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Adventure Beyond Language: Building Community and Understanding Culture in the LfA Japanese Elementary Course

Posted on 29 May 2024

After months of diligent study, the students enrolled in the LfA Japanese Elementary Course 23-24 proudly showcased a brief summary of their accomplishments on 29th April (Group 2) and 1st May (Group 1), marking a significant milestone in their learning journey.

This event did more than just foster a stronger bond within the group; it also created a more personalised learning environment. Students were given the freedom to select their project work, which involved finding a suitable Kobanashi from a diverse range of stories. They were even encouraged to support the backstage operations and preparations. These projects posed challenges that required significant preparation and coordination. Furthermore, the collaborative nature of the work enhanced community building. As students learned and practised together, they gained valuable insights into the history and intricacies of their chosen projects.

The pedagogical approach of learning through presentation and authenticity instilled confidence in the students and helped them overcome making mistakes. Additionally, it fostered a deeper understanding of the culture that extends beyond the language itself.

Overall, the students found the process of preparation and performance to be stimulating, engaging, and enjoyable. This celebration stands as a testament to their hard work and dedication throughout the course.

Quotes from students:

"I got a new appreciation for a presentation form with which I had no prior knowledge. It was very rewarding to not only learn about what kobanashi are but to also then get to learn about the aspects of the performance first-hand."

"I have gained a wider range of vocabulary and grammatical structures in addition to using vocabulary and structures already learned. I was also able to practise reading, writing and speaking in Japanese."

"I would like to be able to watch a real performance and understand the humour, so I would need to be better at Japanese!"