JETAA Outdoor Class

Written by Faith Ong (Mie-ken, 2013-2014)

One of the highlights of the year was the Oishii Japan 2014 Food Fair. On 24 October, JETAA members embarked on their first ‘out of the classroom’ experience where our Japanese skills were put to the test in our first-hand interactions with members from CLAIR Singapore and store vendors from the various prefectures in Japan.

The Oishii Japan Food Fair was such a wonderful showcase of food, drinks and related equipment and machinery from all over Japan. The showcase was first opened to business owners in the F&B line for two days before finally opening its doors to the public for us to gain some precious insight on the possible offerings we could look forward to in Singapore in the years to come.

As JETAA members, we studiously pored over the layout map and information booklet that were given to us to check out if the prefecture we had been placed in as JETs were represented at the fair and we were certainly not disappointed. From the various potteries from Ishikawa, delectable Hida beef from Gifu, sweets from Kyoto to fresh dried bonito shavings from Tokyo, the fair clearly had something for everyone and anyone. It was indeed not for the faint-hearted as we worked our way with much gusto to check out what each stall had to offer.

Food fair 3

Of course, each of us soon had the chance to practice our Japanese when we had to ask questions to the various vendors regarding the item they were trying to market and of course, our listening skills were tested when the owners introduced their products in Japanese. In fact the entire fair was reminiscent of a typical matsuri in Japan, filled with much laughter, excitement and food!

Towards the end of the fair, a vendor from Aomori prefecture soon started to give away their leftover seafood items for the day for free through a game of janken. The stars must have shone very graciously on Pei Hoon, Kai Le and I as all 3 of us who took part in the game were indeed so privileged and lucky to be able to bring home some fresh squid that day.

Food fair 5

As the day drew to a close and each JETAA member shared their reflections of the day and a memorable stall that they fancied with one another, it seemed poignant to note that each of us had a different stall that resonated with us and made our few hours at the fair indeed a memorable afternoon where like-minded people who once embarked on the same path as an ALT could enjoy one another’s company, speak Japanese and allow nostalgia and our tender memories of Japan linger a little longer that Saturday afternoon.

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JETAA Conversational Class

Written by Natsumi Tanaka (Kai Le’s wife)

Translated by Heng Kai Le (Kumamoto JET, 2011-2013)

Japanese Conversational Class

日本語クラスに参加して

今回、初めて日本語クラスに参加させていただきました。JETAAの方々の、高い日本語能力も然ることながら、日本語というツールを用いて、独自の感性でそれぞれの体験や想いを話している姿がとても印象的でした。

さらに、それに刺激された他の日本人参加者の方々が、普段日本人だけの授業では話さないような、自分の内面や私生活のことを語っている姿が、またとても印象的でした。

「言語」の授業は言語以上のものを学ぶ機会だと、改めて認識することができました。楽しい授業に参加させていただき、本当にありがとうございました。

Participating in a Japanese class

This was my first time joining the EoJ/JETAA Japanese class this time round. Seeing JETAA members leverage their advanced Japanese skills to effectively convey their thoughts and experiences in their unique ways struck a deep impression within me.

In addition, other Japanese participants who might have been similarly impacted like me (?) shared openly about their personal selves and private lives. These were things that Japanese people wouldn’t bring up in a typical classroom comprising of only Japanese people. Hence, their behaviour was something that has stayed in my mind.

From this Japanese lesson, I once again recognised how a language class afforded people the opportunity to learn other things beyond language. I thank JETAA sincerely for letting me participate in such a fun lesson.