~ A Case Study of Two Children and their Mothers ~ Yukiko Kawabata. A graduation thesis submitted to the International Communication Course,

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1 English Education at Kumon 1 Running Head: ENGLISH EDUCATION AT KUMON English Education at KUMON ~ A Case Study of Two Children and their Mothers ~ by Yukiko Kawabata A graduation thesis submitted to the International Communication Course, Department of English & International Interdisciplinary Studies, Osaka Jogakuin College, in partial fulfillment for degree requirements. Advisor: Prof. Scott Johnston January 19, 2009

2 English Education at Kumon 2 Abstract Kumon is a famous private school in the world and it has a unique learning method. This study researched about the motives and the present condition of two 6 th grade English learners at Kumon. The participants are two children, Ken and Mari, and their mothers. I interviewed the mothers and children, analyzed data and I observed the children at Kumon. I chose case study because I want to understand in-depth about them. Therefore, this is a qualitative research. In addition, I expect the result of their learning English at Kumon will appear after they enter junior high school because their motive of learning English is preparation for English education at junior high school. At the present moment, I found that learning English at Kumon affects children s interest in English. Children are more interested in English and study harder. 抄 録 くもんは 独 特 な 指 導 方 法 をもつ 世 界 中 で 有 名 な 学 習 塾 である 本 研 究 は 小 学 6 年 生 が くもんで 英 語 を 学 習 する 動 機 とその 現 状 を 調 べたものである この 調 査 はくもんで 英 語 を 学 習 す る6 年 生 の2 名 ケンとマリ そして 彼 らの 母 親 を 対 象 に 行 った 私 は 子 ども 達 と 母 親 にインタ ビューを 行 い データを 分 析 し 教 室 で 子 ども 達 の 学 習 の 様 子 を 観 察 した 私 は 彼 らについてよ り 詳 しく 知 るために ケーススタディを 選 んだ よって これは 質 的 調 査 である また 彼 らの 学 習 動 機 は 中 学 校 での 英 語 学 習 への 備 えであったため くもんでの 英 語 学 習 の 成 果 は 今 後 に 期 待 される 現 時 点 では くもんでの 英 語 学 習 は 彼 らの 英 語 に 対 する 興 味 によい 影 響 を 与 えていると いうことが 分 かった 子 ども 達 は 以 前 よりも 英 語 に 興 味 を 持 ち 熱 心 に 学 習 している

3 English Education at Kumon 3 Introduction After World WarⅡ, a view gradually rose up in western advanced nations. It is education of foreign language should be practiced in elementary schools. In recent years, Japanese also are interested in early foreign language education. Therefore, English lessons are introduced in many elementary schools. However, many children learn English in private schools because they cannot receive enough English education in elementary schools. In present regulations of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, teachers must not teach English grammar to elementary school students (Yoshida, 2008). In elementary school, students learn basic knowledge of many subjects except English, for example, mathematics, Japanese, science, and social studies. They cannot learn English basic knowledge there. They learn English in junior high school for the first time, so it is difficult for them to understand English. Therefore, more than 50% of 2 nd grade junior high school students cannot understand contents of English classes (Yoshida, 2008). Between 1 st grades to 2 nd grades in junior high school, many students become to dislike English. In addition, 80% of parents feel it is not useful for children to study English in elementary school and junior high school (Yoshida, 2008). Therefore, parents of elementary school students have their children go to private afterschool programs so children do not make a false step in junior high school studies. Kumon is a one of the famous private schools. The Kumon method is an individualized learning method that allows each student to study at the level in which she is comfortable, regardless of age or grade level (Kumon, 2008b). I work at Kumon and watch various children studying; therefore, I think that children's learning abilities are incalculable. I also had studied English at Kumon for 10 years. English was the best and favorite subject for me in junior high school. In addition, this experience affects my interest and choosing high school and college. Thus, I am interested in education for children, especially English education, because children are more adaptable to foreign language than adults. This case study examines two 6 th

