On the 29th October, 26 teachers came to Conway Hall to share ideas about how to teach Japanese as a club activity in schools. The event involved presentations by school teachers about their Japanese club activities, followed by discussion time to allow all the participants to share their own experiences and ideas.
First Alan Greaves from The Wavell School spoke about how students can experience Japan without ever leaving the UK. He shared ideas for excursions, such as visiting Club Taishikan, various museums, Japanese schools, Hyper Japan, a taiko drumming concert and Chiddingstone Castle. He also shared his school procedures and tips for ensuring excursions are fun, rewarding and safe. You can view videos of what Alan’s students thought about their trips here.
Next Yoko Leedham, from Thomas Hardye School, shared her ideas to help teach basic sentences in Japanese. She showed how she builds up students’ vocabulary at the same time as teaching hiragana, then how she teaches basic sentence structures to allow students to be able to say quite a lot, even with limited contact time.
This was followed by Dr Marina Sereda-Linley who introduced several te-asobi songs, including the original Japanese, the romaji versions, and their English translations. These would be excellent examples of authentic texts that could be fun to teach to children along with their hand gestures.
Lastly the Japan Foundation’s Assistant Japanese Language Advisor, Mio Tsunematsu, introduced her interactive lesson to teach about Japanese bento boxes. The participants then all had a go speaking to each other in Japanese to discover their food preferences so they could design each other a perfect bento box.
One participant, Tiki Ebun-Cole, commented that it was “great to come to these events as it’s a way of feeling connected to Japan and others working in promoting Japanese language and culture.” Another mentioned that there were “so many great ideas to take back to school!” The Japan Foundation would like to thank all the fantastic teachers that were willing to share their ideas.
If you are interested in the ideas and resources shared during this event, they are all available to download below.