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Japanese-Language Program for Foreign-Service Officers& Public Officials


JAPANESE-LANGUAGE PROGRAM FOR FOREIGN-SERVICE OFFICERS & PUBLIC OFFICIALS 2016-2017

13 SEPTEMBER 2016 - 11 MAY 2017

 The Japanese language training course for young Diplomats and Public Officials was held in The Japan 11.jpgFoundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai from September 2016 until May 2017. Participants came from all across the global, from American continent to East Asia, in total, 35 countries, including Chile, Colombia, Costa-Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Spain, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo and Zimbabwe.

22.jpgThe program was aimed to equip the participants with basic skills of Japanese language. Apart from daily language classes, there were various different cultural and other activities which helped us to get familiar with the unique Japanese culture (e.g. Japanese tea ceremony) 33.jpgand society. Joint lectures with OSIPP (Osaka school of International Public Policy), trips to different sites of Japan, meetings with the Governmental officials and visits to different museums were organized by the Institute . The OSIPP lectures included wide range of topics: from foreign and domestic politics to history and economics.

LEARNING THE LANGUAGE

 44.jpgThe main emphasis of the course was laid on the development of practical language skills required for our future work at the Embassy in Japan and with Japanese people in general. Just a few months after the commencement of the program we were able to 55.jpgcommunicate effectively with the local people. Learning mainly with textbooks and workbooks, we also improved our skills with the help of websites, including the one developed by the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai.

EXPERIENCING CULTURE

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 As mentioned above, it was not just a language programme. Considerable importance was given to understanding of Japanese culture and historical perspective which can be useful in understanding the current socio-political context.
Cultural activities included classes such as Calligraphy, Wadaiko (Japanese drums), Haiku (traditional form of Japanese poetry), Ikebana (flower arrangement), Kimono Wearing as well as Nihongo Variety (Variety of Japanese language), Life and Culture (introducing the peculiarities of the daily life of Japanese people), Yom-Yom (reading books in Japanese language) and others.

MAKING NEW FRIENDS

 99.jpg1010.jpgThe organizers paid great attention on networking. Besides close friendship among the participants, we also developed contacts with the representatives from local communities, like ICA (Izumisano Cross-Cultural Association), Kishiwada Open English Café and others. All the 0124.jpgparticipants had Kaiwa (Conversation) - Partners. The program was 1111.jpgdeveloped to help us practice our speaking skills. We also had several meetings with schoolchildren and students from different universities of Kansai region.

TRAVELLING FOR LEARNING

 The 8-month program included several Study Trips to Hiroshima, Kyoto, Tokyo etc. During those trips, 1313.jpgikkkkkkk.pngmeetings with our colleagues from the MoFA and other ministries, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as visits to the Japanese traditional theatres (Bunraku, Noh and Kyogen), variety of museums and factories took place. The aim of the 3-day self-study trip was to discover the hidden aspects of the Japanese culture and to have a valuable insight into the working of Japanese institutions.

ASSESSMENT

 1515.jpg1616.jpg The final assessment was based on the results of mid-term and end-term exams, our participation in the classes (compulsory and optional) and trips. After the completion of the course, we had to prepare final presentation about our countries or ran a booth, by then being already able to communicate only in Japanese.

Conclusion

 1717.jpg1818.jpgFinally, comfortable accommodation, very kind staff of the Institute and always ready-to-help-senseis created a friendly atmosphere promoting further experience of real Japan and making us able to follow one of the greatest figures of the history - Nelson Mandela's advice: "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."

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Lusine Sargsyan, Attaché, Department of Press, Information and Public Relations,

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Armenia

Special thanks to
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Ministry of Finance Japan
The National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS)
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau
Osaka Innovation Hub
Sakai City
National Museum of Ethnology
Osaka School of International Public Policy (Osaka University)
Tezukayama Universtiy
Ritsumeikan University
Mukogawa Women's University
Tajiri Elementary School
Soroptimist International of Osaka-Izumi
Kuboso Memorial Museum of Arts, Izumi
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.
National Bunraku Theatre
and many other organizations.



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