Intercultural Communication Center(ICC)Waseda University

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A truly new and unique experience

I wanted to contribute to the creation of a multicultural world.

I took part in the ICC Outreach Program in June of 2017.

In this program, I was assigned to teach 1 class each of 2nd and 3rd year junior high school students. The class for both years was in two periods totaling 100 minutes, and the theme was intercultural understanding.

The reason I took part in this program was that I wanted to make a contribution to the creation of a space where many cultures could freely interact. These days, with the acceleration of globalization, the chances for cultures to interact and collide are ever growing. For me, it is natural that people with common differences will sometimes have problems accepting each other when they meet. However, if people are exposed to different cultures from a comparatively early age, then they can grasp a new point of view on their own culture (for example, seeing things they thought could not possible exist in their own culture) and through that gain tolerance of different cultures. Therefore, I as a student staff member of the ICC wanted to take part in this program to help promote multicultural understanding.

Getting through things together

 After applying, being selected and attending an orientation, my partner; exchange student Jon Ordonio (from Ohio, USA), and I sat down to think about what kind of lesson we wanted to teach. We wanted to build a lesson where we could teach the students about cultural understanding while still allowing them to have fun and not get bored and only using very simple English. When we thought about all these requirements the goal seemed a long way away.

However, as we discussed things together, we were able to bounce ideas off one another that we wouldn’t have been able to come up with alone. Doing this on the first day, we were able to somehow gradually set out the general framework of the lesson. Afterwards we had two more meetings where we made changes and decided on the details of the class. Overall it took about 12 hours to plan the whole lesson, and the whole time we had to basically communicated using Google translate. On the day of the event both of us were saying to each other “I wanna escape from here!” and our faces were stuck in cramped smiles like we were on a theme park thrill ride. However, once the lesson started our feelings changed completely, meeting with the junior high students and seeing them have a great time in our class made the tension within us melt away. The students themselves paid attention to us and showed great interest in our lesson, so the class progressed easily. The person in charge of the program commented that it was “the most fun looking class I have seen up to now in the Outreach Program”. This was all because we worked together as a team to develop ideas and build them together into a lesson.

I strongly believe that this will be useful someday

 The experience that I have gained through this program is something that I think I could not have gained anywhere else. To take charge of a junior high school class is in itself a very precious and rare experience, but to work and discuss with a foreign student to build a lesson is especially unique; a component which is not easily found in any other sort of program. I believe that this experience will be a great source of encouragement to me in the rest of my student life and onward into my working life as well, because the process of sharing opinions and collaborating to reach a common goal is an important part of working life today. Through this program I was able to create an enjoyable lesson and also learn a lot about myself as well.

Thank you very much.

Waseda University School of Social Sciences 2nd Year   Tetsuji Kikuchi

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