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Japanese tasters, origami ninjas and “radio exercises” at Language Show Live 2016

A big thank you to everyone who visited the Japan Foundation’s stand at the Language Show Live on 14th, 15th and 16th October at the Olympia, London.

Held once a year, the Language Show is the UK's biggest event for language learners, teachers, linguists and anyone with a passion for languages.  The Japan Foundation’s stand gave visitors a chance to experience Japanese language and culture, including writing their name in Japanese and making origami ninjas! Visitors also assisted by completing surveys about Japanese. 96% of those surveyed said that they were currently studying, had previously studied or were interested in studying Japanese, which is very encouraging! We also found out that a number of Japan Foundation resources, including the Marugoto textbook series, Erin's Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese and MARUGOTO+, were popular among those surveyed. Throughout the show, visitors could also have a free Japanese taster session with Japan Foundation’s Assistant Japanese Language Advisor, Kanako Ukai.

On Saturday morning, we were very lucky to be joined by Mary-Grace Browning MBE, Chair of Examiners for Edexcel GCSE Japanese. She presented a seminar on learning language through problem-solving via a case study of UK-Japan Young Scientists partnerships, which involve exchanges between school students in the UK and Japan to experience science as a cultural bridge where by working together they learn to value each other’s languages and way of life.

Later in the afternoon, we were joined in the Language Show’s Piazza by representatives of the Japan Sport Council, and Paralympian Gold Medallist (and fluent Japanese speaker) Noel Thatcher, to introduce Japanese “radio exercises” or rajio taisoo. First, Noel told us a little bit about what it means to be a Paralympian and the many ways his Japanese language skills have contributed towards his life. Next, Ukai-sensei from the Japan Foundation taught the audience how to count in Japanese and were then given opportunity to practise their new language skills together with trying rajio taisoo for themselves, led by Noel. You can try out rajio taisoo for yourself by watching the video and viewing more information at our Marugoto Life & Culture Lab website.

We would like to thank Mary-Grace Browning, Japan Sport Council, Noel Thatcher and all our Japanese Taster for Schools volunteers who generously donated their time and expertise for the show.  Domo arigato gozaimashita!

Japan Foundation will also be attending the 2017 Language Show Live in London on October 14th – 16th. We hope to see you there!