Language Resident/Assistant Name:  

Kozue Matsumoto 

Day and Date:  

Wednesday September 16, 2020   

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):  

Intermediate / Advanced

Class theme/topics discussed:  

  • Naomi Osaka  

Goal of the class:  

  • What Naomi Osaka did, and how the story was told.  
  • Think about racism and BLM movement, think about them in Japanese context, and express ideas in Japanese 

How did you structure the class?  

  1. Good news? (5min) *We share positive stories at the beginning of each class.
  1. Ask about some Japanese news they know (5min)  
  1. Listen to the news (10 min)  
    2. Check the basics of the news (Who she is, what she did, her action of wearing masks etc.) 
  1. Breakout room (30 mim) 
    1. What do you think about her action of wearing masks during the US Open? 
    2. Lots of Japanese people believe that top athletes like her shouldn’t talk about any political or controversial issues. What do you think about it? 
    3. For so long time, for Japanese people, “Japanese people” mean people who look like Japanese, speak Japanese, live in japan for entire their life, and have both Japanese parents. Now things are changing. The Japanese society needs to adjust to multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-everything reality. As a person who lives in USA, what would you like to suggest, advise, or teach Japanese people about living in a diverse community? 
  1. Main room (10 min) 
    1. Share ideas regarding the last question (4.c) 

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.) 

Class agreement, breakup rooms 

Zoom, Breakout room, chat section, news web site 

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

  • Listening to Japanese news stories (created specifically for children and non-Japanese native people) seemed to be a little difficult, but they got a basics about the story (I believe the photos helped too.) 
  • Students had so much to say about this topic.  They had thoughts and ideas. They sometimes struggled to express it in Japanese. But I felt their willingness to challenge themselves and share their thoughts in Japanese. I think this is great. 
  • I had another news story to discuss as I thought that one topic wouldn’t cover the whole hour. I was wrong. Students had a lot to think and share.
  • I tried to reflect some reality of Japanese society. Also, I tried to have them think about it in relation to their reality in the USA. I received a lot of great points about question 4.c. One said that the USA has lots of issues itself and that it is difficult to provide any advice. This is understandable, too. 
  • I wasn’t sure how students would react to this topic, but they were very serious, and I can tell that this is not a new topic for them. They have been thinking about this issue for a while.  


  • Even before we start first discussion about Naomi Osaka, students had a lot of questions about Japanese society, such as how Japanese people understand things like BLM, whether there is racism in Japan and if so what kind, how Japanese people think about being different, whether and how people talk about politics, about the media’s political stance, how people learn about the USA. We had a good discussion. 

How could this class be improved/ modified? 

  • Providing a basic key terms in Japanese at the beginning of the class might have helped. But at the same time, if I did it, that’s going to frame how and what they are going to think. So probably, just start free flowing, and help them when they ask about certain words.  
  • I see that the advanced class can learn and discuss a lot about Japan’s social and political issues as well as cultural things. I appreciate their curiosity.