Sunday, January 27, 2008

Working on “Communication”

Why are you studying Japanese? Although you are all here for a variety of reasons, since this is a language class, it follows that many of you probably want to use Japanese language for some kind of communication. The three most important elements of communication are:

  1. Presentation (expressing your ideas)
  2. Interpretation (understanding what is being expressed to you)
  3. Communication (a two-way flow of presentation and interpretation)
In this class, we will be studying Japanese with these three concepts in mind.

I. Activities focused on Presentation:
  • Possibility 1: Podcasts, such as those from last semester
  • Possibility 2: Show & Tell (My favorite _______)
  • Possibility 3: Other activities
II. Activities focused on Interpretation
  • Reading Practice Packets
  • Reading the Class Blog written by the instructors
III. Activities focused on Communication
  • Using blogs to communicate with other students of Japanese
    • Classmates and students in other sections, at other universities, in other countries
    • Japanese speakers (Japanese university students, TA’s)
    • Chat Club
We are interested in hearing ideas and opinions from all of you. Form groups of 2-3 people and discuss the topics listed below. When your discussion has finished, please post the results as a comment on the class blog, being sure to sign the names of each group member so that the writers of each post are clearly identifiable.

A. Activities focused on Presentation

Please pick the activity which sounds most appealing to you from the three possibilities listed in (I) above. If you choose possibility 3, be sure to propose an activity of your own that achieves the following two goals:
  • Reaching not only your classmates but as many people as possible (We need to get you ready to go out into the world, since you won’t always be stuck here in this classroom!). Some examples include podcasts, blogs, web-pages, and poster presentations, but feel free to go beyond these.
  • Receiving feedback from your audience and making corrections and additions based on it (No one likes someone who can’t handle a little feedback!)
B. Communication through blogs

I’d like your feedback on the following points for our class blog:
  1. How often posts (as well as comments to others) should be made (weekly, four times a month, ten times a semester, etc.)
  2. What the smallest allowable amount of Japanese should be
  3. Any other rules you think we should have
  4. Any other ideas you might have to help the blog run more smoothly
Once you have finished, start your own blog---write a self-introduction (you don’t have to use your real name), a short essay about what you did during winter vacation, OR a short essay on the topic of your choice and post it to your blog. If you don’t have a blog or don’t know how to type in Japanese, ask one of your classmates for help.