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2024 - Japanese - Term 2 Newsletter Articles

Chisato Yoshioka
June 18, 2024

[Workshop] “Exploring te ao Māori with Japanese”

Written by Yoshimi Fujikawa, Ph.D. candidate, University of Canterbury School of Māori, and Guest Associate Professor of Okayama Prefectural University

"Celebrate Tanabata with a Future Goal!"

Written by Chisato Yoshioka, National Japanese Language Advisor

[Video] "Why Are 'Kanji' Characters Used in Japanese Texts?"

Written by Chisato Yoshioka, National Japanese Language Advisor

Chisato Yoshioka
JAPANESE National Language Adviser

Workshop: “Exploring te ao Māori with Japanese”

Written by Yoshimi Fujikawa, Ph.D. candidate, University of Canterbury School of Māori, and Guest Associate Professor of Okayama Prefectural University

Painting by Eitaku Kobayashi showing Izanami (left) and Izanagi (right) consolidating the land with the spear "Ama-no-Nuboko"

This workshop was structured in two parts; 1) discover the unique connections between te ao Māori and Japanese cultures through the underlying values and thoughts shaping cultural events, and exploring together how to integrate Māori concepts into your teaching to enrich your classes with fresh insights, 2) Participants will explore the reasons for the similarities between te ao Māori and Japanese cultures by comparing the creation myths and language. The session aims to provide insights into the thoughts and values that underlie cultural events. Participants discussed how this can be applied in a classroom setting.

The presentation for the first part covered similar perspectives between Māori and Japanese in philosophy, through narrative stories which highlight te reo Māori and Nihongo’s characteristics. The reason why I introduced the common concepts using the two stories is because if teachers are to include te ao Māori as the new curriculum Te Mātaiaho suggests, then an understanding of concepts is more widely applicable than a few specific examples. For Japanese language teachers, understanding the common concepts and common cultural aspects and perspectives such as Māori whakapapa with Japanese en, or Māori tikanga with Japanese reigi or rei etc first, creates the ability to apply this knowledge to various teaching plans. By being stuck only on the outward similarities between the two languages when teachers think about incorporating mātauranga Māori, it is restrictive and more difficult to connect with te ao Māori or Te Mātaiaho.

The second part was a breakout discussion and while there were some good ideas flowing, I understood that more work is needed to achieve sufficient understanding of the content to be able to specifically incorporate mātauranga Māori well. I hope I can expand on this theme in future workshops with Tui Tuia, with more detail and connection to lesson planning.

Written by Yoshimi Fujikawa, Ph.D. candidate, University of Canterbury School of Māori, and Guest Associate Professor of Okayama Prefectural University

The workshop slides and video are available on our "Languages Learning Circle".
If you haven't signed up yet, here is the link:
https://www.learningcircle.co.nz/pld-courses/languages#learning-circle

Celebrate Tanabata with a Future Goal!

Written by Chisato Yoshioka, National Japanese Language Advisor

Source: Official Worldwide Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Website (https://www.jlpt.jp/)

While July 7th is known for Tanabata, it also marks an important day for Japanese learners this year: the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) in Auckland and Wellington! Although applications for July have closed and those for December have not yet begun, this is a good time of the year to let your students know the value of the JLPT and the opportunity it offers.

Taking the JLPT is an excellent way for learners to officially certify their Japanese language skills. Passing the test can open doors to a variety of higher education and career pathways. Additionally, it serves as a chance to assess the results of your studies and test your current abilities.

The next test is scheduled for December in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. This presents the perfect occasion for learners wanting to enhance their Japanese skills or embrace new challenges.

Curious about what the JLPT entails? Experience it beforehand through sample questions available here: JLPT Sample Questions . For a deeper dive into the specifics of each test level, check out: Detailed Test Content by Level .

Be sure to check out the website !

For inquiries, please contact the JLPT Administration Committee in New Zealand .

[Video] Why Are 'Kanji' Characters Used in Japanese Texts?

Written by Chisato Yoshioka, National Japanese Language Advisor

Do you have students who find studying kanji challenging? Do they often ask, "Why do we have to learn kanji? Can't we just use hiragana and katakana?" If you're struggling to answer, this video can help!

Janelle Wood, a Tui Tuia | Learning Circle facilitator, produced this video with the aim that teachers could show it to Japanese learners to explain why the use of kanji is important in the Japanese language.

In this video, you’ll get a quick introduction to the Japanese writing system. After that, you'll learn why kanji is still used when sentences could be written in hiragana or katakana. The answer is illustrated through this example sentence:
「ここではきものをぬいでください」


The answer is explained in the video, so please have a look for sure. Additionally, the video covers several key points about the role of kanji in the Japanese language.

Kanji is not only essential for the language but also culturally significant, and language and culture cannot be separated. Whether you find kanji fascinating or frustrating, it is a part of the Japanese language. Modern digital tools have made learning kanji easier, so がんばって!

We encourage you to view the video and consider whether you would like to show it in your classroom.

Janelle acknowledges the assistance she received from Kaori Fukazawa by suggesting language examples which are used in the video.

Chisato Yoshioka
Chisato is the JAPANESE National Language Adviser for Tui Tuia | Learning Circle.
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2024 - Japanese - Term 2 Newsletter Articles