Nihongo is taught at Dingley Primary School from Prep to Year 6. All students attend Nihongo class once a week for 50 minutes. Upon entering the room, students remove their shoes and kneel on zabuton (cushions) at low tables. Our beautiful learning space is adorned with traditional kimonos, kokeshi dolls, cherry blossoms and paper fans. Lanterns and origami paper cranes hang from the ceiling, creating a sense of tranquillity and authenticity.
All lessons begin with our class routine: greeting one another, students answering questions relating to the day of the week and the weather, followed by singing a warmup song in Japanese. Basic classroom instructions are given in Nihongo and the children learn their vocabulary and grammar patterns through hands on games, stories, songs, mini role plays, puppet theatre and rotational activities. Vocabulary and grammar patterns are also reinforced via the use of language apps and websites on our iPads and laptops.
All year levels are exposed to the writing systems of Japan, with basic picture kanji being introduced from Prep. Students in Years 3 – 6 focus on learning the 46 hiragana, with all students learning to write and recognise their own name in Japanese from Prep. In addition to learning Japanese language, our students also learn about the geography of Japan and its beautifully unique culture.
Our annual Nihon no Matsuri (Japanese Day) is a highlight of the school year, with all staff and students dressing up in Japanese-inspired costumes and participating in a day full of culture and fun! In recent years, students have enjoyed taiko drumming, kendo demonstrations, folktale puppet theatre, Japanese sports festival, cooking, craft activities and a special sushi lunch. From food, to festivals to folktales, we immerse our students in all things Japanese at Dingley Primary!