Admissions, Frequently Asked Questions

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General admissions FAQ

What is the purpose of the school?

Christian Academy in Japan, a school founded for missionary children, equips students to serve Japan and the world for Christ. We foster a biblical worldview and use an American-style program in English. We welcome non-missionary families who desire this type of education for their children.

What grade levels do you teach? When does school start?

We offer classes from kindergarten to high school. The school year starts in late August and ends at the beginning of June.

Are there certain admissions eligibility requirements?

Yes. These are listed on our eligibility page. One eligibility requirement is language. To be admitted, applicants for grades 9-12 must have grade-level English proficiency, applicants for grades 6-8 must be within one grade level, and applicants for kindergarten through grade 5 must be within two grade levels. CAJ expects at least one parent to know English well enough to do such things as discuss assignments with the students, read teacher notes, and hold conversations with teachers. If that is not the case, a family will need to demonstrate that they have a plan in place to communicate with the school and to support their child's studies.

What is the application timeline?

Application materials should be received before the testing interview. See our admissions calendar for details.

When can applications be sent in?

We welcome applications at any time for next school year. See our admissions calendar for details. We review applications according to our admissions status priority groups.

Where can I get further information?

Please check the rest of this admissions section of our Web site. To learn more about CAJ in general, read the About section. Then, if needed, send an e-mail to admissions@caj.or.jp.

How do we have an interview if we live a significant distance from CAJ?

Interviews by Skype (or other electronic method) may be arranged for families that live a significant distance from CAJ.

English as an Additional Language (EAL - formerly ESL) FAQ

What is EAL support at CAJ?

EAL support is extra academic support for students whose English proficiency skills are below grade level. EAL support helps these students to continue studying along with their English proficient classmates while developing their English language skills.

How is it decided which students are given EAL support?

For both new and ongoing students, when English language and grade level assessments show that a student’s English proficiency skills are below grade level, EAL support is given.

How are students given EAL support?

EAL support is given in the classroom at each grade level by the content area teachers and co-teachers, and in separate EAL classes.

How many years will my child be given EAL support?

EAL support will be given to students as long as needed. EAL support is presently offered from Kindergarten to 11th grade. Throughout the year, ongoing classroom assessments across content areas along with formal assessments determine a student’s English proficiency abilities and need for support.

How long do students usually need EAL support?

This varies greatly from student to student and depends on a number of factors, including the age a student begins learning English in school, and how much they use English outside of the CAJ classroom. A child’s positive attitude, strong individual motivation, a willingness to work diligently to improve, and taking many opportunities to use English in a variety of social and academic environments both in and out of school will all contribute to a student becoming more proficient in English.

How can my child keep learning English during the Summer vacation?

Language learning is a year round commitment. Some families use the longer summer break to give their children opportunities to experience living and studying in an English speaking country for an extended period. Students who will be given EAL support the following school year are required to study English language for a minimum of 30 hours over the summer break to keep up and improve their skills. CAJ’s EAL Summer School offered at the end of June is one way to fulfill this requirement. Other international and language school programs in Japan and abroad also offer reputable English language courses in the summer which could also meet the requirements. In addition, students at all grade levels participate in a summer reading program to keep up the important habit of reading.

What can we as parents do to help our child succeed in English?

Give your child opportunities to be immersed in listening, reading, speaking and writing English. Language learners at all levels need frequent exposure to good language models, and they need practice using English to improve. Some things you as parents can do are:
Be patient and encouraging. Becoming proficient in an additional language takes time and effort.

  • Encourage your child to:
    • read books at their level in English often, just for pleasure.
    • write in English as much as possible, trying to use new words and phrases. This can be done is such ways as journal writing, writing stories, and communicating by e-mail, letters or postcards to family, friends or pen pals.
    • listen to good English language models and notice new words and phrases, then try to use them in their own speech.
    • speak in English as much as possible, especially with native or proficient English speakers. Share thoughts and ideas in English.

Provide opportunities for your child to interact in English. Give your child opportunities to express themselves in any language. They can transfer these important communication skills to English.

Our family values multilingualism. How can we help our children develop English, and learn other languages while still maintaining our native language?

The more students immerse themselves in English, socially and academically, the better for their English language development and success at CAJ. Families often choose to keep using their native and/or host language at home or in their community to maintain these languages. Children will benefit from a strong foundation in their first language to help them develop their English skills. Having exposure to good language models in a language-rich environment with many opportunities to communicate with native speakers is important to maintain or develop any language. All languages may not develop at the same rate, so it is important to be patient.

Are there additional fees for EAL students?

Yes, students who will receive EAL support are charged a one-time fee at the time of admission.

Homeschoolers applying to CAJ FAQ

What records do I submit as a homeschooler?

The required records differ according to your homeschool method:

  • Accountable to an organization: If you are signed up with an advisory teaching service from a correspondence or internet school:
    1. Ask the school to send us transcripts of the previous and current school years.
    2. Submit achievement test scores (such as Iowa Tests of Basic Skills) from the previous and the current school years.
  • Independent homeschooling: If you do not have an outside source that gives grades, please submit the following from the previous and current school years:
    1. Portfolios including samples of work from every subject with at least three writing samples.
    2. Curriculum overview:
      1. For a prepackaged program you may just list the name of the curriculum (Sonlight Curriculum Year 5 Basic, language arts, and science with Saxon 6/5 Math).
      2. If you put together your own curriculum, please list books and materials used plus a short paragraph for each subject covering the basic content of the course. (For example: We studied American history from the time of the first settlers through the Civil War. Johnny used a timeline to plot events, used selected books from Joy Hakim's A Story of US for his basic text, and wrote weekly journal entries to summarize events or respond to issues discussed. He also read Pedro's Journal, Attack in the Rye Grass, Remember My Name, Who Comes with Cannons, and Two Tickets to Freedom to complement the studies. Projects included drawing a map of the Oregon Trail, learning selected Native American sign language signs, preparing a pioneer meal, etc.)

What records do I submit if my child attends Japanese school and only studies English at home?

There are four items you need to submit from last year and the current school year:

  1. Please have the school send CAJ a copy of your child's report cards.
  2. Submit a portfolio of English studies at home (i.e., work samples from English studies including at least three writing samples; list of SSS events attended).
  3. List of materials used (i.e., Daily Grams 4/5, Reading Comprehension in Varied Subject Matter Books 1 and 2, Houghton Mifflin Spelling Workbook Gr. 4, Wordly Wise Book 1, and What Your 4th Grader Needs to Know).
  4. Achievement test scores (such as Iowa Tests of Basic Skills).

How do we submit a confidential teacher recommendation if I am the teacher?

If your child has been in a school within the past two years, ask a former teacher to do the recommendation. (The recommendation form is available in English, as part of the application document packets, and in Japanese, as a separate page.) If you have been homeschooling for several years, please complete the reference yourself.

Is there someone who can help with further questions?

Yes. Please contact the Registrar (0424-71-0022 or registrar@caj.or.jp) and the Director of School Support Services (0424-71-3694 or sss@caj.or.jp) with questions about homeschooling.