On September 21st 2012, 16 volunteers attended our Training Day for volunteers of the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme, in which native and fluent Japanese speakers conduct free Japanese taster sessions in UK schools.
The day started with a basic outline of the JTS programme for new volunteers, followed by presentations from two volunteers who had visited several different kinds of primary and secondary schools through the programme. This was followed by workshops by Hiroko Tanaka (Japanese Language Advisor and co-ordinator of JTS at the Japan Foundation), who introduced how to teach numbers in Japanese and games that students can play to help them learn number vocabulary, including “Fruit Basket” (a Japanese version of “musical chairs”). Finally, following the theme of Japanese sports, the day concluded with all volunteers playing “tamaire,” in which teams through soft balls into a box held up by one team member. The game not only demonstrated how to introduce Japanese culture to school children in an enjoyable way, but also served as a method to reinforce number counting; all teams counted their balls in the end using Japanese.
Several of these ideas and materials came from Japan Foundation’s own resources, including the JFL Japanese Scheme of Work for Key Stage 2 and Ready Steady NihonGO.
The training day was well-received by all volunteers. Maria Leanne Yu, a new JTS volunteer, commented, “The day was very well organised and we covered a lot of content. I especially enjoyed the talks from experienced volunteers because it gave me a good idea of what to expect.”
We would like to thank all volunteers for coming to the Training Day, and hope they will have the chance to hold a Japanese Taster Session at a school soon!
If you speak native level or fluent Japanese and are interested in becoming a JTS volunteer, please click here for more information.
If you are a school teacher and are interested in holding a Japanese language taster at your school, please click here to find out more.