AP Japanese students use language to create bridge with native speakers

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College students from Kapiolani Community College (KCC) visited the Advanced Placement (AP) Japanese class at the Academy as part of their service learning requirement.

“College students have to do service learning and they need a certain amount of hours,” said sensei Nami Grafia. “The KCC teacher asked me if they can come to our class to do the service learning and we invited them.”

The students are native Japanese speakers studying English in Hawaii.

The KCC students discussed various topics with the AP students making use of the language students have been studying for four years .

“It was fun getting to know them. They were really fun to talk to,” said junior Samantha Ishihara. “I thought it was cool that I could understand what they were saying and they could understand what I was saying. I also thought it was interesting learning about their high school lives in Japan.”

KCC students will return three more times to speak with AP students.

“It was fun for them. They get to use their language too,” said Grafia. “Next time we’ll have a bit more structure. They have to discuss topics like global warming and about their futures. Those kinds of things are coming.”

For the next visit,  the class plans to have more structured topics, including post-graduation plans, technology in society and health.  

“Despite the language and age barrier, they were very friendly,” said junior Amily Tam. “Learning their opinions on issues such as global warming and working during high school was enjoyable.”