4 English Education at Kumon 4 graders and their mothers. It includes observations and analysis of the students study behaviors, and interviews about the learning of English. Previous Research KUMON Kumon Institute of Education Co., Ltd. is the largest private education company in Japan and one of the world s leading after-school education programs (Kumon, 2008d). It offers a unique curriculum of mathematics instruction primarily aimed at elementary school children (Kumon, 2008d). Kumon was initiated in 1954 that started as home education for mathematics. Toru Kumon ( ), of Japan, was a high school math teacher, as well as the originator of this method of learning. Toru's approach to teaching mathematics was a direct result of his own wish to instruct his son more thoroughly. In addition, he began trying this approach on children outside his family (Kumon, 2008d).He opened the first Kumon learning center in Osaka, and in 1958 he incorporated the Kumon Institute of Education (Kumon, 2008d). The success of this educational strategy is without question, and because of its effectiveness it has risen in popularity and is now used in forty-five countries and regions, serving 4.19 million students worldwide, as of March 2008 (Kumon, 2008a). Kumon has a strong base in Japan, South Korea, and other Asian countries and has become an increasingly felt presence in the North American market in the 2000s (Kumon, 2008d) In Kumon, students can learn mathematics, Japanese, English, French, German, Chinese. The characteristics of the Kumon Method are accomplished by a focus on self-study that enables students to acquire not only basic academic abilities but also concentration skills, good study habits, confidence, a sense of self-affirmation, a sense of achievement, a challenging spirit and an ability to learn by themselves. In addition, students learn at their own pace, one small step at a time (Kumon, 2008b). The learning target for language is the acquisition of comprehensive ability to read and absorb long passages of written materials (Kumon, 2008b).

5 English Education at Kumon 5 Motivation Children are interested in mechanisms of foreign languages unconsciously and they want to speak well. Various experiences become the trigger that absorbs students in studying English. For example, they are spoken to someone in English and understand what he said though they could not understand at first. In addition, they found a computer game using English is interesting (Kuno, 2002, p, 14). According to Kumon (2008c), the students' enthusiasm for learning is aroused in this process, as the goals they set are their own goals. In addition, this process awakens a desire in the students to take on new challenges. English Education in Elementary School English classes in elementary school are introduced as a part of international understanding. It is the purpose of the class that children use English merrily, become accustomed and like it. This is not language teaching; however, children can acquire sensibility for enjoying sounds of English. In addition, children can develop their positive attitudes to use English (Kuno, 2002, p, 13). Goto (1996) suggests that conditioned learning gradually falls with age and conceptual learning rises with age. It is at 10 years old or thereabout that these two acquisition conditions of language equalize. Therefore, 4 to 8 years old are the best age to start foreign language study and 8 to 10 years old are the best term to exercise good effects of the learning (Goto, 1996). In Japan, it is decided that teachers does not teach English grammar to children below the age of thirteen (Yoshida, 2008). Children have to learn language knowledge and practical ability of communication in junior high school. However, it is difficult for them to learn English, because they did not study basis of English grammar in elementary school (Yoshida, 2008). Naturally, Japanese ability of English falls down. Then, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology decided to change study guideline for

6 English Education at Kumon 6 primary school and junior high school from 2011 (Yoshida, 2008). In new study guideline for primary school, teachers do not focus on teaching English grammar but it makes up oral communication which can not teach only in a junior high school. That is to say, children learn one sentence as one word in elementary school and learn theory in junior high school (Yoshida, 2008). EXAMPLE; In elementary school It s a book. In junior high school It is a book. It might be thought that children learn disposition of English grammar naturally by learning it by oral practices. English words which students learn in a junior high school are 900 now, but it becomes 1200 words by the new course of study, additionally, 300 of the about 1200 words are studied in elementary school (Yoshida, 2008). The goal of English education in junior high school will not change and it will leave oral communication as much as possible to English education in elementary school. Therefore, children can be satisfied about learned things in junior high school by getting many words in elementary school. In addition, a goal is that children must not keep sense of incongruity and a feeling of resistance against foreign languages in English activities at elementary school (Merner, 2008). English Education for 5 th to 6 th Graders 5 th and 6 th grades children begin to show that they do not feel like obeying the instructions of the person unless they understand why. They do not like to be treated like babies, and they make eye contact and big smile in class (Merner, 2008). In addition, they want to acquire a lot of knowledge beyond their ability (Kumon, 2002). Children who have studied English from the lower grades are able to understand a little. In addition, their listening abilities are improving. Then, they try to tell their thoughts as putting words which they know together (Kumon, 2002). Some children try to get over the occasion in Japanese because their English is imperfect (Kumon, 2002). Especially, educators should not give them too easy or too difficult materials for first English learner of 6 th graders, otherwise they

