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Japanese Tasters at European Day of Languages

This year's European Day of Languages was on 26th September, and many schools took the opportunity to timetable language activities to celebrate the day. John Betts School in Hammersmith arranged a number of activities, which included Japanese language tasters by StepOutNet volunteers Rie Sogo and Chika Yamamoto.

The volunteers spent the first half-hour with year 3, learning Japanese numbers through word association and actions (where 'ichi' is 'itchy' and the children scratch their arms as they say it). We all then played bingo in Japanese. Following this, Rie & Chika spent 30 minutes with year 2, then Reception and Year 1, where they taught the pupils to say 'konnichiwa' and read a story about a zoo. They learnt different animals' Japanese names, and the sounds they make in Japanese (a pig in Japan says 'buu buu'!) The children practiced saying 'konnichiwa' and bowing to each other. Later in the day, Chika & Rie also spent time with year 5 and year 6, showing them Japanese calligraphy. The pupils learned about the 3 Japanese alphabets, and picked the different letters out in Japanese newspapers. They then drew pictures of trees and rivers, and tried to find the correct kanji characters from a poster. Once they had correctly located 木 and 川 they practiced painting them, copying Chika's stroke order from the white board.

If you are interested in organising a Japanese Language Taster for your school, the Japan Foundation can arrange for a StepOutNet volunteer to visit. StepOutNet visits can be organised for any phase or age group - click here for more information.