Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Listening & Speaking Class

Today in class we focused on topics that are difficult to speak about in English AND Japanese. The students were asked to divide up in 3 groups according to their majors. I wanted to bring up some topics to get them thinking and speaking about issues relevant to their majors--Communications, Economics, and Politics. To start the conversation, we watched 2 youtube videos about the Virginia Tech shooting and the Beijing Olympics. These youtube videos brought up many issues for us to think about such as:

*the role of the media in how it covers a story such as the VT shooting,
*the role of politics in the Beijing Olympics and whether or not the government should use the Olympics for political purposes (boycotting or not??), and
*the issue of economics as it relates to the Olympics or other government concerns.

Each group discussed some of these roles. My group talked about the differences in how the news from the United States reports events and how the same news is sometimes reported very differently in Japan because of interest/importance/perspective. Though this was a difficult class, the students did a great job practicing their English skills. Thanks also to Ji Won and Shania for joining our class--we could not have done it without you. Thanks!!!


misa said...

It was very interesting for me to talk about some political issues. Thanks for Shania, we could talk such problems smoothly.

Tomoya said...

The topics were dificult to talk in English!!

Nina Liakos said...

This sounds like a great class! I know it was challenging for many of the students, and I hope their difficulties will motivate them to continue to work on their oral communication skills when they return to Japan! Two weeks is definitely not enough time to learn to speak fluently!