Konnichiwa, oh là là and Schuplatten
Language pedagogy has come a long way since the days of chanting “amo, amas, amat”, while trying to master the ablative absolute and the gerundive. Today, it’s less about repetition and more about student interaction and engagement as evidenced by our recent Japanese Excursion and LOTE Workshop.
Last Tuesday, Mr Douglas took his Year 10 Japanese class off to the Nihongo Tanken Centre in Kirawee, where they immersed themselves in a range of language and cultural activities. Here is what Sophie and Abigail (Year 10) had to say about the excursion.
“みなさん こんいちは！Or minasan and konnichiwa! Last week, Wenona and Shores’ Year 10 Japanese classes had the privilege of travelling to the Nihongo Tanken Centre in Kirawee. The にほんご たんけん Centre provides a unique experience for students in years K to 12 to further develop their Japanese skills in a stimulating and authentic Japanese environment. During the day, Wenona and Shore were split into mixed groups and participated in activities that challenged our Japanese skills whilst also providing insight into Japan’s rich culture. The Wenona and Shore Japanese classes have recently been learning about how to answer questions about ourselves, our School, our family and the sports that we play. These skills were tested in the activities. The most favourable activities across the classes were the game show, pictionary and quiz, providing a lot of laughs and fun. After engaging in a range of activities, we ate a traditional Japanese bento lunch. We are all very thankful for this experience and enjoyed being able to put our Japanese into practice.”
On Friday, the LOTE Department held a fun workshop in the Hall for our Year 8 Language students under the auspices of Mr Boschiero, Director of International and Global Studies at Wenona.
Monsieur Pierre Alain brought his wonderful ‘Concert Pop’ to Wenona, with a rousing rendition of the French song Oh, Champs Elysées - complete with a Gaellic-version of the Mexican wave! He mixed in different pop music styles to bring to life various French cultural and historical movements. It was an engaging way to demonstrate to our students how French music has influenced the world. Oh là là!
They then had a taste of Latin American culture, learning about salsa, bachata and other Latin dance styles with professional dancers from Latin Dance Australia. The students mastered some impressive salsa moves in an interactive dance class before enjoying a wonderful performance of salsa and bachata dance routines.
Kung Fu means learning through practice and this particular form of martial art developed more than 4,000 years ago. The students learnt more about this ancient discipline, jostling and kicking their way through an energetic and hands-on experience.
Students then spent an hour learning the mindful Japanese art of origami or paper folding. The hall was filled with colour as they created paper cranes, a widely recognised symbol of peace and hope in Japan. The students of Japanese enjoyed sharing this fun and cultural activity with their Spanish and German-learning friends.
The workshop ended with some German dancing. Rowan Klassen came to show some of the Year 8 girls the traditional Bavarian dancing style known as Schuhplatten. The dance requires a lot of energy and power while you slap your shoes, thighs and legs. Rowan had the whole room - including staff - slapping, clapping and schuhplatting to the sound of Bavarian folk music. He also talked about the importance of fitness and positivity and demonstrated some extreme physical challenges that the girls attempted. Some successfully!
It was all a far cry from days gone by. And what better way to help our students conjugate their verbs correctly, than encourage them to sing, dance and interact.
Bien fait Wenona!