7 English Education at Kumon 7 become to dislike English. Thus, there are many obstacles to children s learning. Therefore, educators should choose suitable materials, for example, interesting topics, easy oral practices and popular songs (Goto, 1996). It is necessary for children to have interest and will for English. Recently, surrounding of English education is changing widely. Therefore, many parents who have elementary school children and teachers think about early English education. Then, some parents choose Kumon to study English. Kumon has a unique system and it is expanding all over the world. In Kumon, children can do learning which is suitable for each person. English education for elementary school is difficult, especially for 5 th and 6 th grade students. Then, I want to know actually how children think about learning English. The learner is not parents but children, so I want to know children s opinions. Research Questions This study has several research questions. The first is how do two 6 th graders think about their learning of English in Kumon? I want to know the reasons why young students start to learn English and why they chose Kumon. In addition, I want to know their motivation for learning English. The second research question is how do they think it will be helpful? I want to know when they realize the result of their learning. The third research question is what do the children s mothers think of studying at Kumon? I want to know why they chose and have their children go to Kumon. Method Participants Participants are two 6 th graders and their mothers. Mari is a 6 th grade girl. (I have changed the names of the students). She goes to a public elementary school in Osaka Prefecture. She started learning English at Kumon when she was 3 years old. Ken is a 6 th

8 English Education at Kumon 8 grade boy. He also goes to the same public elementary school. They have English class at elementary school once a week or, sometimes, not at all. Mari s mother is a housewife and Ken s mother has a part-time job. Both mothers have two children who are older than Ken and Mari. Data Collection At first, I interviewed two mothers to know behavior of children in their house and mothers thoughts for studying English. I used unstructured interviews because I wanted to find out the mothers thoughts and ideas about studying at Kumon. I interviewed the mothers in Japanese. Then, I translated from Japanese to English and made a table of the results. Then, I observed the children s study behaviors at Kumon class. Next, I carried out interviews with them separately by using unstructured questions. Finally, I analyzed my data for patterns and common themes. Learning at Kumon At first, I interviewed mothers and analyzed data. I made questions for children on the basis of mothers answer. Then, I interviewed for children. In addition, I observed learning children in Kumon once a week. See Appendix A. Ken s Mother Ken s mother goes to part-time job several times in a week. She has three children: two boys and one girl. She made Ken to start to study English at Kumon because English is the poorest subject of Ken s brother and sister in junior high school. In addition, she is also not good at it and does not like English; therefore, she wants to avoid Ken failing in English. She told me I chose Kumon because Ken s good friends learn at Kumon too when I asked the reason why she chose Kumon. In addition, she told me about his study attitude he does not study hard, but he does the homework before he goes to Kumon class.

