Reaching out to High School Students Studying Japanese Language

October 20, 2016
Japanese culture day

On Friday, September 30, 2016, the East Asian Studies Center and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures hosted the Japanese Language and Culture Day on the OSU campus to provide high school students currently studying Japanese language a chance to explore a college campus and learn what it is like to continue to take Japanese language courses and other courses on Japan, and major or minor in Japanese at the college level. About 60 high school juniors and seniors attended the event from Benjamin Logan High School in Bellefontaine, Ohio  and Marysville High School in Marysville, Ohio.  Prof. Melissa Curley, an assistant professor at Comparative Studies, started the event with a lecture, “History Through the Lens of the Monster,” followed by a lecture by Prof. Namiko Kunimoto, an assistant professor at History of Art , “Art in Postwar Japan.”  Then Prof. Mari Noda, Ms. Ai Terada, and Mr. Teppei Kiyosue from East Asian Languages and Literatures each gave a “Mini Japanese Language Lesson” and engaged the students in authentic communicative activities in Japanese.  Prof. Etsuyo Yuasa, Director of the East Asian Studies Center, finished the morning with an informational session, “Studying Japanese at the College Level” before the students had a networking lunch with OSU faculty and students.  

Comments from two of the students:
“I felt (as) if the trip was a spectacular learning experience and has opened my eyes up to the idea of college. Before this experience I wasn’t very motivated to get my grades up but I think I may want to go to college after all and OSU made me feel like Ii had a chance to go... Thanks to OSU I may consider college, it was definitely an eye opening experience.”

“I thought that the field trip to OSU was a very fun and entertaining experience it was also a great learning experience. I learned many thing. I learned a great deal about myths and legends of monsters and the stories behind them in Japan. My language skills were tested and improved. I saw how the few instructors we were given all taught very differently. This trip also made me think about how I could go about studying Japanese after high school. I learned that even though I’m one person they could center an entire class around my learning needs to help me learn better. I was asked a few questions about my future and how the Japanese language would be in it. Even though I’m not really sure what I’m doing, I’m sure Japanese will be in it. I’m currently considering studying Japanese after high school.”

If there is demand, we plan to offer similar events to high school students in the future.

The event was co-sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant for The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.