Bailey Ellul is only 6 years old, but she understands the question and knows the answer. "Nikkeru," she says in Japanese when her teacher holds up a picture of a nickel and asks in the same language, "What is this?"
"Japanese is good to learn in case a Japanese person wants to talk to me," she said in a math class at Livonia's Hinoki International School.
The presence of English- and Japanese-speaking teachers in each class and the chance to get a jump on the competition in a global market were selling points for Bailey's parents.
Hinoki International, a K-3 immersion school with 78 students, is Michigan's first Japanese-English bilingual public charter elementary.