Whether children are adjusting to their new cultural home, diving deep into their third culture or simply interested in learning more about their surroundings, books are ideal tools to help them on their journey.
Not only do reading interactions encourage children to inquire, grow through understanding, and be empathetic, they are also a fun, positive and educational experience.
Recommended reading for international children in Japan
“For children transitioning to life in Japan, being able to enjoy books can be a great support,” according to Rita Kar, the librarian of Summerhill International school.
“When families move to Japan, the children are making a big transition in language and culture. Familiar books can be a great source of comfort to children when they see them in their new unfamiliar surroundings,” says Rita.
Rita reading to pupils in the Summerhill International school library.
To create this feeling at home, she suggests creating a fun, inviting reading space, such as a tent or nook with cushions and blankets, which features some of the children’s favorite books, noting that “they will be confident in such settings where books are a familiar thing.”
Once some familiarity is established, introducing books that provide children with the background or information to help them understand their new world in Japan can bring greater fun, authenticity, and a sense of involvement when out shopping, dining or experiencing cultural events. Children might point out things they have seen in books or, while reading books, have a eureka moment of understanding.
According to Rita, literature is a great way to support your adventures in your host country. She continues on to …continue reading