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Senseis’ Voices


Intensive Seminar for Teachers and Pre-Service Teachers, July 2018

Participant Reflections

The Japan Foundation, Sydney was pleased to host 33 participants at the Intensive Seminar for Teachers and Pre-Service Teachers (targeted at junior secondary level teachers) from July 9-12, 2018.

We’d like to say a big otsukare-sama to all those who attended and we look forward to meeting more senseis at our future seminars. Our next seminar will be held January 14-17, 2019 (which will also have a junior secondary level focus).

We have included 感想 (kansou; impressions) kindly submitted by some July participants below.

Greetings. My name is Julie Hwang, and I am currently teaching Japanese at Bairnsdale Secondary College in Melbourne. じつはこのセミナーは楽しいですが、難しいと聞いて、セミナーの最初の日、私の心臓はドキドキしていました。Fortunately, there were great staff members at the Japan Foundation (JPF) who helped me whenever I had questions during the seminar. The seminar provided at least twenty paper resources and other online teaching resources. うれしいことに、このセミナーでほかの先生と日本語や、日本の文化や、ほかの国の文化などについて討論しました。それで会話練習だけでなく、ほかの先生と一緒に、かんじのべんきょうをしたり、あたらしいたんごをならったり、あたらしいにほんのぶんかをどのように学生たちに教えるかもとうろんしたりできます。I also met lots of Japanese teachers from different states and a lot of them were friendly and understanding. Thanks to a few of the Japanese teachers from Sydney, on Wednesday night I had the opportunity to see the Queen Victoria building and Darling Harbour. I really enjoyed attending ふろしき, calligraphy and Japanese conversation sessions. I thank all the Japan Foundation staff members and the other Japanese teachers in Sydney. I would love to come again to meet more teachers and improve my Japanese language skills further! では、また。

Two weeks into Term 3 and with the JPF Junior Secondary Intensive Course behind me, I’m finding that I’m more inclined to investigate the JPF resources when planning a lesson. I am also reflecting on the strategies demonstrated to us over the 3.5 days in the July school holidays. With an ICLL approach the lessons were engaging and informative. The course was delivered professionally, by the language teachers in a meaningful way. I particularly enjoyed the Mottainai and Egg units that link well to the new NSW syllabus with sustainability. The course was delivered mostly in Japanese and the teachers were patient and encouraging with the diverse abilities within the group.

It was a valuable experience being able to learn and network with Japanese teachers from near and far and hear of their experiences.

I was skeptical about the planned cultural activities prior to the course as I’ve done calligraphy before. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the delivery of the lesson and will implement these techniques in my own classroom. The furoshiki lesson will also find its way into my program.

The venue was easily accessible located near central station with hotels also nearby for those coming from interstate. The course included a tour of the JPF library where we were able to borrow or view the current exhibition.

I not only enjoyed the professional development I experienced, I would like to thoroughly recommend the JPF teacher intensive to others. Thank you to Maki and the teachers.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the 3 ½ day Intensive Seminar for Junior Secondary Teachers that Sydney’s Japan Foundation had to offer recently.  It was a brilliant opportunity to network with so many dedicated Japanese language teachers.  The Japan Foundation teachers were kind and helpful and the sessions informative, interesting, and challenging.  I especially liked the afternoon of conversation when we were divided into groups of three and spoke with three different native speakers for 20 minutes each.  Herman and Tracey were great to work with, and I am pretty sure we laughed as much as we talked!

The cultural sessions were fantastic.  It was wonderful to glean more understanding from the Japanese tutors, and the activities used were specifically designed for us to be able to take back and share with our students.

I have gained renewed confidence with my classroom Japanese after attending Sydney, and have been able to apply so many ideas directly to my class.  I have also started my students on the Marugoto A1 text and they love the colourful pictures and layout. I am pleased to be able to combine teaching the culture and language together, with authentic scenarios and natural conversation.  It has been such an awesome tool and so easy to use.  I recently had an observation of my Level 1 class from the ILEP (International Languages Exchanges and Pathways) support teacher, who was really pleased with the level I had pitched Japanese to the students.  I was using the first Marugoto book (A1), which I purchased while in Sydney.  She was also really happy with the level of Japanese I was using in class.

I gained so much confidence by attending the Sydney programme, and came back energized and ready for the new term. I would recommend the Intensive Seminar to new and experienced teachers alike.


For more information about our Intensive Seminars, please click here.

Photo: whale | Haline Ly

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