Visit to Toyama Nishi High School

Toyama Nishi High School

This blog entry forms part of the “Toyama-Oregon Friendship Project”, in conjunction with the series of outreach lectures conducted by Abram Leon, Coordinator for International Relations with the International Affairs Division of Toyama Prefecture. The primary goal of the lectures is to raise awareness about the Toyama-Oregon sister state relationship by introducing information about Oregon and the history of exchange to students of Toyama Prefecture.

The blog entries aim to encourage students and members of the community in Toyama and Oregon to become more personally involved in the relationship. After each school visit, I will write an entry and encourage students and other readers to leave their questions and thoughts in the comment section, as well as respond to the questions and comments of others. In this way, I hope to get a new generation interested in communication across cultures and the wonderful friendship between Toyama and Oregon.

Visit to Toyama Nishi High School

On Monday, October 5th, I visited Toyama Nishi High School. Before the class started, I met briefly with Principle Masayuki Hirano, who explained that Toyama Nishi Senior High School established a sister school relationship with Sam Barlow High School in 2004, and that over 200 students have participated in cultural exchange trips to date. He mentioned that while only a small group of students go on the trip every year, it is great for the entire school since students share what they learned with other students when they return.

Afterwards, I was shown my way toToyama nishi lecture1 the library room where I would be presenting by Mr. Sawagishi, the teacher in charge of organizing this year’s upcoming November visit. We were joined by Toyama Nishi ALT Colin Cartwright, my friend and fellow participant on the JET Program. As I prepared, we discussed the upcoming trip to Sam Barlow and the six 1st and 2nd year students who would be taking part. Asking him about Toyama Nishi, Colin commented that his students seem more outgoing and willing to talk and make mistakes than those at other academic schools, and that there are a few students in each grade with higher-level skills and a strong interest in English. In addition to visiting Sam Barlow, students visit another major North American city every year, and this year will be going to Los Angeles. Students apply out of their own interest; students who have participated in the past often go on to study English after high school, and cite the trip as a defining moment in their relationship with English.

Toyama nishi lecture2

When the students came in, we had a few minutes to chat casually, and I asked them why they had decided to participate. A couple of students told me that they were interested in English, and another said that he liked America. It will be the first time for all of them to go to the USA!

During the lecture, in addition to introducing general information about Oregon and the sister state relationship, I gave the students advice about how to prepare for communicating during their visit. Since it can be difficult to think quickly in a foreign language, I recommended them to imagine what kind of questions they might be asked, and think about how they will respond. As well, I encouraged them to do a bit of research about Oregon, Portland and Sam Barlow, and think of topics they want to ask Oregonians about in advanced. A little bit of preparation can definitely help students make the most of their experience!

colin

“In my experience, Nishi students offer lots of kindness and humor that make working here enjoyable and rewarding regardless of any academic struggles. I really love working here.” – Colin Cartwright, Assistant Language Teacher at Toyama Nishi Senior High School

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このブログは、富山県国際課の国際交流員アブラム・リオンによる出前講座とともに、「富山オレゴンFriendship Project」の一部となります。講座の目的は主に、富山県とオレゴン州の友好関係についての認知度を上げるため、オレゴン州の情報や友好関係の歴史、交流に貢献している人たちを紹介することです。

一方、ブログの目的は、富山県とオレゴン州の学生や一般の方を個人レベルで交流に関わるように促すことです。各出前講座の後、ブログで写真や学生・先生のコメントを含む学校の紹介を行います。そして、学生たちに質問や感想を記事のコメント欄に書いてもらい、オレゴンの学生たちや一般の人に、そのコメントに返事をしてもらいます。こうして、新しい世代が富山県とオレゴン州の素晴らしい関係をもっと深く知ることを期待しています。

富山西高等学校へ

Toyama nishi high school1

10月5日(月)、富山西高等学校へ行きました。講座が始まる前に、校長の平野先生とお会いし、富山西高等学校とサムバーロウ高校の姉妹関係について聞かせていただきました。姉妹校提携は2004年から結び、今まで200人以上の高校生がポートランド市の郊外にあるサムバーロウ高校へ派遣しています。毎年は少人数のグループにも関わらず、参加した学生が富山西高校へ帰るとほかの学生に学んできたことを伝え、全体的に良い影響に繋がると語りました。

校長との挨拶のあと、colin and sawagishi今年の11月の派遣団の担当を進めている澤岸先生に図書室へ案内されました。講座の準備をしながら、富山西高校の外国語指導助手であるコリン・カートライトから派遣される1・2年生の話を聞きました。富山西高校について、カートライト先生が次のようにコメントをしました。「生徒たちが英語を話すときは、それほど間違うことを恥ずかしがらず、各学年に英語力の高い生徒もいます。サムバーロウだけではなく、毎年ほかの大きな都市も観光し、今年はロサンゼルスになります。興味を持って、自分で申し込むので、帰国後は英語の勉強を大学で続ける生徒たちが多いです。皆にとって、本当に大事な経験です。」

講座が始まる前に、生徒たちとしばらく会話し、なぜ申し込んだかを聞いたところ、「英語に興味がある」、「アメリカが好き」などと答えてくれました。皆も、今回は初めてアメリカに行くとのことです!

講座の中、オレゴンの紹介と姉妹提携の歴史とともに、アメリカにいる間に、コミュニケーションをうまくとるためのアドバイスも加えました。外国語で自分の考えていることを伝えるのは、必ずしも簡単ではないので、事前に何を聞かれるかとその答えを想像して、練習してみること。また、オレゴンやポートランド、サムバーロウについてインタネットで調べ、オレゴンの人たちと話したい話題なども準備することを伝えました。ほんの少しの準備をしただけで、きっと楽しい経験になると思います!

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6 comments
  1. Reina said:

    Hello!
    My name is Reina. I’m a Nishi high school student.
    I’m a 16 years old. I interested in America.
    Big Mt.Tateyama is in Toyama. Tateyama’s water is clear and delicious.
    Where are the best places to go in America?

    • Hello Reina.
      My name is Tom and I live in Oregon. I work for the state of Oregon.
      Of course I would suggest Oregon as a great place to visit. We also have mountains and clean water.
      Outside of Oregon, I think San Francisco is a beautiful, fascinating city to visit. It’s very hilly. Riding on the cable car is fun. The views of the city and Bay are marvelous.
      Tom DiCorcia

    • toyamaenglishcir said:

      Hello Tom, thanks for your comment! I agree, San Francisco is a great place, and so is Oregon!

  2. Yuki said:

    Hello.
    My name is Yuki.
    I’m a Nishi high school student.
    I love American music!
    Please tell me the delicious foods of Oregon.
    I want to go to shopping in America!

  3. Misaki said:

    Hello!! My neme is misaki.
    I’m a Nishi high school student.
    I’m 17years old.
    Toyama is countryside and has clean water
    and the fish is very delicious.

    What is popular music in America?

    • Aika said:

      Hello!!
      My name is Aika.
      I’m a first grade Nishi high school student.
      I’m 15 years old.
      I live in Toyama in Japan.
      Toyama has a lot of nature and delicious water.
      There are many delicious foods.

      What do you know about Japanese food?