(This post is by Noriko Mori sensei)
Otemae University has many programs to promote intercultural communication among its Japanese students and our international visitors.
One event last month saw 15 students visit Osaka Temmangu Shrine, known as the god of study and worship shrine of Tenjin Matsuri.
Then we walked through Japan's longest shopping arcade Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai, to the north end where the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living is.
I planned this event for four reasons. Firstly, I wanted to connect international students and Japanese students. Secondly, it is important for Japanese students to feel that English is not only for use in classrooms/school. Thirdly, we want Japanese students to realize where they can use English as a communication tool. Many students still believe that English is only useable outside of Japan.
Finally, students should know what language fluency is.
They also need to be knowledgable about histories and cultures to be able to speak second languages. I believe that these are deeply connected with languages.
In summary, I think that the students enjoyed that day and could build up and develop friendships with each other. Everything was new to all the students. The Japanese students realized that they did not know much about their own history and culture. Now they know what to do to improve their English abilities. For the international students, Japan is not only a country of anime and manga.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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