Language Residents

an archive of lesson plans

Author: Miki Saigo

JP F19 Study Abroad Info Session

JP F19 Study Break – Ghibli Movie Night

JP F19 Oldenborg Orientation

JP F19 ADV Facial Expressions, Gestures & Emojis

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: December 3, 2019

Language and Level: Advanced Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:
Face expressions, gestures and emojis

Goal of the class:

  • Talk about emotions and certain situations to use gestures/emojis
  • Learn cultural differences about gestures and facial expressions

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greetings and announcements
    – Cultural events
    – Lunch Table attendances
  • Activity I: Emojis
    I give students Handout of emojis and briefly explain what “emojis” are. In pairs, I ask students to discuss (i) what kind of emotions/meanings the emojis represent, and (ii) in what kind of context people would use the emojis in a message. After a while, I ask the questions to the whole class and discuss together. If needed, I explain cultural backgrounds of some of the emojis. I also ask if there are other emojis that students often use.
  • Activity II: Gestures
    I show a list of words/situations on the screen (“to call,” “thank you,” “when you meet your friends” etc.) and ask students to think of gestures they might use in the situations. Students work in pairs, and when they are done, I ask them to act out each gesture. We talk about cultural differences found in the gestures.
  • Activity III: Discussions
    In pairs, students discuss the following questions:
    1. Are there other gestures you use/ have seen? (To give examples at first, I mention a couple gestures that I have seen in American TV shows.)
    2. When you travel abroad and you don’t know the local language, what do you do? (It could be gestures or other ways to communicate.) For example, when you’re at a store or in a taxi?

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • Handout with pictures
  • PowerPoint slides

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

We had lively and interesting discussions throughout the class. Students enjoyed talking about emojis more than I had expected. I think it was a good topic for our generation. The first few emojis in Handout were meant to be basic expressions (e.g. smile, laugh, cry etc.), but they developed way more than that and had a huge discussion (e.g. “It is a fake smile you make when you don’t like something,” “You don’t use this crying face when you are actually sad,” “It could be happy tears”). Moreover, students in this class had culturally diverse backgrounds, so it was interesting to compare the cultural differences in gestures (e.g. how to count with your fingers in China).

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I was going to do another activity (storytelling by using emojis), but students spent a long time discussing emojis (which is fine because they enjoyed and talked a lot). Depending on the audience, however, I would use another activity to adjust the time.

Handout & Slide (Activity I):

絵文字(えもじ)
A.

B.

JP F19 ADV Onomatopoeias & Slang

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: September 24, 2019

Language and Level: Advanced Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:
Onomatopoeias and Slang

Goal of the class:
Learn casual vocabulary and phrases

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greeting and announcements
    – Ghibli Movie Night on Sep. 26
  • Activity I: Match the onomatopoeias (= sound-based words)
    I ask students to make groups of two or three and give each group a table of onomatopoeias and picture cards. I ask them to place each picture on a corresponding onomatopoeia. When all groups are done, I tell them the correct answers and explain when to use the words.
    I introduce other common onomatopoeias and ask students if they know even more.
  • Activity II: Guess what these slang words mean
    I give a handout that lists slang words and ask students to choose the closest synonym from the options. Students work in pairs, and when they are done, I tell them the correct answers and explain when to use the words.
  • Activity III: Names
    As the newly-invented slang term “kira kira name” (millennium kids’ untraditional names) was mentioned in Activity II, I give a few examples of kira kira names (I first show students the Chinese characters and have them guess how to read them).
    Next, I ask students to make groups of three and talk about their name origins.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • PowerPoint slides
  • Drawings from the internet
  • Picture cards
  • Web articles

What worked well in this class? What did not work?
Students talked a lot in Activity I. I thought the vocab was too easy for advanced students but they were not familiar with all of them, which led them to discuss with their group members.

How could this class be improved/ modified?
I think this class went well and the amount of content was good for a one-hour class.

Note:
I told students to avoid using slang words to professors and in writing; I made it clear that I talked about slang in this lesson because they might hear/see it sometimes in Japanese media but they are not supposed to use it in formal contexts.

