviously great,” says Mr Parr. “ I also think social skills, being able to see things from a different point of view [is important].” He says the school’s multi-age learning environment helps hone these skills. Classes include pupils from three grades with the older ones helping the younger ones. Once they move up a year, they return to the bottom rung. The aim is to prepare pupils for careers in which they may have to assume different roles at different times.        New International热衷于强调,英语并不是开发全球人才的终极要义。帕尔表示:“语言技能可能很重要,掌握两种或两种以上的语言显然很棒。我认为,社交能力、从不同的角度看待事物的能力也(很重要)。”他说,学校的多年龄学习环境有助于磨练这些技能。课程包括三个年级的学生,年龄较大的学生帮助年轻的学生。他们一旦升了一年,就会回到最下面一级。这样做的目的是让学生为不同时期承担不同角色的职业做好准备。
        The school also eschews Japan’s much criticised rote-learning in favour of an interdisciplinary approach. Pupils are given a theme at the start of a 12-week term in which they learn various disciplines. If the theme is, say, water, they learn maths by measuring rainfall, alongside Chinese characters related to water. “Japanese schools tend to make you remember one definitive answer and that doesn’t happen at this school,” said Minako Yamamoto, 16, who spent three years at a regular primary school before joining New International. “When you are told to memorise an answer before knowing the joys of learning, that makes you hate studying.”        学校还采用了跨学科学习方法,避开了日本备受批评的填鸭式教学。在为期12周的学期初,会确定一个主题,在一个学期内,学生学习各种不同学科。比如说,如果主题是水,那么他们会通过测量降雨来学习数学,以及学习与水相关的汉字。16岁的Minako Yamamoto在进入New International学习之前在一所普通小学呆了三年,她说:“日本的学校往往让你背一个明确的答案,而这所学校不会这样。如果你还没了解学习的乐趣,就被告知要背一个答案,那会让你讨厌学习。”
                
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