The necessity of Japanese-language education for foreign care givers.
Adachi, Kana (2016). 'The necessity of Japanese-language education for foreign care givers.' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.
Now, Japan has problems with the declining birth rate and aging population, so everyone has to face the problem of nursing care. If there is little care givers and little information, it is possible that many people lost their lives.
From October, 2014 to January, 2015, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare held "The conference for acceptance of foreign care givers". In consequence, Japan will soon accept not only foreign care workers by EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) but also by Technical Intern Training Program. Furthermore, already there're foreign settlement care-givers who, for example, have a spouse visa. So, in near future, Japan will accept many foreign care-givers whose native languages are various.
January, 2012, first care worker candidates from Indonesia by EPA took a state examination. In 2015, 78 candidates out of 174 passed the exam, and their pass rate was 44.8%. On the other hand, the whole pass rate was 61.6%. This result might be caused by difference of native languages because foreign candidates have to answer the questions written in Japanese by Japanese native speakers.
In addition to this situation, there're more problems related to Japanese, after foreign care givers start work, as, they can't write nursing recording paper, or can't catch and understand handing over.
This problem is very likely to be caused because of the number of characters which Japanese have. Japanese has numerous characters compared with other languages. For example, English has 26 characters, Tai has basically 42 and vowel symbol, Arabic has basically 28 and each of them has 4 forms. However, in case of Japanese, there're each 50 characters for Hiragana and Katakana, and, about 2000 Chinese characters designated for daily use. And more, foreign care-givers have to make full use of technical terms. This problem is a heavy burden on foreign care givers.
By the way, in case of Japanese-language education for exchange student, they are ordinary educated to a level that can take college entrance examination in 1 or 2 years, even if they started the beginner's level. To adapt this accumulation of way of Japanese-language education, we can support the language learning for foreign care givers, improve the employment environment, and then, this leads increase of employee.
In this way, there're 2 advantages by intervention of linguistics, Japanese studies and Japanese-language education in the field of nursing care which becomes multinationalized. First, by reconsider the textbooks used for a qualifying examination or technical terms used in nursing care field by findings from the language field is that it enables the efficient learning, a smooth liaison matters transfer. Second, Japanese-language education leads smooth communication between foreign care givers and Japanese native speakers, especially service users and Japanese care givers. For the former, this provides improvement of employment environment, for the latter, this provides security of QOL(quality of life) or life itself.
This is why Japanese-language education fields and nursing care fields have to cooperate. To provide Japanese-language education programs, methods and textbooks focusing on working for nursing care fields in Japan, it becomes not only to be a help to nursing care field, but also to provide increase of foreign workers employment and decrease uncertainty over our future prospects. Therefore, people whose specialty is Japanese-language education should offer their studies for foreign care givers, and people working nursing care fields should appeal the need of Japanese-language education.