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Japan Foundation at the 2014 Language Show Live

A big thank you to everyone who visited the Japan Foundation’s stand at the Language Show Live on the 17th, 18th and 19th October at Olympia.

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.

On Friday, for the first time, the Japan Foundation held a presentation on kami-shibai (a traditional form of Japanese story-telling with pictures), and how this can be used effectively to teach not only Japanese, but any foreign language. This presentation used resources from the newly-developed Japanese Language Scheme of Work for Primary Schools, and Japanese Taster Lesson Sample Activity Pack.

On Saturday, we held a Japanese Language Taster session led by the Japan Foundation’s Assistant Japanese Language Advisor, Mio Tsunematsu. It was attended by enthusiastic language learners of all ages, who learned basic Japanese greetings and the writing system.

Finally, on Sunday, we were very lucky to be joined by Crispin Chambers, Head of Japanese at Tavistock College and winner of the Pearson National Teaching Award of Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School for his work in Japanese.  He held a seminar on encouraging students to study languages by introducing them to less common, non-European languages (such as Japanese).

Additionally, we held a Japan Quiz, which approximately 700 people entered. 

The answers to the quiz were as follows:

1. Japan is in which continent?  a) Europe       b) Asia      c) Oceania
Answer: b) Asia. Japan is in East Asia.

2. What Hollywood film was inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s classic Japanese film ‘Seven Samurai’?  a) The Magnificent Seven   b) King Kong   c) Jurassic Park
Answer: a) Seven Samurai. John Sturges’ 1960 movie The Magnificent Seven was inspired by Kurosawa’s 1954 movie, Shichinin no samurai, called “Seven Samurai” in English.

3. The kanji (Japanese character) means “words,” and the kanji  means “tongue.” What do you think their combination, , means? a) To taste   b) To read   c) To speak
Answer: c) To speak. 
The Japanese word to speak is “hanasu” (す).

4. What is Japan’s famous high-speed train, the Shinkansen, also known as? a) The Bullet-Train      b) The Maglev      c) The TGV
Answer: a) The Bullet-Train. 
The Maglev is the more recent “magnetic levitation” train, and the TGV is France’s high-speed rail service.

Out of those who answered the quiz correctly, we picked five at random to send our Japan Foundation Goody Bag. Congratulations to Luke O’Donovan, Michal Dzienio, Brigitte Barrett, David Bonnano and Honorata Radwanska who have all been sent Goody Bags!

We would like to thank Crispin Chambers 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 Language Show in 2015, on October 16th, 17th and 18th  at the Olympia, London. We hope to see you there!