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Diary from Japan — Day 6

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 Sandra Larios, and has received no editing from the college.

Today was an adventure filled day! We had the amazing opportunity to travel to Osaka today! It was such an amazing experience! Out first stop was the temple, which was really beautiful and fun to explore! We were able to go all the way to the 8th floor to get a bird’s eye view of Osaka! (Below you can find images) after the temple, we went to go explore another temple. We then made our way to the fine arts museum, which turned out to be a lot smaller than expected, but it was still fun. We got told that we out hand fans were too dangerous so we had to put them away! It was so hot today! Later on, we stopped by a Japanese garden which was just absolutely breathtaking! All in all, we did a lot of walking and experienced a little of the culture Osaka has to off!

Diary from Japan — Day 4

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 Gracie Lee, and has received no editing from the college.

Wow! What another exciting day in Japan! I still can’t believe that we’ve been in Japan for nearly a week!

Some of us began the morning with a run and climbing stairs at 5:30 a.m. After the run, it was time to get ready for the school day.

Today’s adventure at the schools would be slightly different as a school assembly would take place in the morning. It was mind-boggling to see 700 students be so quiet and aligned perfectly in single file lines.

Each student was attentive and on task as the principle gave a speech about cyber-bullying. Although we could not fully understand the message, we did hear the principle say “is it true, is it necessary, and is it kind?” to the students. His message was powerful to the students.

After the assembly, it was time for us to teach our lesson! We have been modifying and improving our “Cha Cha Slide” lesson since our first time teaching it. Today, we modified our Cognitive Content Dictionary to make it more purposeful for the second year students. We also decided to allow the first year and second year students time to draw their own picture for each word as art is prevalent in their culture.

After our lesson, we headed back to the Hostel only to find out it was closed for construction. So, we all went our different ways waiting about 4.5 hours to pass by so we could get back into the Hostel and rest before the baseball game. Although I am extremely picky about the foods I choose to eat, I was adventurous as I tried some new pastries and meat. I must say that it was rather delicious and I was missing out! Enjoying new foods, the sun and the culture helped make the time go by quickly. It was amazing to see how quickly and punctual the Japanese culture is with tasks as the construction was complete when we arrived back at the Hostel.

At the Hostel, we relaxed for a bit and then we got ready for our first Japanese baseball game! It was an experience we were looking forward to. It was great seeing the fans, players, and experiencing the atmosphere. The crowd definitely made the experience worth remembering. Some of us even got to talk to some of the people who live there! They sure were a blast, cracking jokes with us. It was really cool to see the balloon ceremony during the seventh inning. One of the people there helped me and Kim blow up our balloons to the country’s standards before they were released. As we were leaving the game, we all felt like rock stars as fans were high-fiving us on the way out. Let’s just say it was an experience that we will never forget!

As we head back to the Hostel, we are all worn out from the day’s activities. It was another great day in Japan and we can’t wait to visit the elementary school tomorrow and enjoy a dinner party with the teachers!

Diary from Japan — Day 3

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.

~Kimberlee Moon

College inks new MOU w/ Okinawa

Washington State University and the College of Education have signed two Memorandums of Understanding with Okinawa Prefecture city and educational leaders, to pave the way for more Okinawan students to attend WSU.

In consecutive signings, vice president for international programs Asif Chaudhry was the lead authority from WSU. The first signing was a program renewal that will bring secondary education students to the WSU campus in July for an immersive three-week experience. The Okinawa American Language and Culture Camp was housed under the Intensive American Language Center, but will transition away from the IALC and toward the College of Education.

“Our hope is to have even more programs with Japan, and, in this case, get even more Okinawan students,” said Paula Groves Price, the college’s associate dean for diversity and international programs.

As part of this renewal, associate professor of literacy Jane Kelley will spend a week in Japan in August also teaching English.

The other MOU was between the College of Education and the Kitanakagusuku Board of Education, for the Online Developing Okinawa Through English (DOTE) program. Using web conferencing and other technology, students in that Japanese school district will take part in a series of weekend classes to help advance their language acquisition and use.

Dean Mike Trevisan represented the College of Education in the signing.

 

Photos from the signing are located at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/118927064@N04/albums/72157680839531582

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