Year 4 Japanese

Year 4 students are learning simple classroom instructions in Japanese this term. There are six main phrases they are learning. In years past, the students struggled to remember the phrases so we have been experimenting in how best to learn and remember them. The main task the children will do this term is to create a board game using symbols that represent the phrases. For example, a chair with an arrow pointing down means “suwatte kudasai.” Creating the board game helps the students to say the phrases often and creating the symbol helps cement the meaning in their memory.

The other task the students do is to write a short story including the six new phrases and four general greetings such as konnichi wa. The story is in English but they must include the Japanese phrases in such a way that a non-Japanese speaker could understand their meaning using the context of the sentence. For example “Chaney Sensei said “Tatte kudasai.”  so we all quietly pushed our chairs back and got up.” This is a difficult but very useful activity as it is making the students think of the meaning of the phrases and use them in a variety of contexts. At the end of the term, the children read their stories to the class and the students record all the Japanese phrases they heard and give constructive feedback to their classmates. Japanese in Year Four is action packed and full of challenges. Next term, we start to learn the story of Harapeko Aomushi, The Hungry Caterpillar and we have the speech contest for years 1-4.

Katya Chaney

Year 4 Japanese Teacher


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