Saturday, June 25, 2011

なかよし (Nakayoshi)

Directly translated, this word means “dear friend” in English.  However, a more accurate translation would be “person of special needs.” 

I was surprised when I saw on my schedule at Obusuma elementary school that I had classes with the nakayoshi students this term.   The other five schools at which I have worked have never scheduled English class for their nakayoshi students.  That usually begins in Junior High, as far as I know.

Special ed classes in Japan are-surprise surprise-completely different from the way the U.S. handles them. 

In Japan, every single special needs student has their own personal teacher who is constantly with them.  Sometimes they are with the rest of their respective grades classmates; sometimes they are in a different room working on other subjects. 

I am really happy that Obusuma scheduled me to have nakayoshi classes.  I really enjoy them.  It is absolutely delightful to see their little faces light up when they learn something new.  They try so hard. 

And we have so much fun!
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1 comment:

  1. Its interesting to hear about how Japan handles Special Ed classes. I actually have to say, that at least from my experience in Elementary Schools in NC, and of course it could definitely differ from state to state, but we had a similar set up as Japanese schools. There was a special education teacher who worked with clusters of students throughout the day, each student didn't have their own individual teacher, but the teacher did join the students during some lessons and some parts of the day, the students had lessons with the special education teacher in his/her room. Its interesting to see them taking English lessons as well!