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In 2010 I had just arrived as Principal of Sherwood School when I was awarded a ASIA:NZ and Japanese Language Foundation to attend an intensive japanese language course at the Japan Foundation in Kansei, Osaka, Japan for 3 weeks.

The course entailed:

1. Distinctive High-Quality Education of the Japan Foundation

The JF language course is based on experiences and know-how of the Japan Foundation, which has been promoting Japanese-language education overseas over the years. Teachers having completed our training courses design the syllabus and conduct classes. Based on the level of the JF STANDARD FOR JAPANESE-LANGUAGE EDUCATION, learners’ Japanese-language proficiency can be evaluated with can-do-statements, which describe what the learners can do in Japanese. This encourages the learners to establish a concrete goal to be realized.

2. Learn Japanese Culture as well as Language

To improve communication skills, both competence in accomplishing tasks and competence in intercultural understanding are required. The JF language course has prepared textbooks to learn Japanese society and culture as well as Japanese language. This aims to develop competence in accomplishing tasks in Japanese and furthermore to have Japanese learners feel familiar to people living in the Japanese society.

3. Diverse Cultural Experience and Exchange Programs

The JF language course provides a wide range of events to feel the touch of Japanese culture such as music, film, art and cuisine, the latest information on Japan, and cultural exchange programs out of classroom by making the most use of advantages of the Japan Foundation as an institution to comprehensively implement international cultural exchanges. Through such cultural experience activities, participants of the JF language course can broaden their perspective on Japanese culture and understand the culture more deeply.

During this time I took part in classes everyday, stayed the night in a traditional japanese stayover in Kyoto, visited traditional sights and temples in Kyoto, Osaka and Nara, participated in a tea ceremony, travelled all over Osaka by tube, had a home stay with a family to improve my Japanese.

My final assessment was to present a speech on my stay in Japanese and enter into conversational japanese with one of the tutors.

I was awarded a certificate for completion of the course.

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