THE JET PROGRAMME
Applications are currently open for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, which began in 1987 with the goal of promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations. Specifically, the Programme aims to enhance foreign language education in Japan, and to promote international exchange at the local level. It offers university graduates the opportunity to work as Coordinators of International Relations (CIRs) in local government organisations or as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and presents an amazing way to explore Japan.
Read the We are Tomodachi article below to learn about the experiences of Nathan Barnes during his time as an ALT in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.
Connecting with Others on a Personal Level
My interest in Japan began while studying Japanese in high school. I loved the language, and after participating in a 10-day study abroad program in Japan I became equally enamored with the Japanese people. This affinity, coupled with a strong desire to immerse myself in something new, motivated me to participate in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. The experiences I have enjoyed over the past four years working as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, have enriched my life immensely.
Interacting with students is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job as an ALT. I have taught all grades, from elementary to high school, and have been impressed by the strong desire of students to speak English. I challenge them to communicate their thoughts and ideas naturally through hands-on activities, such as role plays. I also actively participate in field trips and extracurricular activities, and students relish the opportunity to talk and ask questions in a casual and relaxed setting. This has made me aware of the different backgrounds of my students, and I have been pleasantly surprised to find they share many of the same values as their Australian counterparts.
As an ALT I benefit from trusting and supportive relationships with fellow teachers and other faculty. Sharing planning and classroom responsibilities under the team teaching system has made for a positive work environment by providing a framework to share ideas with colleagues. This has provided me a broader understanding of the thoughts and feeling of others, allowing me to exercise greater patience in the classroom and in everyday life.
Living in Sendai is a joy. The unique history and beauty of the area and kindness of the people make it an ideal place to live and visit. Sadly, the devastating earthquake four years ago has deterred visitors from Japan’s northern region. Sendai is only a short ride away from Tokyo on the Tohoku Shinkansen, and it is my goal to persuade people of the many charms to be found here.
In my remaining time with the JET Programme, I would like to continue focusing on making a difference in the lives of others. I hope to further develop the English program I introduced. It is aimed at improving the confidence and communication skills of students by having them write and perform original drama pieces in English. I also aim to continue participating in events to support children living in temporary housing after the earthquake and similar charity work designed to strengthen community bonds.
After the JET Programme I would like to apply the knowledge and experience I have gained toward serving as a bridge not only between Australia and Japan, but also between them and other Asian countries. One way I hope to do this is through participating in the JET Alumni Association (JETAA). The JETAAs in Australia are very active, such as in cooperating with the Japanese Embassy and Consulate-Generals in providing training to new participants prior to their departure as well as hosting cultural events promoting stronger ties and understanding among Australia’s diverse communities. I also look to participate in activities supporting Brisbane’s diverse Asian communities.
Through my JET experience I have become a kinder and more understanding person. I am confident these attributes will support me in my time as an ALT and as I prepare for life’s next adventure.
Click here for more information or to download an application pack. Be quick, the closing date for applications is November 20, 2015!
Japanese Film Festival in Bunbury
The Japanese Film Festival travelled to Bunbury for the first time from October 20-22 and included matinee school screenings. Three films were shown, Lady Maiko, Wood Job! and Patema Inverted. All were very well received at the Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre, particularly Wood Job!, a coming-of-age story with a good sprinkling of comedy and drama.
Consul-General Yoshii at a school screening of the popular anime film Patema Inverted
Japanese Film Festival in Perth
Presented and run by The Japan Foundation, Sydney, the 2015 Japanese Film Festival offers a great line-up of films to indulge in this year with 20 titles showing in Perth. The Festival is screening at Hoyts Carousel, Cannington and Hoyts Millennium, Fremantle from October 28 – November 1, so get in quick! Browse the film line-up here.
Japan’s Security Policies: Cooperation with Australia, the US and India
Together with the Perth USAsia Centre, we invite you to a public lecture on November 4 by Keio University’s Professor Naoyuki Agawa. Titled Japan’s Security Policies: Cooperation with Australia, the US and India, the lecture will be held from 5:00-6:30pm at The University of Western Australia and will be followed by a reception on the Perth USAsia Centre balcony. Click here for more information and please note reservations are essential.
PHRASE OF THE MONTH
This month’s phrase, shinrin yoku, translates to ‘forest bath’ and refers to visits to the forest for relaxation and to improve one’s health.
Listen to Konnichiwa, a Japanese and English radio program on Thursday evenings from 7-8pm on 107.3 FM.
Read the latest issue of niponica, a popular magazine about Japanese culture, niponica No. 16 – Japan, a Place for Relaxation and Soothing Comfort.
CULTURAL AND LANGUAGE CLASSES
会WA (kaiWA) is a casual get-together of Japanese and Australians held every second Thursday. Hosted and organised by the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA (JETAA WA), kaiWA is a great chance to practice your Japanese, make Japanese friends and learn more about teaching English in Japan on the JET Programme.
kaiWA is held at 43 Below on the corner of Hay Street and Barrack Street in Perth. It starts at 5:30pm and runs until about 8:30-9pm, so don’t worry if you can’t be there at the starting time.
For more information on the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA, please check their website above and for more information on the JET Programme please check the following site.
Chatterbox is another casual get-together of Australians and Japanese, held on Saturday afternoons at the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre from 2-4pm. For more details please call the Centre on 9385 9002 or visit their website.
AJSWA Tomodachi Lunch
On the first Thursday of every month, the Australia-Japan Society of WA holds a Tomodachi Lunch. The lunch is held at 12:00pm at Jun Restaurant, 568 Hay Street, Perth. See here for more details.
Bonsai Society of WA and Bonsai Workshop Inc.
Meetings of the Bonsai Society of WA are held on the last Monday of each month and include demonstrations, lectures, films, advice and a display of members’ tree. The Bonsai Society also holds regular workshops and other events. For more information please click the above link.
Meetings of the Bonsai Workshop Inc. are held on the last Saturday of each month. Members can bring their trees to work on, receive advice and watch others at work. For more information please click on the above link.
Perth Kimono Club
The Perth Kimono Club aims to bring together people living in or visiting Perth who wish to share the joy and beauty of wearing a Japanese kimono. You may have been wearing kimono all your life or you may have never worn one before, either way you are still welcome to join. Click here to find out more about the club and upcoming events.
Website of the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth
Monday to Friday
General Enquiries: 9am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm
Consul and Visa Enquiries: 9am to 12:30pm, 2pm to 4pm
Monday 23 November – Labor Thanksgiving Day
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