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Japanese Plus: Read and Write Japanese Newspapers

「オープラ大統領?」(“Oprah Winfrey for President?”)

「私立学校 コオロギを給食に」(“Private School Includes Crickets on Lunch Menu”)

「ロンドン五輪高速折り紙デビュー?」(“High-Speed Origami to Debut in London Olympics?”)

These were just a few of the highly creative and amusing April Fools newspaper articles written by the talented participants of Japan Foundation’s first ever Japanese Plus course, a Japanese language and culture course for advanced  learners.

This term’s theme was「新聞を読んで、新聞を作ろう」- “Read and Write Japanese Newspapers.” 39 people in total registered for the course, which ran every Thursday and Friday from February 23rd to March 23rd 2012. Run by Japan Foundation’s Japanese Language Advisor Hiroko Tanaka, the course began with an overview of Japanese newspapers and an examination of the style of writing used for newspaper articles. Participants then looked in depth at selected articles and discussed them in Japanese, in order to grasp how to construct an effective article while practicing reading, writing, speaking and listening in Japanese.

Finally, all participants formed groups and wrote their own “April Fools” joke articles, which were collected together and made into the Jプラス新聞 - the “J-Plus Paper.” Every participant received their own copy of the paper, which they enjoyed discussing in Japanese during the final session of Japanese Plus. With such stories as the creation of “Olympic bread,” the invention of “Health Waves” and the inclusion of “Quidditch” into the Olympics, the discussion frequently turned into roars of laughter!

The course received positive feedback from all participants. Michael Doherty, a newcomer to Japan Foundation’s language courses, commented : “I really enjoyed the classes. It was a great opportunity to set aside some time each week and enjoy 日本語 (Japanese)!”

Morgan Giles, also new to the Japan Foundation’s language courses, described the course as “excellent” and said that she “can’t wait for the next one.

We also can’t wait to see all participants again at our next Japanese Plus course!

If you are Japanese learner of approximately JLPT Level 2/N2 or above and are interested in taking part in the next Japanese Plus, please click here to sign up to our monthly e-bulletin to receive notifications of this and other Japan Foundation events.