Picture cards (Activity I):

Handout (Activity II):

Slides:

Sep.24_AdvJP_Slides

JP F19 ADV Business Situations

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: September 12, 2019

Language and Level: Advanced Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:

  • Superstitions/customs in Japan
  • Business situations in Japan

Goal of the class:

  • Become familiar with Japanese superstitions and customs
  • Learn how you are supposed to speak and act in business situations
  • Learn how to present your ideas

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greeting and small talks (How their days are going etc.)
  • Activity I: Superstitions in Japan
    Students make groups of two or three and I give each group a set of cards (See the attached file). Each card describes a famous superstition in Japan with a picture. Students have to guess if the superstitions on the cards are something they should or should not do in terms of good fortune/manner. After they separate the cards in do’s and don’ts, I give them the correct answers and explain.
  • Activity II: Business manners in Japan
    I talk how job hunting in Japan has many rules you have to follow. I give students this webpage I printed out, which is about the dress code in job interviews:
    https://job.rikunabi.com/contents/manners/1003/
    I mention a few important rules and ask how what they think about having these strict rules in job hunting and how it is different from their cultures.
  • Activity III: Invent a new product
    I mention a few products from this webpage which lists products invented by college students in Japan:
    https://matome.naver.jp/odai/2138608074292868501
    I ask them to work in a group of two or three and invent a new product. Before they begin, I present a product I came up with, as an example. I show them a drawing of the product and present a) its name, b) what it is like and what it can do, c) the target consumers, and d) its price. I ask them to try inventing something and give them a handout that helps list (a)-(d). After they collect their ideas and draw what their products look like, they present it to class.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • PowerPoint
  • Pictures from the internet
  • Japanese webpages
  • Picture cards
  • Handout

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

Students had very creative ideas at inventing new products. The task was more than just language practice but exciting for them.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

It would have been better if I gave students time to practice how to speak in job interviews; in Japanese, you are supposed to talk in honorifics in business situations, and I don’t think they get to practice speaking in honorifics in their usual conversation practices.

Picture cards (Activity I):

Slides:

Sep.12_AdvJP_Slides-Business

JP F19 INT Folk Tales & Superstitions

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: September 11, 2019

Language and Level: Intermediate Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:

Folk tales and superstitions/customs in Japan

Goal of the class:

  • Become familiar with Japanese folk tales, superstitions and customs

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greeting and announcements
    – Thomas Mann House Tour & Screening, Sep. 21st
    – Language Partners
    – Tell unregistered students to register
  • Activity I: Japanese folk tale ‘Urashima Taro’
    In this activity, I use a 3.5-minute YouTube video that narrates a Japanese folk tale called ‘Urashima Taro’ along with visual images:

Before we watch the video, I read the vocabulary list in Handout and explain what they are, using the drawings beside the list. Then, we watch the first three minutes of the video until I stop for comprehension check. I ask students to complete the Plot in Handout. After we summarize the story together, I ask what they think is going to happen next and what would they do if they were in the same situation.
Finally, we watch the rest of the video and discuss what the lesson of the story is.

  • Activity II: Superstitions in Japan
    Students make groups of three and I give each group a set of cards (See the attached file). Each card describes a famous superstition in Japan with a picture. Students have to guess if the superstitions on the cards are something they should or should not do in terms of good fortune/manner. After they separate the cards into do’s and don’ts, I give them the correct answers and explain.
    I also ask students if they have superstitions in their cultures.
  • Activity III: Cultural shocks
    I start with some examples of cultural shocks I have encountered since I arrived in the US (e.g. skateboard and scooters). Considering that not all students have traveled abroad a lot, I also add that different customs can be found in your neighbors, giving an example of my friend with weird habits. I ask students to discuss in groups and share some of the most interesting ones with the class.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • PowerPoint
  • YouTube video
  • Handout
  • Picture cards

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

  • I told students to look up or ask me if they could not understand the words on the cards in Activity II: Superstitions, but in fact, they could figure out from the pictures. Having visual support worked well.
  • Students voluntarily mentioned many superstitions and cultural differences they know.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

  • I think this class went really well.

Picture cards:

Slides:

Sep.11_IntmJP_Slides

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