On the 4th of February 2012, a workshop using “Marugoto: Japanese Language and culture, a teaching resource based on the JF standard for Japanese-language education”, entitled Can-do and classroom activities was held. The event was attended by not only members of BATJ but also secondary school teachers (total attendance was 41 people), displaying a widespread interest in the text book.
“Marugoto” was developed under the principle of Japanese for mutual understanding and a trial version was published in May 2011. It therefore features a wide range of techniques, including Can-do target and level settings and portfolio assessment, designed to promote competence in accomplishing tasks (what a person can do by using Japanese) and competence in intercultural understanding (understanding and respecting other cultures by expanding one’s horizon through encounters with various cultures).
The JF standard for Japanese-language education was publicised in 2010 and the general idea of accomplishing tasks and intercultural understanding could be grasped from various training events. However the concern was how to use and tie in these abilities with everyday activities within the classroom. Using “Marugoto”, the training event this time round, examined the relationship between A-1 level Can-do and classroom activities.
There were subjects mentioned by the event participants in regards to the composition of the textbook, colourful pictures, the objective of each chapter in Can-do and also the amount of explanation of grammar within the activity book. However, secondary school teachers in charge of GCSE, ASSET and evening class teachers expressed interest in the possibility of purchasing the text book in the future and also thought that it has the ability to be widely used throughout the UK.
When “Marugoto” is published and becomes generally used, we would like to run training events tying together the principles of JF standard and practical classroom activities.