October 21st Blog
Hello again! How is everyone doing at school and with their studies? Last week a typhoon hit the Tokyo region and we had a typhoon day. Some of the students were quite happy as they could catch up on their homework, while others enjoyed their day off. The students that enjoyed their day off were surprised the next day when they got extra homework to make up for the lost class. This week is the last week of the fall semester at HIUC and students are still incredibly busy.
In one of the classes, students are making a presentation on unique marriage customs such as Internet dating sites, arranged marriages by parents and traditional matchmaking services. The class is also doing a debate on the good points and bad points of pre-nuptial contracts. This is an official paper that is used if the couple gets a divorce in the future and helps decide what each person gets. The students are doing a lot of preparation in order to win against the other team. Marriage is also the final topic in another class.
The other final topic is a little more difficult. In this class, students had to make a survey (questionnaire) form and ask 10 foreign people the questions in English. Some of the students asked their Facebook friends, but other groups went to McDonalds and Starbucks to ask foreigners directly. The students said that it was a very good experience and even though they were shy, they learned how to talk to strangers. They all think that this skill will help them when they study abroad to make new friends. After asking the survey questions, groups will make a graph for two of the questions and then make a presentation about the result to their classmates.
This is not the only class that is doing public speaking. Two classes have just finished reading a short novel. The beginning chapters were quite challenging with lots of new words. The book also has lots of symbols, or regular sentences with a deeper meaning. The class was divided into groups and group leaders had to hold a discussion with the class. The final groups created 90 minute discussions with their classmates and it was quite similar to a seminar in an overseas university. They talked about the characters, the symbols and changes in the story. It was nice to see the students talking quickly and adding their own ideas in a natural manner.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful Halloween and I look forward to telling you about the Halloween party and news for the winter semester, which starts November 5, 2013.