「A fulfilling life in Alaska」 体験談一覧へ

派 遣 校:Sandlake Elementary School

About school
I have lived a fulfilling life since I came here. I’m doing an internship in the first grade. The first grade students are so cute and full of energy. Moreover their Japanese are amazing. On the first day of school, I was surprised at their Japanese. Of course their Japanese vocabularies are not enough to tell what they want to tell me, but they can talk to me a lot in only Japanese. Sometimes I feel they can speak Japanese more than older students. The first grade students often make mistakes in Japanese, but they don’t afraid to make the mistakes. That’s a good point to learn languages. Even last September, when I met them for the first time, their Japanese level was high enough to surprise me, but I’m sure their Japanese have improved a lot since then. Furthermore, it’s easier to make good relationships with them more than older students, since every first grade student likes teachers very much. However we have to make a great effort to attract their attention. It’s pretty easy for them to be distracted. My supervisor is an attractive teacher. She is a teacher who can attract their interest. I’ve learnt many things from her and she gives me many chances to teach Japanese and Japanese culture to students. Through this internship not only I learnt Japanese immersion education, but also I could know what teachers do at school. Teachers are very busy and I always wonder how they can do everything. However, when I see faces of students enjoying learning, the thought I want to be a teacher gets stronger.

 There are many differences between American school style and Japanese one. One of them is that every day many parents come to school to help teachers. It’s very helpful for teachers, since they are so busy. I also notice students’ family backgrounds have relation to their attitudes at school, so sometimes to know their family environments is important for teachers. Every day I see many people; staffs, parents, students, and interns, at school, and I try to communicate with them as much as possible.

At the beginning of school year, I was so nervous to talk to them in English, because I had no confidence about my English. Of course in the classroom I speak only Japanese, but I have more opportunity to speak English out of classroom than I expected. Now I can enjoy talking to them. Small effort like just greeting makes better relationships with people. I must not forget I’m the part of the school. Not only the relationship with my supervisor, but also the relationships with other staffs working at school are very important.

About homestay
Many people ask me, “Do you miss your family?” or “Do you miss Japan?” Actually I haven’t got homesick since I came here. The reason why I haven’t missed my family so much is that I got new families here. I feel they are real my family and I can talk whatever I want like I did with my Japanese family in Japan.

I met three families here. All of them are not families of students in our class. Although at the end of April I could observe all other grade Japanese classes, I usually can know what students learn in the other grades by helping my host kids with their homework. Our conversations with my host families sound strange. I talk to host children in Japanese and to host parents in English. Sometimes host kids and I can enjoy a secret talk. My host parents cannot understand any Japanese, but they enjoy hearing their children speak Japanese with me. Of course they are interested in our secret conversation and also in Japanese culture. They know Japanese culture more than I. Definitely I learnt many things about Japan from them. I don’t know what I should tell here, since I have a lot of memories with each of families. They always think of me and let me experience many things. When I left my home in Japan, I didn’t cry. I think it’s because I was sure I could see Japanese family in 9 months. However I cry a lot here whenever I think I have to leave here soon. I’m getting closer and closer to my host families and I don’t know how often I can see them after going back to Japan. I can tell at least I’m so happy to be able to have got wonderful families here.

About Alaska
I came here expecting Alaskan nature. Especially I was dreaming of Northern lights. Every day I checked Aurora forecast and looked at the sky every night. When finally I saw it, it was quite different than I had expected, but still beautiful. Everyone says this year is very strange and it’s much warmer than usual. Usually Alaskan summer is from June to August, and we have to leave here by the end of June, so when I came here everyone said, “You cannot stay in the summer? Too bad! Summer is the best in Alaska!” However, this year I might be able to experience Alaska summer before I go back to Japan. Every things turned into green as soon as the long winter was over. Every things waited for the summer. I went hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and seeing great nature. Though it is said that it’s warm, I experienced very cold Alaskan winter, too. I grew up skiing in Nagano. Thanks to the skill I got when I was younger, I really enjoyed skiing here. One of the most amazing experiences in Alaska is to have entered for the Slush Cup at Alyeska resort. At the event skier or snowboarder try to across the water. I fully enjoy Alaska. Moreover when we live in Alaska, we cannot forget about Alaska Natives. They have own cultures. I could get some chances to meet them and they let me join their events with my friends. It was also an amazing experience in Alaska.

About my future
I already wrote through this internship the thought I want to be a teacher gets stronger. I have wanted to be an English teacher since I was a junior high school student. When I came here, I was so excited, but I saw how students learnt Japanese here, and I lost my confidence to teach English in only English. I don’t think I can teach English like my supervisor teaches Japanese. I’m no match for native English speaker. However I believe I will make good use of this experience when I become a teacher. At first I thought it’s very hard to improve my English through this internship, since I speak Japanese at school every day, but now I can say my English has improved. Especially listening and speaking skill have improved, because the main way to learn English here is to talk with host families. It’s said that using the language is the best way to learn it. Every day I can talk with native English speakers for even short time. How much we can improve our English is up to ourselves though. Furthermore, the immersion education will become popular in Japan, too, so I want to make the best use of this experience as an English teacher in Japan.

About interns
I always feel this interns’ team is amazing. Each of us came from different parts of Japan and we had never met each other before the internship started. We came here and have experienced many things together. Though we hang out every day, I cannot believe I won’t be able to see them so often after going back to Japan. I’m very glad to be able to do internship with them.

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