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Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme Volunteer Training Day November 2016

On November 25th 2016, 32 current and prospective volunteers attended a Training Day for the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme, in which native and fluent Japanese speakers conduct free Japanese taster sessions in UK schools. The Training Day was held at Conway Hall in London.

After an overview for new volunteers about the Japan Foundation and the JTS programme itself, the participants heard reports from volunteers who had held Japanese tasters at schools via the JTS Programme. Aya Kamura Mirto on her visit to Westdene Primary School in Brighton; a taster which led to her being employed there as teacher of their Japanese club. Next, Ceri Edwards talked about her visit to Chaddesley Corbett Primary School in Worcestershire, which also resulted in the school starting a Japanese Club at which Ceri now works.

These reports were followed by workshops held by two of the JTS Programme’s most experienced volunteers. Mihoko Noguchi, who has been volunteering for JTS for over 2 years and has visited 12 schools, presented some of the ways to teach Japanese in Secondary Schools, with a particular focus on numbers and enjoyable ways to teach them. She was followed by Hitomi Ito-Burton, who has been a JTS volunteer for over 4 years and has visited 9 schools, and she presented on teaching activities for Primary School pupils, including song and dance.

Finally, the Training Day ended with a discussion session on ideas for teaching Japanese as a home, heritage and mother-tongue language, led by Japan Foundation London’s Chief Japanese Language Advisor, Makoto Netsu. The discussion enabled participants to exchange tips and tricks on teaching Japanese to their pupils and their own children.

Some of the feedback from participants from the training day included:


(“The reports on school visits by volunteers were really useful. I got a good grasp of volunteering is really like.”)

“I enjoyed the activities for teaching Japanese. By being made to join in the activities, I was able to understand clearly their effectiveness and how fun it can be for both the student and volunteers themselves.”

(“It was good to be able to exchange all sorts of ideas. I now want to put some of the practical ideas for activities for teaching Japanese to use.”)

We would like to thank all participants for coming, especially our guest speakers!

You can view more photos from the event on our Facebook page here. 

If you are interested in taking part in the JTS programme as a volunteer, please click here for more information.