Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Jul 28 | University of Nagasaki Sasebo | High School Summer English Camp

I participated in the Nagasaki Prefectural High School Summer English Camp here at the University of Nagasaki in Sasebo.  Students came from Nagasaki area high schools for the purpose of experiencing a university-level communication class.  I worked with Yuichi Yamasaki on the project.  Basically, students came to our school on a Saturday and we gave them two lessons.

The theme of my lesson was "English First Impressions."  I focused on showing the students how to make a good first impression using English.  We worked on their English greetings.  I was able to show the students how using a proper English greeting without mixing in Japanese culture and custom will send the right message when meeting new native English speakers.  Some examples of this are:
  • Using English-style names - put First Name then Last Name (the opposite of Japanese-style).
  • Saying your name slowly and clearly so English speakers can understand at first their Japanese names.
  • Telling the person what to call you.
  • Making eye contact (very important in the western cultures).
  • Proper handshaking techniques.
In the second half of the lesson, I used a conversation dialogue to help students both practice their greetings and also make the first bit of small-talk when getting to know someone new.  The focus of the conversation was two people meeting on a bus for the first time.  The students used the conversation and with a bit of drama coaching got a chance to speak English with feeling and emotions including nervousness and excitement - two emotions often experienced when meeting someone new.

In overview, the classes went pretty well but the students seems lethargic and sleepy at times.  This was probably due to a busy English camp schedule of which our university was just one stop along the road of their numerous activities.

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