The subject “Nihongo” is intended for children whose mother tounge is Japanese. For the bilingual education of the children, it is indispensable to school them in their mother language. Language is not only a means of communication but also a basis for children’s thinking. The goal of this subject is that students think logically and creatively, express their thoughts adequately, and learn to express themselves in written language.
The first graders mastered many tasks. They learned hiragana, katakana and 80 kanji’s. At the same time as learning how to write, the students learned how to read short stories and express their opinions about them. In the second semester they were able to write short sentences. They are very proud of this. The Nihongo 2 students worked with different texts. When they read the story “Otegami”, they analyzed its content and got a better understanding of the logical structure of the story. They had great fun reading, and in this way the students practiced expressing their interpretations of a text in writing.
One of our focus points in Nihongo 3 was dividing factual texts into easy to understand bullet points and paragraphs. In this way students learned to work out the main points of each paratraph.
Through carefully reading literary texts, they learned to view a story’s characters from many different perspechtives. In the second semester, we talked about the subject of “soy beans”. In addition to learning about this in the classroom, we also made our own tofu and were able to enjoy the tasty success of this exercise together.
Students in Nihongo 4 were busy interpreting texts. In this way, they learned how to analyze the motivations that drive the characters. Another focus point in this story’s class was communicating an event objectively and purposefully. We talked about the topic “We’re going to be journalists” and visited a publishing house in Kobe. This took us a lot of time and effort but was worth the trouble when we saw the result.
In Niongo 5, students sought to extend the knowledge they had gained in the previous classes. They talked about environmental problems especially waste disposal issues. They learned how to collect information, select relevant data and do research.
Overall it can be said that students studied with great success.