From time to time, participants in the college’s study abroad to Nishinomiya, Japan, led by Tom Salsbury, will be giving updates on their experiences. This one was written by preservice teacher Kimberlee Moon, and has received no editing from the college.
Today was another wonderful day spent with the students at Nauro Junior High School in Nishinomiya, Japan. To start the morning a few of us went for a brisk morning run discovering new places near our hostel. Then most of us grabbed a quick breakfast at the 7/11 convenience store. Although I would never buy any food from a gas station or convenience store in the US, that is the way to go here and it is delicious! We took our normal morning stroll to the train station to head to the school. Compared to the Japanese, we walk really slowly.
At the school, the students gave us presentations on Japanese culture, anime, food, festivals, and games. Then we taught them some new English words. Our lesson first introduced the focus words using the technique ‘total physical response.’ Then we had the students complete a cognitive content dictionary. Once they finished their dictionary, they moved their desks like clockwork to the sides of the room clearing our dance floor. All of the students lined up and we all danced to the “Cha-Cha Slide.” They loved learning about a traditional American dance that is played at almost every school dance in the United States and enjoyed learning new words at the same time! This opportunity to teach the students touch not only my heart but the hearts of my colleagues. It has rekindled my passion for teaching especially teaching English Language Learners.
After teaching our lessons, we all headed to the mall to eat some lunch before heading to the “hot room” (this is the name we give it because it is hot and stuffy) for our seminar. After the seminar, we went to the Board of Education building and met the superintendent. He was fun and gave us great advice. “Express and connection your emotions and allow everyone to. It is important to keep trying to communicate.” He said this in regard to teaching and communicating in foreign languages. This was one of the highlights of our day!
And this is how you know you have the best professor as your leader for your study abroad program… Tom played along today in learning Japanese phrases that will help him get a haircut. The front desk person at our hostel recommended a place to which we went. Upon arriving the sign said, “Women’s hair salon.” We went in and after a confusing exchange, Tom signed up for a shampoo and haircut. Let me tell you I think he was a little nervous! It turned out great and was an amazing cultural experience that made one of our daily highlights!
Now our day is coming to a close. We have just hung out in our hostel’s living quarters and picked up dinner at the market. A nice relaxing way to end our day full of laughter, adventures, and hopes of much more to come.