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Regarding
Roger Pulvers’ March 22 article, “ Raising bilingual children takes time, huge effort — and lotsa money“: While I do agree that being bilingual is a benefit, you can’t force the child to learn something they don’t want. His or her peers are going to be the biggest influence on which language to speak.

I’ve worked in the high schools here as an English teacher, and I can tell you that a majority couldn’t care less about English. Also adding to the lack of interest is the lack of qualified teachers. Native English teachers are treated as nothing more than a glorified CD player. Teachers coddle the students by always speaking Japanese to them. My Japanese listening ability certainly has improved over the year!

If my Japanese boyfriend and I ever have a child, I’ll probably speak English until I become confident and fluent enough in Japanese. You should know the official language of the country you’re living in. Also, I’ve found that the people who want to practice their English expect me to speak as slowly as possible. This encourages me to speak more and more Japanese.

I don’t foresee ever going back to the States unless it’s to visit my mother and brother, and a once-a-year visit is not valid enough to force a child to learn English.

name withheld

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