On June 26th 2014, 18 current and prospective volunteers attended a Training Day for theJapan Foundation’s Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme, in which native and fluent Japanese speakers conduct free Japanese taster sessions in UK schools.
After an overview for new volunteers about the Japan Foundation and the JTS programme itself, the participants heard reports by two volunteers who had held recent Japanese language tasters. The first presenter talked about her experience teaching with one other volunteer at Whyteleafe Primary School in Surrey, and introduced lots of very interesting and new ideas for teaching Japanese language. The other presented her report on her taster with three other volunteers at Walthamstow School for Girls in Waltham Forest, and demonstrated the beautiful PowerPoint presentation they had created in order to teach the pupils about Japan.
This was followed by workshops by Hiroko Tanaka (Japanese Language Advisor and co-ordinator of JTS at the Japan Foundation), who introduced a number of enjoyable activities that volunteers could use in their own taster sessions. These included teaching Japanese greetings and bowing using finger puppets, introducing the Japanese Tanabata “Star Festival” with a kami-shibai picture story and hanging wishes on a bamboo stem, and playing a variation of janken(Rock, Paper, Scissors) incorporating origami samurai helmets! Several of the activities introduced came from Japan Foundation’s own online resources, including Ready Steady NihonGO!
All the volunteers enjoyed the training day and said that they found it useful. Mei Grant, who was attending the training day for the first time, commented:
(“It was very good and I learned a lot of things that will come in handy.”)
Dimple Singh, another newcomer to the JTS Training Day, said, “I really enjoyed today, I think that it is very important that these kinds of training courses are held in order to introduce more people to the Japanese language and culture.”
We would like to thank all participants for coming, especially our two fantastic guest speakers!
More photos from the event can be viewed at the Japan Foundation London Facebook page here.
Our next JTS Training Day is scheduled for September 2014, and bookings will be open in due course.
If you are interested in taking part in the JTS programme as a volunteer, please click here for more information.