9 English Education at Kumon 9 Moreover, she said she does not know when I asked about good points and bad points of Kumon. She also told me I go to part-time job when Ken practices Kumon materials and Ken does not talk about Kumon, so I do not know about Kumon very well. She does not understand the system of Kumon. It is concerned with the reason why they choose Kumon. They chose Kumon because Ken s friends also goes there; that is to say, she chose Kumon not for the system. However, she told me Ken does not dislike learning at Kumon but does not like it. It means that Ken does not like to do his material but he commutes to Kumon class willingly because there are friends and he can learn new knowledge. In his house, it seems that he does not study hard, but he does the homework before going to Kumon. In addition, Ken s mother told me Ken can answer some questions when he watches TV quiz shows and he is more interested in English. Therefore, she thinks that it is useful for Ken to learning English at Kumon. Mari s Mother Mari s mother is a homemaker and she has three children: two girls and one boy. She has an inferiority complex about English because she hated English and it was the worst subject in school. Therefore, she does not want Mari to have difficulty in junior high school English. In addition, she told me English is necessary for children in the future. It means that there is English in many places now, for example, words from abroad, signboards written in English, using computers and title of music or movie. Therefore, she had Mari to start studying English. The reason why she chose Kumon is it is nearby home, so it is easy for young children to get to. Mari was three years old when she started going to Kumon class there. Mari s brother and sister also go there. Mari s mother tries to help her child when she is asked though she is not good at English. She told me Mari sometime studies hard but sometime does not study hard, so she

10 English Education at Kumon 10 thinks that it is difficult to keep Mari s enthusiasm for study. She also said that Mari does not like daily homework, especially listening and oral practice because she takes long times to do them. However, Mari s mother told me The good point of Kumon English is to practice many times. She thinks that it is effective for students who learn language to do continual study. Moreover, she told me The bad point is there is lots of writing but not much listening and oral practice. That is to say, students learn English as classroom subject, for example, grammar, words, listening to English CDs and reading. They cannot study speaking at Kumon, so students cannot acquire communication skills. However, she hopes Mari will appreciate having studied English when she becomes junior high school student and Mari will naturally understand English little by little. Comparison of Ken s Mother and Mari s Mother Both mothers do not like English, so they want their children to be good at English. They talked about English education in junior high school and TV quiz shows. In addition, they do not necessarily want their children to get particular occupations that use English. They only do not want their children to have problem in English of junior high school. In addition, they chose Kumon not for its program, but because of child s friend or distance. Especially, Ken s mother does not know about Kumon at all. Both mothers say that their children do not like to do their daily homework; therefore, they do not study hard. However, children learn not only by their materials but also by TV shows. For example, Hekisagon and Q sama which are quiz shows and many entertainers answer questions. They learn at Kumon and understand some English on TV quiz shows. Therefore, children can do continual study. However, Mari s mother is not satisfied with Kumon English because she hopes her child to acquire all skills: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. She said that there is not much listening and oral practice. She hopes that Mari will naturally understand English in the future.

11 English Education at Kumon 11 Ken Ken is a 6 th grader in a public elementary school in Osaka Prefecture. He has an older brother and sister. (See Appendix B). He started learning English at Kumon in December In elementary school, he has 50 minute English classes once a week but sometimes no class. He had never studied English except at school and Kumon. However, he has talked with foreign people, for example, school native English teachers and tourists. Recently, in Japan elementary schools have hired native English speakers to teach in elementary schools. However, he told me I could not understand what teachers said. He talked with tourists only saying Hello! The reason why he started to learn at Kumon is his mother s recommendation. His mother wanted Ken to study English from an elementary school student because his brother and sister were not good at English in junior high school. Ken also does not want to have problems in junior high school English. However, he answered I do not know when I asked him Why do you study at Kumon now? In addition, I asked him Do you enjoy studying at Kumon?, then he told me Yes, especially mathematics because I enjoy when I understand something. His mother said that Ken does not dislike studying English at Kumon. Ken also indicated that he does not really like studying English either. When I asked, Do you enjoy studying at Kumon?, he did not talk about English at all; he only talked about mathematics. That is to say, Ken does not always enjoy studying at Kumon, but sometimes enjoys it. In addition, his Kumon assignments are to fill in the blanks of sentences, to listen to CD and to read out in front of the teacher. I asked him, Which do you like Listening, Writing or Reading? Then he thought a few minutes and answered, Listening because it is easy for me. He actually read out loud faithfully following the CD; however, he makes mistake in writing. Below is Ken s material. This material is very first step. It aims to understand easy words and pronounce well. At first, he does his materials by himself; to answer questions,

