Oyako Eigo: An English Program for Parents and Children

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Yukiko Yamami, Chukyo University

In Japan, more and more children begin learning English at an early age. For successful early English learning, creating exposure to English at home is essential. Oyako Eigo (literally parent and child English) is one method that seems to meet this need. Most Oyako Eigo programs target children aged 1-3 years old, and in these programs parents participate in learning English with their very young children. I conducted an Oyako Eigo program from 2001 to 2012 and taught more than 300 children and their parents. This paper describes the benefits of parental involvement in early childhood English language learning. Also included are materials, lists of some procedures for an Oyako Eigo program, and a typical Oyako Eigo lesson plan. Finally, I argue that parental involvement is very important to create a home learning environment, and Oyako Eigo helps children become familiar with English.