One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
— Frank Smith, Psycholinguist

Learning language through culture and community

Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program ローザ・パークスJBBP 

The only program of its kind in Northern California, the Rosa Parks Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program (JBBP) is a Foreign Language in Elementary School (FLES) program, integrating instruction by native Japanese speaking Sensei with a rigorous core curriculum taught in English by credentialed teachers. Founded in 1973 and at Rosa Parks since 2006, the result is a truly unique and rich learning experience – marked by academic excellence and proficiency in a second language* – in an environment that promotes community, diversity, and positive values. 

* After 6 years in JBBP, students can expect to meet third grade national content standards for Japanese, established by the U.S. National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project.  

Core Curriculum 基本カリキュラム

Core curriculum taught in English – language arts, math, science, and social studies are aligned with state and SFUSD requirements, with integrated Japanese language standards for each grade level. 

Japanese Curriculum 日本語のカリキュラム

Japanese language is delivered through formal classroom instruction and reinforced by “teaching language through culture and community.” Japanese celebrations and cultural traditions, arts and crafts, field trips, and more, provide meaningful context that leads to deeper language acquisition. Each class receives one hour daily instruction from native Japanese speaking Sensei, reinforced throughout the day by their classroom teachers.


The cognitive advantages of learning a foreign language, particularly at younger ages, are many (1). Our pedagogical model falls within the framework of a content-related FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) program (2), where content learning in arts, science and social studies is maximized with Japanese language development through an array of daily learning experiences ranging from songs, arts + crafts, and experiments in kindergarten to speech competitions, journals, and live video-conferencing with peers in Japan in the upper grades.  Language proficiency is an explicit goal (3).

In addition, language acquisition is heightened by native-speaking instructors - or Sensei - who work in close collaboration and across grade levels with credentialed classroom teachers to deliver approximately one hour of daily formal Japanese instruction.  Widely recognized as a benchmark of high quality foreign language programs, the Sensei model authentic linguistics and provide meaningful cultural context for learning that establish a solid foundation for advanced Japanese language proficiency over time and into the future. Listening and speaking skills are enhanced by reading, writing and grammar.

Outside of the Japanese instructional hour - commonly referred to as Nihongo - Japanese is maximized throughout the day through classroom standards adhered to by our classroom teachers.  They include greetings, instructions, daily procedures, and basic classroom conversation.     

  1. Benefits of learning a second language

  2. FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School)

  3. After 6 years in JBBP, students can expect to meet third grade content standards for Japanese Language, established by the National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project.


Guiding Principles

  • Deliver a challenging core curriculum taught in English, enriched by one hour of Japanese language instruction and culture daily, maximizing the integration of language development through core content learning.

  • Utilize native Japanese-speaking instructors in each classroom to model authentic linguistics and provide relevant and genuine cultural experience.

  • Reinforce use of grade-based Japanese language standards by teachers in each classroom throughout the school day.



The staff of RP JBBP share a passion for teaching Japanese language and culture.

Kindergarten: Lisa Tsukamoto, Remi Nakamoto (sabbatical) with Daney Espiritu

First Grade: Leslie Haub, Yukari Noguchi 

Second Grade: Arunan Kono-Soosaipilai, Cecily Ina (sabbatical) with Nisa Saulat

Third Grade: Raymond Lum, Cindy Mar (sabbatical) with Max Raynard

Fourth Grade: Nancy Yamamoto

Fourth/Fifth Grade: Erin Miranda

Fifth Grade: Miya Tsukamoto-Chiu

Nihongo Sensei
Yuka Inoue - Kindergarten
Takako Kato - First Grade and Third Grade
Kaori Waki - Second Grade and Third Grade
Taeko Morioka - Fourth and Fifth Grade

For additional information and teacher bios see our school loop site.