As soon as students step into the Japanese classroom, they feel a sense of being transported to a different place, where we speak a different language and learn about a culture that is different to our own. Students are mesmerised by the friendly Japanese characters, surprised by the low tables, engaged by the interactive songs and encouraged by their own success in learning Nihongo (Japanese).
In the early years, we focus on cultural understanding and oral communication. Students learn how to run their own juice bar, serving each other in Japanese. Craft activities are often incorporated to celebrate occasions such as Children’s Day and Tanabata (the star festival). As students progress through the school, they learn to read and write Japanese hiragana and kanji characters. Developing stories together is emphasized to encourage listening competence and engagement. Reading those same stories boosts students’ reading comprehension and this success leads to high levels of motivation. It’s easy to see why students love learning Japanese!
A highlight of the Japanese program is Japanese Day where we celebrate Japanese culture through a wide range of hands on activities such as:
- dress up parade
- karate demonstration
- taiko drumming
- furoshiki (cloth) wrapping
- shodo – Japanese brush and ink calligraphy
- sushi making workshop
- making hachimaki headbands
- sushi lunch
- whole school song and dance performance