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Debating Time at Talking Contemporary Japan Foundation

Are the Olympics a waste of money?
Do CCTV cameras prevent crime?
Should we stop adding katakana words to Japanese?
Which is the ideal pet – a dog or a cat?

These were hotly-contested themes of the exciting final evening of Talking Contemporary Japan, the Japan Foundation’s four week course for advanced Japanese learners.  The March course took the theme of “Debating Time,” and explored how to engage in effective, persuasive and enjoyable debates in Japanese.

In each lesson, Hiroko Tanaka, the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Language Advisor, guided participants in the rules and techniques of debating in Japanese, and encouraged them to explore and discuss aspects of debating while using Japanese language in groups.  On the final lesson, participants were divided into teams and held a real life debate – which was judged by the participants themselves!

Although a challenging, and at times nerve-wracking experience, participants enjoyed being able to use their Japanese in such an engaging and lively manner.  Richard Witts, a newcomer to Talking Contemporary Japan, commented in the final lesson that the course was “...excellently organised, excellently structured.  Even in these few hours I feel my Japanese has improved!

We would like to thank all Talking Contemporary Japan participants for the hard work they put in every week, and congratulate them on their impressive, professional debating skills!

For more information about Talking Contemporary Japan, please click here.