Grants in Action!

Training Program for Teachers of Japanese at The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa

As a participant in the Intensive Language Program for Teachers conducted by the Japan Foundation, it is my pleasure to share some thoughts about this program. I am currently in Japan studying at the Japan Foundation Language Institute in Kita-Urawa for seven weeks. Participants come from all around the world bringing with them diverse backgrounds and teaching experiences. There are 52 teachers participating in this program and using Japanese as the common language has enabled us to get to know each other and share thoughts on many topics, including the teaching of Japanese. This has been one of the highlights of the program.

The emphasis of the Intensive Language Program is on language acquisition. Participants are placed into four different classes depending on their language ability. These intensive classes focus on a range of topics and are structured to build knowledge of the language. Additional classes provide us with information about teaching methods and Japanese culture. We have participated in a number of field trips including school visits, watching the tea ceremony, attending sumo and a kabuki performance. There is a good balance between each area of the program.

The facilities at the Language Institute are excellent. The classrooms are well equipped and the library has an excellent collection of Japanese language material from throughout the world. It has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to source new ideas and resources to use in my own classroom.

Overall, I would recommend this excellent program to all Japanese teachers. It is a wonderful opportunity to be immersed in the language and culture of Japan and to acquire new knowledge and skills to enhance your classroom practice.

Danielle Blomeley
Training program for Teachers of the Japanese Language, 2013

If you are a current teacher of Japanese and interested in applying for this program, please see more information on - applications open in September.
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 Japanese Programs in Schools Grant – Establishing New Programs
Earlier this year, MacKillop Catholic College in the Northern Territory set up a Japanese program with the assistance of a Japanese Programs in Schools Grant from The Japan Foundation, Sydney. This enabled them to be reimbursed for the necessary resources and materials purchased to establish their program.

They now have Japanese classes for Years 7 to 10. The beautiful ありがとうございました’s were written by the Year 8/9 group, who have been working hard at mastering reading and writing hiragana.

MacKillop Catholic College opened last year and is located 20km outside of Darwin. They believe that offering the students the opportunity to study Japanese language and culture will encourage them to not only learn a new language but to also celebrate differences and become more tolerant and open minded. The Japanese teacher, Zoe Saliba, is looking forward to further encouraging Japanese study, as well as making connections with the local community and participating in any Japan-Australia events.

Are you interested in applying for a grant for your school?
Please see our Grants page for what is available for you!

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 Support for Seminars and Conferences Grant – Obento Workshop in WA

The Department of Education in WA was one of the recipients of The Japan Foundation, Sydney’s grant to support seminars, conferences and workshops.

They successfully ran their ever popular “Obento” workshop at two locations, one in the Southwest region which was attended by students and teachers from 6 schools and one at The Hyogo Centre in Perth, which was attended by 12 different schools.

The students learnt about Obento lunch boxes in Japan and the importance of nutritional balance. They used this when making their own Obento for their lunch.

The final task was for groups to design their own “WA” Obento to promote the foods of their area as well as their state. The expo to “sell” their lunch boxes saw students enthusiastically promoting their obento with calls of “irrashaimase!”, “Oishi desu yo!” and answering questions about the contents of their obento to “shoppers”.

Every single one of the students was enthusiastically involved and teachers were impressed by how comfortable the student’s became with using Japanese throughout the day.

Yuko Fujimitsu (Japanese Language Advisor, WA), Melissa Luyke (Deputy Director, Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre), Shingo Usami and Hiroko Koga did a wonderful job of working together to organize and present this successful workshop which has now been implemented in other states around Australia as well.

If you are interested in finding out about grants available, or about the Obento Workshop, please contact:

Photo courtesy of Hiroko Koga
Location: Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre, City Beach, Perth, WA
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