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Japanese for ALTs 2014 - Beginners’ Japanese class for JET participants

The Japan Foundation London held its second exclusive beginners’ Japanese class for participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, in which graduates from English-speaking countries go to Japan to teach English and promote cultural exchange.

The course took place over July 19th and 20th, and 17 JET participants in total took part. Led by the Japan Foundation’s new Assistant Japanese Language Advisor, Mio Tsunematsu, the course was based on Japan Foundation’s coursebook Marugoto: Japanese language and culture, in addition to material from the accompanying MARUGOTO+ website and Erin’s Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese. The Marugoto coursebook, which is based on JF Standard for Japanese Language Education  and emphasises learning Japanese for practical communication and cultural understanding, was very appropriate to the JET participants, who will soon find themselves in situations where they will need Japanese in order to accomplish basic tasks such as ordering food, meeting new people, and teaching Japanese school pupils. To keep the course effective and enjoyable, Tsunematsu-sensei incorporated many different activities into the lessons, including role-play, games and videos of Japanese life.

We were also very fortunate to be joined by fluent Japanese-speaking volunteers, who gave participants the opportunity to practice their newly-acquired Japanese and ask questions about Japanese language and culture.

 Some of the feedback from participants included:

 “Very useful, and good value. Having volunteers to speak to was really good as we could explore related vocab and phrases and learn more about Japan.”

“Practising with native speakers was very useful. It was also enjoyable to hear about the culture first-hand.”

“Very good, very happy, inexpensive and met some lovely Japanese people. Very happy!”

The participants will all be travelling out to Japan in August, and we wish them all the best of luck – ganbatte kudasai!

A big thank you to all the participants for coming, and an especially big thank you to the Japanese-speaking volunteers  - ARIGATOU GOZAIMASHITA!