Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Very Special Visitor!

 On Friday, we were very lucky to have a special visitor in St. Clare's Class. Kyoko came to visit us from the Japan Foundation and we had a wonderful morning together!

Kyoko is from Japan and teaches Japanese to children and adults in London. We were very fortunate that she could come and help us to learn some Japanese too!

We began the morning by learning how to greet one another in Japanese and how to introduce ourselves. We learned how to say 'hello', 'good morning', 'thank you', 'my name is...', 'I am 9/10 years old' and 'it's nice to meet you'. Kyoko also taught us the importance of bowing and how to bow appropriately. Before the end of this session, we were able to have a short conversation with a partner and sing a song to the tune of 'Row Row Row Your Boat' with all of the new phrases we had learned.

Excitingly, Kyoko told us that a very special Japanese festival is coming up soon, on 7th July. She told us the story of Tanabata (see the video below):

It's a beautiful story and it was very interesting to hear how Tanabata is celebrated in Japan. Kyoko told us that on this day, people write their wishes on colourful strips of paper called 'tanzaku'.

 Source: thejapanguy
 Source: nihonsun

She kindly brought some along for us, so that we could write some wishes of our own! We wrote our wishes in English, but Kyoko helped us to write some of the key words in Japanese too. Once we had written and decorated our wishes on the tanzaku, we had a moment of quiet reflection as we placed them onto the branches of our special 'tree'.

After play, we learned how to say and write numbers in Japanese, using the kanji characters. We loved reciting the numbers and learning the actions to go with them! Once we had a good understanding of the numbers, Kyoko thought we were ready to learn how to write dates. We were fascinated to learn how the months are written in kanji and we were all trying to say our birthday dates at lunchtime and in the afternoon!
We learned more greetings too and Kyoko helped us to say 'My favourite thing is...' and worked with each of us, one at a time, to tell us how to say our favourite things! We learned how to say 'skateboarding', 'art', 'science', 'football' and all sorts of other hobbies in Japanese!

What a wonderful opportunity- arigato gozaimasu, Kyoko!


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