January, 2012: Breeze Issue #51
A Free Monthly E-Newsletter for Friends of Japan & Teachers of Japanese
Sayaka Hanami (Kelly Walsh High School, WY)
“What are you doing in
My name is Sayaka Hanami, and I’m from
Our classes are 90 minutes long, which is a very long time not only for high school students, but also for teachers. The most difficult thing is to keep them concentrated on the subject. So we are trying to do some physical activities such as singing J-POP songs, doing group match quizzes, drawing pictures, and acting out mini dramas.
The classes are long, but we can work on big project during that time as well. Last semester, we studied about “BENTO” which is a Japanese styled lunch box. After studying about “BENTO,” students made their own bento box using the knowledge that they acquired including nutrition balance, color balance, and the importance of making it be cute for Japanese culture. Even now, some students are bringing their own bento boxes for lunch instead eating cafeteria food.
As you know, a big earthquake and tsunami struck Japan last year on March 11. Because of the problems related to that disaster, many tourists from foreign countries to Japan have decreased. It is a very sad situation because I know how beautiful Japan is, especially Tohoku area. I think the most important thing that I can do as a Japanese teaching assistant is to present an accurate picture of Japan. In two months, it will be one year from that disaster, but it will take much more time to revive the area. I would like my students to understand that Japan still needs help and support by foreign countries.
My school is the only one school that has Japanese Language education for K-12 in
I learned a lot about American culture so far, and I’m looking forward to learning more. When I go back to