My distant cousin is a teacher for a local elementary school, so I asked him if I can visit his school to see how English is being taught in Japan.
Before I joined this industry by chance, I had a tiny dream of teaching English in Japan. So I was really excited when my cousin said that the principal approved my visit.
It was a nice, sunny day. It was supposed to snow, but lucky me, it didn't.
I went in and thanked the principal. We talked a bit about how all the ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) left after the quakenami because they were scared of radiation and stuff.
And after discussing what we were doing for class that day with my cousin and the Japanese ALT, we went to class.
The children were so cute! It was a combined class of 5th and 6th graders for the English session.
I went in and introduced myself in English first. My cousin (their teacher) asked if they understood what I said. They understood some words such as "translator" and "movies."
I then introduced myself in Japanese, and we started class.
The topic of the day was "What I want to be when I grow up." An electronic text book thing played an audio recording of various occupations, and after the students practiced the pronunciations they answered what they wanted to be.
During practice, the kids asked me to repeat the occupations. They were surprised that "photographer" and "sumo wrestler" was pronounced differently than what they thought.
At the end of the class, I gave them my impressions in English. Again, they were asked if they understood any of the words. Then I translated my words into Japanese, and left.
Sigh... The children were so cute. And their dean (dressed in P.E. clothes that day!) was so cheerful and funny.
I hope I can go back, because I really liked the staff and students.
Maybe I can have my niece attend that school for a summer or two.