Hey guys! Anyone know what my title says? Bonus points if you do...
I'm taking a quick study break because I just have to share this story with you all!
As most of you know I am completely switching gears and have begun a career in education and am working on my Master's of Science in Teaching - Elementary Ed. at Drake University, here in Des Moines. My endorsement areas when I am all said and done will be in Special Education (my primary focus), ESL, Reading and Middle School. Currently I am in my first ESL class and I am loving it!
One of the big class assignments in almost every class is to teach a chapter of the book to the rest of the class in a group. I'm a little sick of this assignment because it's been done so many times so I am so excited when groups switch things up and incorporate great activities. The group that went today was working on the Writing chapter which focuses on how an ELL student learns to write in English.
Right away the group started with an activity. This is perfect for me because it really grabs my attention and gets me thinking.
Their activity was a writing activity... in Japanese.
One of the group members came in and said, "Welcome to Japan! We don't have a lot of time so we have to get started!" then he handed out a sheet of paper that look like this:
Then he said:
"Wo toshi wo America jean des"
(btw, I'm sure I butchered that sentence... if there is a correct way to spell that. I don't think there is, but phonetically that is how it sounds)
He said to go ahead and use the key to write down that Japanese sentence. We asked him to repeat it a few times. He sighed and said he didn't have all day, but still repeated it slower for us.
Here is what I wrote:
The top line is what I "turned" in. As he walked around to "correct" our work he sighed quite a bit, shook his head, and repeated, "no, no, no!"
After he checked our work he wrote the sentence down on the board the correct way in Japanese, which is the second line on my paper.
He went on to say that in Japan we do not write from left to write - that is just silly! Here we write from right to left and top to bottom! Then he goes, "Everyone knows that!"
We all kind of chuckled, but deep down we knew that this is what some ESL students feel like when they first get here. It's overwhelming and exhausting!
Obviously, the activity was meant to put us in the shoes of an ESL student in America - or well... a JSL student in Japan??? It definitely worked and was very impactful! The little bit of studying I have done of the other languages around the world just amazes me and now I am very interested in Japanese!
If you're wondering, the line in the activity translated into English is, "I am an American."
Also, the line in my header is, "I'm glad to see you!" Which I am! :)
Are you bilingual? Have you tried to learn another language?