12 English Education at Kumon 12 listening to CD and do oral practices. After that, he reads out loud in front of a teacher and the teacher checks his pronunciation and answers. Then, I found his mistakes. 1 2 Figure 1. Ken s class work. e.g) Ken wrote 1I am sleepy. Ken read 1I am thirsty. 2I am thirsty. 2I am sleepy. He wrote that 1 私 はのどが 渇 いています is I am sleepy and 2 私 は 眠 いです is I am thirsty. However, He read out 1 I am thirsty and 2 I am sleepy. That is to say, his written words and read words are mismatched. He wrote wrong words but he read out right words because he read following the CD. Therefore, I think that he does not remember the meaning of words but only remembers pronunciation by listening to the CD. In addition, he said that his most difficult skill is writing. He does not know many words, so it takes much time to complete writing parts. He is supposed to do 5 pages of

13 English Education at Kumon 13 homework and 5 pages in Kumon class for one lesson. He goes to Kumon class two times a week: Monday and Friday. Actually, students of Kumon have to do their material little by little every day. Ken has English homework of about 5 pages, but he does not do it. Ken s mother said that he does the homework before he goes to Kumon class, however, it seems that he does only the homework of mathematics. Therefore, his daily study time of English at home is nothing. He sometime has to do 10 pages at Kumon, the 5 pages of homework and the 5 pages of English study at Kumon. Then, I asked about his material and he answered I do not know. I think that it means that he does not think deeply about his materials. He only addresses materials which are given from teacher. Interestingly, he thinks that learning English is useful for him. He told me I can understand some of what the native-english teacher says in school though I could not understand at all before. His mother also said that Ken can answer some questions when he watches TV quiz show. Therefore, it is useful for him to study at Kumon. Moreover, I asked Ken about English. He answered that he does not think that he can understand English because it is difficult for him. I think he views English as a language; that is to say, it is a means of communication. He feels that he acquired English when he communicates with a native-english teacher or uses English for quiz. Therefore, I think that he will have confidence in his English if he has more experiences to speak English in the future. However, it is necessary for him to study harder. Mari Mari is a 6 th grader in a public elementary school in Osaka Prefecture. She has an older brother and sister. (See Appendix B) In elementary school, she has 50 minute English classes once a week but sometimes no class. She studies English by using Challenge outside of her elementary school and Kumon. Challenge is learning by correspondence and she started in November She started it to review elementary school studies and prepare for junior high school studies, so English is also included. In addition, she has never talked with foreign

14 English Education at Kumon 14 people. She started learning at Kumon when she was three years old. At first, she started to practice penmanship. She started to learn English because of her mother s recommendation. Her mother was not good at English when she was a student. She recommended Kumon because it is near by the house and Mari s brother and sister also learned there. She continues to learn English at Kumon for a long time and she has to do five pages everyday; therefore, she is tired of doing her materials. In addition, she told me I do not like homework, so she sometime does not finish her homework by next class. In her material, there are writing, listening, reading and oral practice parts. At first, she listens to CD and answers some listening questions. Next, she learns grammar and answers writing exercise. There are some types in her writing exercises, for example, filling blanks, changing order of English words and translating easy sentences from Japanese to English. Then, she reads out loud in front of a teacher. Below is Mari s material. Left is learning grammar and writing exercises. Right is oral practice Figure 2. Mari s classwork.

