German Study-Abroad Students at OKU Participate in JASSO-Sponsored Training Program
Five students from the Japanese language program at Osaka Kyoiku University's German partner school University of Trier took part in the Japan-Germany Education Comparative Training Program from September 10–26. The students were all selected for participation under the auspices of the Support Program for International Students (short-term) of the Japan Student Services Association (JASSO). Four of the students were awarded scholarships, while the fifth participated at private expense.
Nearly all of the training program was conducted in Japanese to improve the language skills of the students. The program began with lectures on "Japanese Elementary Schools" and "English Education at Japan's Junior High Schools." This was followed by visits to three Tondabayashi publicly operated schools—Daisan Junior High School and Tojo and Kishi-Nishi Elementary Schools—to observe classes and hold demonstration lessons.
The demonstration lesson on "An Introduction to German Culture" entailed using Japanese in the elementary schools and English in the junior high school. In order to make the material readily comprehensible and interesting to the children, the lessons focused on such topics as Japanese anime and manga in Germany, German elementary school students, German food, and German loan words used in Japanese. The weekend was also used for the trainees to enjoy a taste of Japanese traditional culture with visits to the Yamamoto Noh Theater and the Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum.
OKU students with an interest in Germany provided ongoing support as tutors over the course of the program, turning it into a valuable opportunity for the Japanese students as well in terms of international exchange and understanding a foreign culture.
OKU International Center faculty took note also how the German students' interactions with OKU's president and younger members of the university's staff gave them a better sense of what the university is all about, and expressed the hope that they would return as exchange students.