From April 17th to May 23rd, 2018, a student from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) worked as a TA at the Japanese department of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in Vladivostok, Russia. The student, who received financial support, worked as a TA in Japanese classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, acting in the role of native-speaker during group discussion activities with students, during which students were able to share and exchange opinions on such issues as the Japanese work environment, issues in education, social problems such as drug use, and food culture. The experience provided the opportunity experience Japanese being taught as a foreign language, and emphasized both the difficulties involved in language teaching, as well as the importance of pedagogy.
Below is the evaluation given to the student by the teacher supervising them.
Speaking as the instructor in charge of the course, I was impressed with the efforts the student TA made to contribute to the class, both from a qualitative as well as a quantitative perspective. Having the TA present provided a wonderful opportunity to provide my students with the opportunity for intercultural interaction; despite being relatively close to Japan, a significant number of my students have almost no experience interacting with Japanese people. When I interviewed FEFU students at the end of the semester and asked them what class had been most meaningful to them, a lot of students talked about interacting with the Japanese exchange students. The significance of having an intern come from TUFS was thus made very clear to me.
Overview of the Internship
Dates: April 17th to May 23rd, 2018
Venue: Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU Campus, 10 Ajax Bay, Russky Island, Vladivostok, Russia)
Tanimoto Tatsuya – Instructor in charge of advanced Japanese-language courses
One TUFS student (receiving financial support)