May 28, 2015

Cultural Exchange with Elementary School Children in Japan

I took part in an event which was organized for exchange students called ‘Cultural Exchange with Elementary School Children’. It is an event where knowledge is exchanged between elementary kids and exchange students of Seinan Gakuin. I and the other exchange students were guided to the elementary school which does not lie far from my university’s campus.

When we arrived at the elementary schools hall we had to put off our shoes and wear slippers. A teacher came to show us the school; it was an English teacher from Australia. I was astonished by the luxury of the school because there were better bathrooms, dining rooms and class rooms than I ever had at my school. It turned out to be a private elementary school which has very high tuition fees. Furthermore, the teacher showed the chapel where the children regularly pray (it is a Christian school). I noticed that the school was very clean which shows that the pupils are very disciplined.

After the tour through the elementary school, we had to go to a room where 70 children were waiting for us. I only had to say my name and from which country I am from by using a flag and point it at the world map. After the introduction we had to sing along to an English children song with the pupils and the teacher. It was funny to see the teacher in a business suit because it seemed way too formal for an elementary school. I guess it’s the rule of the elementary school to show that the teacher is a professional in the subject they are giving.

Also, I had to teach pupils English by asking questions such as ‘What’s your name?’ and ‘How many pets do you have?’. After every 3 minutes I had to go to another group of children and ask the same questions. I also had to play a board game where children had to guess which English sentence belong to which picture. The children were very excited and wild about the board game that they forgot that the exchange students were there to help them out. At the end of the event, I had to eat together with the children in the cafeteria. They all had cute white uniforms so their school uniform does not become dirty. It was an interesting day!

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