Monday, April 7, 2014

Visting Japan: January 2014

Third in a series of unpublished blog posts from this insanely busy past few months... from my trip to Japan, which was magical, fun and energizing. This is Part 1... read the back story here and more here

On the subway after another amazing fish dinner!
Last summer I was delighted to learn that the project, written by a friend and funded by the Japanese Government had prompted a return engagement, complete with all travel expenses, for me to give some talks on Story, Storytelling and ELL in Tokyo, Japan for JASTEC (Japan Association for the Study of Teaching English to Children and the publishers,  Shogakukan Shueisha. Three years ago my sponsor and host, Professor Mitsue Allen-Tamai, had published a book, Teaching English to Young Learners through Stories and Activities and she had arranged for me to return when she was super busy - giving a major presentation for the national department of education on her work in a model school.

 Back in November, 2011 I was a guest speaker at Aoyama Gakuin University  talking about "Storytelling: An Organic Base for Literacy and Language". While visiting Aoyama Gakuin University I met with undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in teaching English.  I also had the opportunity to present a longer, formal seminar on applied storytelling in ELL classes in a meeting exclusively for practitioners who are actually teaching English to children.
All the students, but especially three undergraduates really impressed me. After the workshop,  Mai, Yu and Shunjuku joined  Professor Mitsue Allen-Tamai and I for coffee and each told me a personal story that I will never forget. I was so happy to meet with them again.

Professor Allen-Tamai teaches a model lesson for a 6th grade class - in front of 100s of educators. No pressure, right?
Professor Allen-Tamai has been teaching courses to train college students to become English teachers of young children at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  She is quoted at the end of this article in the JapanTimes. This January I was very excited to visit several classrooms with lessons in full swing.

Waku waku, Doki doki shimasu ne!  (So very excited and thrilled! At least this is what I hope I said. )
Below is the introduction Dr. Allen-Tamai made for me.

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