NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1130275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1881-4832
The Academic Achievement of Immigrant Children in Japan: An Empirical Analysis of the Assimilation Hypothesis
Ishida, Kenji; Nakamuro, Makiko; Takenaka, Ayumi
Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook, n10 p93-107 Mar 2016
In this study, we test the assimilation thesis by comparing the academic achievement between native students and first and second generation immigrant pupils. It is the first empirical study that systematically analyzes the native-immigrant achievement gap in Japan. Although numerous studies have examined the achievement gap, most of them are based on small-scale case studies and have failed to test the effects of multiple factors simultaneously, using large-scale nationally representative data. Since the number of immigrant (foreign) students is relatively small in Japan, we constructed a pooled dataset of PISA by combining all five waves from 2000 through 2012. The dependent variable is the test score in reading literacy, and we tested the effects of three key independent variables: immigrant generation, parental socioeconomic status and language spoken at home. A multilevel analysis was performed to examine both individual and school-level variations, followed by a multiple imputation method to deal with missing values of parental socioeconomic status. The major findings are three-fold. First, first generation immigrant students perform more poorly in reading literacy, but there is no significant difference between second generation and native students. Second, parental socioeconomic status has a positive effect on academic achievement, but the effect is not robust enough to mediate the impact of immigrant generation. Third, Japanese spoken at home is an important determinant of the native-immigrant gap in academic achievement. The same results were obtained for mathematics and scientific literacy test scores. Although these findings echo previous studies, they underscore the importance of language use at home. Our empirical results suggest that it is important to expand opportunities for Japanese language learning for both immigrant students and parents.
Japanese Educational Research Association. UK's Building 3F, 2-29-3 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 Japan. Tel: +81-3-3818-2505; Fax: +81-3-3816-6898; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A