Learning a language

Students at Poway Unified have new Japanese culture and language program – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Summary

Instead of the familiar “hi,” “hey” or “hello,” the fifth-graders at Tierra Bonita Elementary School greet each other by saying “konnichiwa.”

The Japanese greeting is one of many words and phases students at two Poway Unified elementary schools are learning as part of a new Japanese Language Program.

The program, which started about a month ago at Tierra Bonita and Del Sur elementary schools, is made possible by a $60,000 grant from the Japan Foundation, Los Angele…….

npressfetimg-715.png

Instead of the familiar “hi,” “hey” or “hello,” the fifth-graders at Tierra Bonita Elementary School greet each other by saying “konnichiwa.”

The Japanese greeting is one of many words and phases students at two Poway Unified elementary schools are learning as part of a new Japanese Language Program.

The program, which started about a month ago at Tierra Bonita and Del Sur elementary schools, is made possible by a $60,000 grant from the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, a nonprofit that promotes international awareness and mutual understanding through cultural exchanges, programs and grants.

Teaching youngsters a foreign language is just one way the district works to prepare students for the future in the global economy, said Eddie Park, Poway Unified’s director of Global Languages and Innovative Programs.

“They are learning more than just language, they are learning world culture,” Park said. “We’re empowering world-class learners and preparing our future global citizens.”

While Eddie Park, director of Global Languages and Innovative Programs, converses with Michele Tsutagawa-Ward, principal at Tierra Bonita, students, from left, Reese Davidson, Miya Mau and Carter Bennett take some time to socialize.

(Regina Elling )

Miki Kihara, a teacher at Tierra Bonita, said she has already seen the students’ confidence grow as a result of their new skills. Kihara teaches 15 different 30-minute Japanese language classes at Tierra Bonita each week for all the school’s students.

A second-generation Japanese American, Kihara was born and raised in Japan. She previously taught at Kokugo Gakuen, a nonprofit Japanese language school in Poway.

“The program gives the students confidence to be themselves, and they learn respect for themselves and for others,” she said.

For the youngsters, the learning is interesting and productive.

“I like it. It’s fun and we learn new stuff,” said Miya Mau, 10, a fifth-grader at Tierra Bonita. “We learned to make a toy out of string. Many families there have no money, so this way they can make toys for their children.”

Third graders, Hudson Bass and Ariana Animpour, wearing a kimono, learn about Japanese culture at Tierra Bonita Elementary School by taking part in a hands-on session.

( Courtesy Tierra Bonita Elementary School)

Miya said she is looking forward to making more toys.

For fifth-grader Carter Bennett, 10, also at Tierra Bonita, learning the language is the most interesting part of the program.

“I like the words themselves and I like reading; I can’t wait to learn more,” Carter said.

Tierra Bonita Elementary School third-grader Kate Judd shows off a string toy she made in the new Japanese Language Program to her teacher.

(Courtesy Tierra Bonita Elementary School )

He said he wants to go to Tokyo one day.

“It looks so cool with the shining lights over the big city and …….

Source: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/pomerado-news/news/schools/story/2021-11-11/japanese-language-school-begins-at-two-elementary-schools