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Teach toddlers English: Japan educator campaigns for early start

Native speakers must be present in classrooms every day, Akira Murata argues

School operator Akira Murata wants Japan to start teaching English to children before they even enter elementary school, with the full backing of the national government.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- In an increasingly globalized society, the ability to speak English is key to unlocking educational and professional opportunities and making a mark on the international stage.

Yet few in Japan are proficient in the language, despite taking roughly a decade's worth of English classes. For Akira Murata, whose Kitami Gakuen company operates a preschool in Yokohama, the solution is clear: Start children younger, before they even enter elementary school.

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