Thursday, November 9, 2017

Interacting with a Japanese AIESEC Volunteer: Japanese School Life and Taiwanese Sports Day

My homeroom class, gifted students, the International Cultural Exchange Club and even some colleges that are learning Japanese all enjoyed this language and cultural exchange experience with Fuka's introduction to Japanese school life and appreciated the opportunity to practice speaking Japanese. Thanks to Alicia's generosity and help, I got to invite this kind and wonderful AIESEC volunteer to come to my school and benefit so many students the whole afternoon.

Japanese School Life
These students practiced their listening comprehension to understand her presentation in such an authentic context. In fact, some of them really plucked up their courage and asked questions, which is anything but an easy task in this test-driven setting in Taiwan because nobody wants to take the risk of making mistakes in public. On top of that, they were quite amazed by some fun facts about school life in Japan, including AC in every classroom, extracurricular activity after school every day, and the much shorter hours they need to stay in school.

Taiwanese Sports Day
What even impressed me more was that my gifted students did an excellent job introducing the school' sports day, such as the opening ceremony, the theme-based costume parade, the relay race, and the talent show in English. Of course, there were still some grammatical errors, but for the very first time, I did see them put effort into showcasing what they're really capable of and think in English about the topic as well.

Language Exchange
During the recess, I showed Fuka to the Homeroom Teacher's Office and met some of my colleges who are keen on practicing their Japanese with this native speaker. It was amusing to hear them converse in the language I don't understand. In addition, they shared some famous tourist spots even Fuka has never been to or heard of. One of my colleges said that she had traveled in Japan over ten times. 

Students’ Feedback
As usual, many of my students left their reflections on this experience and proposed some very interesting ideas about the differences between Taiwan and Japan. I can actually feel that they also began to realize how interesting it is to USE English and learn to appreciate the differences in terms of the education system and school life of these two countries.

Without a doubt, I myself take pride in introducing the beauty of Taiwan to foreigners as well as valuing my country's strengths and uniqueness through a totally different perspective while showing them around.

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