Lesson 1: The government really needs to start embracing immigration.

I can discuss immigration.


With its aging population and declining birth rate, Japan is facing a great crisis.


Read the explanations. Then, read the conversations with your tutor and answer the questions.

    1. If you assimilate, you become more like other people to blend in.

    The Vietnamese family is doing their best to assimilate.

    I know. I heard that they even speak Japanese to each other at home now!

    Q: Do you feel pressure to assimilate when you’re with a group of people who are different from you?



    2. ________________________________________


    Wow! Your great-grandmother uses a smartphone?

    Yeah, she really embraces technology. She uses a tablet too!

    Q: What do you think embrace something means?



Takahiro and Jen are coworkers at a company in Sendai. They’re chatting during their lunch break.


Whoa, I knew Japan’s population was decreasing, but I didn’t know it was decreasing this much! According to this article, the population is expected to shrink by about 30% by 2060! Can you imagine?


Well, at least the trains won’t be so crowded anymore. (laughs)


(laughs) That’s true, but I think the government really needs to start embracing immigration. I mean, you and I are already doing the work of four employees because of the labor shortage. There just aren’t enough workers! How much worse will it get?


I don’t think immigration is the answer, though.


Really? Why not?


Well, to solve the labor shortage, the government could raise the age of retirement or encourage more women to keep working after they have kids.


But wouldn’t it be easier to bring in young people from other countries instead?


I just don’t think it’s a good idea…  Many people worry that Japan’s amazing culture would be lost by mass immigration.


Well, the government could provide classes on Japanese culture and language…

That could help them fit in.


I don’t think so… In my experience, some immigrants don’t assimilate very well.


Well, in my experience, many immigrants do assimilate well, but you’re eating your sushi with a fork, so I guess not everyone does. (laughs)


Rephrase the sentences using the expressions in the box. The form of some expressions may need to be changed.

embrace something

ex. It took Ann a long time to blend in after she moved to the Middle East because the culture was so different from her own.

It took Ann a long time to assimilate after she moved to the Middle East because the culture was so different from her own.


  1. Many people are afraid of change, but not Henry: He enthusiastically accepts it!
  2. I was amazed by how fast my son became just like his Canadian classmates at his new school.


You’re hanging out with your friend who lived in the US for a while and is now engaged to an American. Share your opinion on immigration with him/her.

Today's Expressions

  • assimilate
  • embrace something


I can discuss immigration.


  • 4
    Very Good

    Could complete the task with ease

  • 3

    Could complete the task with some clarifications

  • 2

    Could complete the task with additional instructions

  • 1

    Could somehow complete the task with difficulty