Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Japanese families' educational challenges in the US: Strategies and attitudes for language and cultural maintenance while in American and hosuko schools
by Hamada, Hideki, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2008, 266; 3613192
Abstract (Summary)

Many Japanese families come to the US because the fathers are dispatched to work at Japanese companies in the US, and they return to Japan after a 3-4 year stay. Many children attend an American local school as well as a supplementary Saturday school, hoshūkō, in order to keep up academically after they return to Japan. However, balancing an American and a Japanese education while in a foreign country is a challenge for both Japanese parents and children. Children who plan to permanently live in the US also spend a lot of time to maintain their Japanese at the hoshūkō and home. This study examines Japanese families' attitudes and strategies for maintaining and further developing their children's Japanese in the US. Additionally, this study investigates issues regarding their children's education in the US.

To understand the overall context of the focal hoshūkō and the Japanese families, the principal of the hoshūkō was first interviewed. Then, 92 Japanese parents participated in a survey regarding their attitudes and strategies for maintaining and developing their children's Japanese. Thereafter, five in-depth case studies of Japanese families (a mother and at least one school-aged child) were conducted to investigate issues regarding children's education in a foreign country. Activity theory was utilized to analyze the interview data on strategy use. It was found that Japanese families have positive attitudes toward Japanese maintenance and development and utilize multiple combinations of strategies. Moreover, it was revealed that the Japanese families' issues moved from English education to a stronger emphasis on Japanese education over time, and they struggled both in local schools and the hoshūkō because of the educational and language differences. The study documents how Japanese families, both sojourners and permanent residents, take advantage of the hoshūkō resources helping their children prepare to return to Japan and to maintain their children's Japanese and cultural knowledge.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nyikos, Martha
Commitee: Flinders, David, Nyikos, Martha, Pugh, Sharon, Watt, Yasuko
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Linguistics, English as a Second Language
Keywords: Attitudes, Heritage language, Japanese language, Language maintenance, Strategies, Supplementary saturday school
Publication Number: 3613192
ISBN: 978-1-303-75323-7
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