15 English Education at Kumon 15 Mari said that she likes writing exercise and it is easy for her because there are some hints. However, she sometime makes grammatical mistakes. For example, He is (an) astronaut or They are artist(s). She often forgets plural s and singular a (an). Additionally, she told me I am not good at grammar. For instance, she answered My brother is (in) London when I asked her to make easy sentence. Then, I found that she can make some easy sentences, but sometime not correct. She does not worry about making mistake but she makes same mistakes many times. In addition, she told me I dislike oral practice. She takes a long time to do oral practice because she has to listen to the CD many times. She also told me Listening is difficult to hear. In the listening CD, a native English speaker pronounces every sentence, so Mari does not catch each word. Therefore, she feels that it is difficult for her to understand what is said on the CD. Moreover, I asked about her material to know her interest and motivation for it and she answered I do not know. This is the same answer as Ken. It means that she also does not think deeply about her materials. There are three reasons why they do not think about their materials. First, they cannot afford to think about it because they are young. Second, they learn English for the first time, so they cannot judge whether the material is good or not. Last, they have trust in their teacher because their teacher is an expert in teaching children. Therefore, I think that children only address materials which are given from teacher. In addition, she does not think that it is useful for her to learn English at Kumon. She told me I cannot keep up with my materials; especially I do not understand grammar very well. I thought that it is a big problem for her, and I talked with her teacher after the interview. At first, she studied high level English for her which 2 nd year junior high school students learn at school. Then, teacher gave her easy material which is 1 st year junior high school students learn at school. Mari had forgot fundamental English grammar, so she learned it once more. In Kumon, materials are adaptable for children like this. Moreover, I think that she is

16 English Education at Kumon 16 accustomed to study at Kumon and slacks off her materials because she continues to study English at Kumon for a long time. She also told me So-so, because I do not study very hard. If I study harder, I can understand when I asked Can you understand English? Therefore, I think that Mari has not realized that it is useful yet. Her mother also hopes that Mari appreciates having studied English when she becomes a junior high school student. In addition, the teacher said it is important for children to acquire ability of thinking. However, it does not mean Kumon directly teaches students to think about what they learn. I also think that it is difficult for young children to think deeply about their materials. In Kumon, children learn the attitude to try study by repeating and understanding. Therefore, children do their materials entirely and Kumon expects them to think. Finally, I found that Mari thinks that English is classroom subject. She often talked about grammar and she did not talk about speaking ability in my interview. Therefore, I think that she does not learn English to speak to foreign people but to know English for junior high school English. In addition, I had some opportunities to talk with Mari about learning English. I told her about importance and enjoyment of learning English. I also check her English oral practice once a week. Then, I found that her attitude for learning English is changing. She works on her material, also homework, actively. Therefore, I think that she might find a little about enjoyment of leaning English. Comparison of Ken and Mari The reason why they started learning English at Kumon was the same. They were recommended to Kumon by their mothers. Ken gave school native English teachers as example of people who he has talked with, but Mari did not give it a thought though she goes to the same elementary school with Ken. I think that it might be different from Ken and Mari s thoughts about the purpose o f English. In addition, Ken answered I do not know and Mari answered Preparation for junior high school because I do not want to have problems in English when I asked them why they

17 English Education at Kumon 17 study English at Kumon now. It is very interesting, because Ken learns English at Kumon thought he does not know why. However, Ken enjoys learning at Kumon, especially mathematics. On the other hand, Mari told me I am tried of doing the materials. She has continued to study at Kumon for long time, so I think that it is caused by experience. Moreover, both of them do not like homework. They also told me I do not know about the materials. I think that they are young so they cannot think about their materials deeply, for example, about efficiency and content. Moreover, children may not understand the importance of understanding how to use language because they do not have enough experiences communicating with foreign people. In addition, Mari said that listening is difficult, but Ken said it is easy. I think that one reason why is the high degree of difficulty of the material. Moreover, Mari tries to catch each word but Ken pays little attention to each word. On the other hand, Ken said that Writing is difficult but Mari told me It is easy because there are hints. From this comment, I think that Ken has not been accustomed to his materials and Mari knows easy way to do Kumon materials. In addition, their English study time at home is almost zero. Ken has no homework because he does not do his homework. Mari sometime does not finish her homework by next class though she has homework which she has to do five pages every day. In Kumon, teachers guide way of study which adapt to each student like this. Moreover, Ken thinks it is useful for him to learn English at Kumon because he can understand what English teacher says in school though he could not understand at all before. On the other hand, Mari does not think it is useful because she does not keep up with her materials and she does not understand grammar. However, I expect that Mari will appreciate having studied English in the future because she has studied English for a long time. In addition, I found in research that she understands English little by little now. Therefore, I expect that Mari find result of her learning when she studies English or takes English exam in junior high school.

