My stepson is a six-year-old native Japanese speaker. When my wife and I first met and as we started getting more serious in our relationship, we didn't put a whole lot of effort into attempting to teach him English. Every time the topic was broached he was very adamant about not learning it.
At the same time we got married, I also legally adopted him. If there came a point where my wife, his mother, who speaks Japanese and English, was unable to be with us for a long period of time and I needed to convey something to him that was important, I would most likely need to do it English.
I am already actively learning Japanese. I take regular certification tests to note improvements and while I am a little more than conversational, I am still not quite there yet. With what I am about to ask, please keep in mind, I will continue to learn Japanese.
We have discussed this and my wife and I believe it is time that he does indeed begin to learn English. The kindergarten he goes to is already an English speaking school and he takes an hour long English program every couple of days at the same school. On top of that, I would also like to teach him at home, starting with the alphabet.
I informed him that I would begin teaching him next week and he was not so thrilled about that idea. This is not a debatable matter. Our parents had us go to school to learn about math and science and then when we got home, taught us how to clean our rooms, brush our teeth, and make our beds; all these things were a necessity. We both believe this is a necessity, not an extracurricular.
The question is: how do I coax my son to learn English while making him a willing participant?
I don't want to go the route my parents or so many other parents take when "encouraging" children to do better in school by grounding them or taking things away. This will only push him further away from wanting to learn.
At the moment, he watches a lot of T.V. Probably too much, but that's a separate issue. I was thinking of starting during the time that he watches T.V. If I take this time away though, he will be mad and discouraged from studying with me. If I don't take the time away though, we won't have very much other time to study (by the time I get home, he's already home). Does anyone have any thoughts?
It's been a month since I asked this question and I took a fair amount of advice from most of the questions and I have to say, we've made substantial progress; more progress than I could have ever expected.
First of all, from Stephie's answer, I stopped speaking Japanese completely and went full English. At first he continually asked me "Hey, why are you speaking English now?" but he always engaged and never ignored me. Coupled along with this answer and several other answers/comments that suggest make spending time together fun with me, I found a common activity we can do together. MineCraft!
We both really love video games and MineCraft is something we can both play, and enjoy ourselves. Since I used to play consitently for 2 years straight, I understand a lot of the mechanics of the game. This allows me to explain things to him in English while still having fun. It takes a lot of pantomiming and pointing to my portion of the screen but it works for the most part. The game also encompasses a lot of vocabulary used in the real world so it really helps when we aren't playing too!
I also noted T.E.D.'s answer and put that in the back of mind to acknowledge. Perhaps with a little one on the way, he is worried about losing some love. Mama has continually reassured him that it won't happen and I'm doing more actions that show I love him unconditionally rather than just saying it.
Also some answers noted to get out more with other English speakers. We went camping with another couple like us, English-speaking husband, Japanese-speaking wife and their daughter. My friend spoke to him in English only and we all had a good time. My son even started calling me daddy after seeing my friend's daughter say it to her daddy :-) He doesn't do it consistently but every time he does it makes me pretty happy.
Everyone, thank you for the advice and I will also welcome more answers as our progress continues. Removing the pressure and just having fun has gone a long way.