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Japanese Language Refresher Courses
The new SMAP?
The new SMAP?

At the end of July, 32 teachers from UK primary and secondary schools came to the Japan Foundation to attend some Japanese Language Refresher Courses. A three-day advanced course and a five-day intermediate course gave non-native teachers of Japanese the opportunity to brush up on their language skills and network with other teachers.

In the advanced course the participants studied authentic media such as novels, newspapers, manga and anime, while also focussing on common areas of difficulty such as the use of keigo. There was also plenty of opportunity for speaking, through discussions, role-plays and games.

The intermediate course gave the participants a chance to consolidate their knowledge of Japanese grammar and put it into practice in a series of real-life situations. Later in the week they focussed on natural conversation, looking in detail at the phrases and grammar often used in anime and manga.

All through the week the members of the intermediate course also worked on projects in which they played the role of travel agents advertising places of interest to the rest of the class. All the groups put a lot of effort into their final speeches and posters and many congratulations must go to the Kew Gardens team which was awarded the top prize.

Participants of both courses also tried their hand at J-Pop, learning the Smap song 'Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana'. They performed the song in small groups, incorporating Japanese sign language into the chorus, along with their favourite dance moves as well!

Thank you to everyone who attended, together with Udagawa-sensei and Tanaka-sensei for organising such excellent classes. Feedback was extremely positive and here are a few comments from attendees:

"A really enjoyable and well-balanced course. Thank you for all your efforts and work." - Paul Cross, Hainford Primary Partnership School.

This is the 4th time I've attended the Refresher Course and it just gets better and better! - Hai Ying Gosnall, Summerhill School.

Challenging but not out of reach. Educational and enjoyable! - Cameron Fehr, Swavesey Village College.

Thank you for a wonderful 3 days. You have put so much time and effort into the course and I have learnt so much. I have even been dreaming in Japanese! Helen Langsam, Hendon School.

Click on the PDF below for more pictures from the two courses.

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