Japanese School in Japan,Fukuoka - NILS

School Activity Report

School Event in March: Commencement

We held the 2015 NILS Commencement and Graduation Party at Hotel Bientos in Saga Prefecture. Schools typically plan their commencement ceremonies in March to commemorate the successful completion of all requirements at schools. This year, 140 NILS students graduated, and this was their very last school event after studying 1.5 to 2 years at NILS. Surrounded by classmates, teachers, the Mayor of Ogori, and other distinguished guests, these graduates participated in the ceremony concluding their work. After NILS, many go on to work or begin college, graduate schools and/or professional schools.

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Comments from Teacher
The graduation season is upon us. Every year, I feel very proud and happy for our graduates, but at the same time, I cannot help feeling sentimental to let them go. I hope they visit us and keep in touch as we all wish them the best and think of them just as much even after they graduate from NILS.

At our Commencement, graduating seniors and current students exchange songs. They must have practiced a lot this year as we heard beautiful voices; some graduates were crying, too. Some reminisced how these songs brought numerous memories of the fun and new experiences they had in Japan.

After the commencement, we hosted a graduation party. We enjoyed a delicious buffet at the hotel while students entertained the crowd with music and teachers put on follies on the stage. This was an event “not to miss” because this was where normally very strict teachers expose their humorous side. After the entertainment, each class and the teachers gave speeches. After many tears, the ceremony ended.

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Comments from Students
“My Thoughts on the Commencement”
Two years flew by in a flash, and there I was at my commencement. Our teachers and staff hosted a grand ceremony for us. Our teachers, who taught us the Japanese culture in detail, again showed us how to attend a commencement ceremony – how to step up onto the stage, bow, and space ourselves on the stage. The current students sang a song called “By Meeting You”, and we were all so touched and overwhelmed with emotions. Everyone sent us off in a roar of applause after the song. After the ceremony, we attended a reception. We enjoyed delicious food and watched funny shows put on by our teachers. With deep gratitude, we said good-bye to all our teachers. I will forever remember this commencement. —Gui Jingjing from China

“Graduation”
The graduation ceremony was very formal and well organized, just as you would expect from a Japanese ceremony. It was very fun and it was a great way to spend the last time with my classmates. Also, after the graduation ceremony, there was an after party that the teachers and staff organized. We chatted a lot with the teachers, and our classmates, and also enjoyed a play that was put on for us by the teachers. I am very thankful for the time they put into everything and it was a lot of fun. Those were my last moments at NILS, and I will keep them with me forever. I am very grateful to NILS—my Japanese has become very conversational thanks to a lot of the teacher’s help. —Stekelenburg John Isaac from the U.S.

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School Event in February: Student Presentations

On February 17 (Wednesday) and February 18 (Thursday), we held Student Presentations at NILS. The purpose of this competitive event is to demonstrate how well students have mastered their Japanese language skills. The students do this by acting on a stage. Students in the beginners level select a certain situation, learn the appropriate phrases, and carry on a conversation. In addition to acting, the intermediate and advanced level students simulate formal presentations that they are likely to use in college or professional situations.

Comments from Teacher
This year’s Student Presentations were very interesting and they covered a variety of topics. Students in the beginners’ class did a role-play activity in which one student acted as a travel agent showing different tourist spots in China, Spain, and Canada while the other student acted as his/her customer. There was even a very unique drama where a tourist encountered a bear during his trip to a hot spring.

The intermediate and advanced level students performed both stage acting and formal presentations. Such activities involved discussing the types of professional fields in which Japanese people like to work, a sales presentation where students compared desktop and notebook computers, and a data analysis of international marriages between Japanese and non-Japanese people. All of these topics were very interesting and taught me a lot. Students needed to memorize long and complex sentences, but I believe the students were able to remember the grammar for the long term due to the requirement of physically acting and performing these tasks.

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Comments from Students
“Student Presentations”
A “Student Presentation” typically involves reciting long verses from memory in front of an audience. Last week, Student Presentations took place at our Japanese language school, NILS. Even though some students felt shy and somewhat hesitant, the students performed very well. It is not easy to perform in front of an audience, but I found it to be a good venue to express my views and emotions. This type of event should take place at all schools. Doing presentations is helpful for students to practice speaking and it ultimately improves one’s social abilities. (Kaur Mandip)

“A Good Practice”
On the day of the Student Presentations, all my classmates were a little nervous. It might have been because all of them wanted to do their best. We weren’t nervous because we wanted to win—it was because we wanted our classmates to be proud of us. Overall, it was a beautiful experience. It was also a great way to improve our speaking skills, as we had to memorize correct grammar structures. I’m sure we will all become more skilled thanks to the presentation. Ganbarimasho!! (Ramos Jaume Aguilo)

“International Marriages: Difference Values”
Our annual Student Presentations took place on February 17th. I think this year’s topics were more difficult than the last year’s. Our teacher decided on the theme, and we students came up with the script and charts. It was a challenging task since it was only three of us working on it. However, our teacher was very thorough and we were very happy with our final product because of our teamwork. It was also my first time to present as the MC. I was very impressed with everyone’s excellent pronunciation and fluency this year.

Visit to Dazaifu

On January 15th, we visited Dazaifu Tenmangu (Dazaifu Shrine) and prayed for our students’ admittance to professional schools and colleges. Prior to the visit, we went to Kyushu National Museum. Students prayed and bought Omikuji (paper fortune) at the Shrine. In the Museum, they were interested in a variety of arts and crafts that illustrated Japan’s historical relationships with its neighboring Asian countries.

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Teacher’s Comment
When we got off the train at Dazaifu Station on the Nishitetsu Line, we began our walk on a path (sando) to Dazaifu Shrine. This sando is lined with a number of souvenir shops. At the end of the sando, we saw a red bridge leading to the shrine. Underneath the bridge, carps of all different colors were swimming. I was touched with this quintessential Japanese scenery.

After our visit to the Museum, I taught our students how to pray at the Shrine and bought my Omikuji. I tried to explain the meanings of the fortunes told in Omikuji, but they were so complicated that I frankly couldn’t really explain them. On our way back, we ate Umegae mochi (Dazaifu specialty). Since the name includes ume (plum), I was looking for something to do with plum, but it was a grilled mochi cake with azuki beans inside. The aroma that comes from mochi on the grill was so enticing!

Comments from Students

“We went to Dazaifu for a school trip recently. Many students visit this shrine because it was built for the god of studying. There were many students as well as tourists. Also, there is one of the most famous museums in Kyushu at Dazaifu, and they have various exhibits throughout the year. The Shrine is a great place to visit and experience Japanese culture.”

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“On January 15th, we went on a field trip to Dazaifu and the Kyushu National Museum. The museum was full of inspirational items, but there were so many that we could not seem them all. On the 4th floor, we saw a wooden boat. I was impressed with the technological inventions of the time. We also saw agricultural tools used by people during the Yayoi period (from 3rd century BC to 3rd century AD), Jomon period (from about 15,000 years ago to about 2,300 years ago), and the Kofun period(from the mid 3rd century to the end of the 7th century). In another room, we saw stone sculptures. I could not believe the advanced level of sculpting technique that existed so long ago. Also in another room, we saw ancient books. I was interested, but the letters were like pictures and I didn’t understand them. All in all, I was truly impressed with people’s wisdom and creativity as they lived in this land. We owe our life to this continuing endeavor of people throughout our human history. This thought reminded me not to waste time and to fulfill my life.”

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