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:
    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:
    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):