18 English Education at Kumon 18 Before, I said that Ken and Mari s thoughts about English might be different. Ken told me I do not understand English because English is difficult for me. While, Mari told me I understand a little; I think that I do not study hard. If I study harder, I can understand very much. Moreover, Ken talked about foreign people but Mari talked about grammar. Therefore, I found that Ken thinks that English is way of communication, and Mari thinks that it is classroom subject. In addition, children do not find goodness of Kumon style but I found that learning style of Kumon is very effective for children s learning. In other private schools, children only listen to lecture and take notes. Children may learn a lot of things; however, they do not practice many times. Then, children do not acquire what they learned. On the other hand, children practice same contents again and again in Kumon. I think that children become accustomed soon. Accordingly, they acquire what they learned to do continual study. Therefore, I think that learning style of Kumon is useful for children. Conclusion In Kumon, Ken and Mari learn grammar and many words, but they do not learn English conversation. These are very first steps of learning English and it is very necessary for them. In addition, their motivation of learning English is preparation for English education at junior high school. Their mothers also hope so. However, children do not think about efficiency and contents of their materials. They also may not understand the importance of understanding how to use language. I think that they do not have chances to understand the result of learning English at Kumon. Therefore, I expect it will appear after they enter junior high school or take English exams. At the present moment, I found that it has a good effect on children s interest in English. In addition, I think that children should not only practice their materials earnestly but also they should do quizzes regularly to find their result of learning. Then, children will work on their study actively.

19 English Education at Kumon 19 Moreover, I hope children can have opportunities to use English that they have learned, for example, talking with a teacher who is native English speaker. Finally, I do not think that this study is complete because Ken, Mari and their mothers have not realized the outcome yet. Therefore, I need more research when they realize it and whether they realize it or not. Additionally, I expect that they will find out soon if English is helpful.

20 English Education at Kumon 20 References Goto, T. (1996). Syougakuseini eigowo osierutameni [Teaching English to elementary school students]. Tokyo: Apricot. Kumon Institute of Education Co. (2008a). What is Kumon? Retrieved June 26,2008, from Kumon Institute of Education Co. (2008b). The Characteristics of Kumon Method. Retrieved June 26, 2008, from Kumon Institute of Education Co.(2008c). Self Learning and Self Motivation. Retrieved June 26, 2008, from Kumon Institute of Education Co. (2008d). Company History. Retrieved November 21, 2008, from Kuno, Y. (1999). Konnafuuni hajimetemiteha? Syougakkou eigo. [Would you like to start it like this? Elementary school English]. Tokyo: Sanseido. Kuno, Y. (2002). Konnatoki dousuru? Kodomo Eigo Kyuukyuubako. [What do you do in such a case? The first-aid kit of English for children]. Tokyo: Pearson Education Japan. Merner, T. (2008, November). Problems in elementary school English activities: Building a link with English education, Paper presented at the meeting of the Japan Association of Language Teachers, Tokyo, JP. Torikai, K. (2008, May 26). Global ka no communication: Tagengo Tabunka susumu nihonsyakai [Identity of communication: Japan becomes polyglot and multicultural society]. Asahi Shinbun. Tougo, K. (1998). Kodomono eigo ima konnafuuni. [English of children: Now, like this] Kobe: BL Syuppan. Ukai, N. (1994). The Kumon Approach to Teaching and Learning. Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Yoshida, K. (2008, November). Basic philosophy Behind the implementation of FLES in Japan. Paper presented at the meeting of the Japan Association of language teachers,

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