Meeting Students in Japan

The Year 5 students in Mrs Owen's class have recently learned how to use Skype as a communication tool. They have met students from the elementary school attached to Kumamoto University on the island of Kyushu and roughly six hours from Tokyo by train. The students have been very interested to learn that all Japanese universities have primary schools attached to them. They were amazed to find out the average class size is 40.

The project began when Mrs Perrigo met Yoko, a teacher from Japan. Yoko came to visit Year 5W the very next day and made instant friends with our students who were very taken with her gentle ways.

Several weeks later, Yoko was in contact and the project to Skype with each other began. The first contact with the Japanese students was overwhelming. We waved happily at them and they did the same in return. They have very little English and Orana students had absolutely no Japanese so smiling and waving seemed to be the best way to communicate. The next time the Japanese students spoke a little English and we made our keyboards type in Japanese. Progress may have been slow but the engagement level of students in both countries was extremely high.

Our students have learned lots about Japan, their culture and etiquette. It has been one of the most exciting things they have been involved in our school.

Yoko from Kumamoto, Japan

with two of her Skype buddies in the school Library

Yoko from Kumamoto, Japan