Stuyvesant students making a video message
In December KAC Vice President, Shanti Shoji, and I visited Stuyvesant High School and Clarkstown High School North in New York to meet with teachers and students participating in Global Classmates. Through these visits, we get to learn more about how the teachers are implementing the Global Classmates program into their classrooms and see the impact the program is having on the students first hand.
We were so impressed with the fantastic work they are doing! Not only are students enjoying communicating with their friends in Japan, but the teachers are using fun and creative techniques to fully engage their students in the program, such as creating a video of students singing Jingle Bells in Japanese that was shared with students in Japan! Below are some examples of what the students shared with us:
A boy from Clarkstown High School North lit up as he talked about how much he has enjoyed connecting with students in Japan. He talked about his plans to go to Japan after college to teach English and how this program has been a great way to practice his Japanese. He is so eager to use Japanese as much as possible that he is always checking and posting comments even outside of the classroom!
A girl from Stuyvesant High School commented how surprised she was that they were able to talk about so many different topics with the Japanese students with their limited vocabulary. She had to learn to be creative to figure out ways to say what she wanted to say with the Japanese words she already knew. At the same time, she had to be thoughtful in the way she wrote in English too so that it was not too difficult for the Japanese students learning English to understand.
A boy from Stuyvesant High School shared that he enjoyed finding out what the Japanese students are really like and what kind of things they are into, which are things he wouldn’t get to learn in a regular classroom. He also liked seeing how the students in Japan write in Japanese and the vocabulary that they use so he can learn how “real” students communicate.
We will be wrapping up this year’s program at the end of February and we hope that this experience will motivate the students to continue their study of the foreign language and learn about each other’s culture. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these wonderful passionate students!
Clarkstown North student checking comments
Students working together to post comments
Asking sensei for some help with a Japanese word