NEWS & TOPICS

Skit presentations in Spoken Japanese Level 2

In the Level 2 classes, there is a classroom project called “Skit Presentation.” The skit assignment involves working outside of class to write a short sketch in Japanese utilizing the grammar and vocabulary students have learned, and playing out the sketches in class. Here are some responses from the students who actually participated in the project.

Student, Evan Sterling: the real goal and usefulness of the assignment seems to stem not from merely reviewing grammar points, but rather in allowing students to “make the grammar by their own” by utilizing their language skills in a more free form and creative way while still in a classroom environment. Some specifically successful elements of this process are the utilization of 1) teamwork 2) new and creative use of previously covered material, and 3) the widening of perspective and increased confidence that comes from this creative use of material learned in class.

Student, Matthew Gibbons: the “Bearded Three” played out a scenario where two friends went to consult the Time Travel Agency on an upcoming trip for the next winter break. The technical Japanese was demonstrated in question response style with the travel agent. Our line of questioning led the agent to suggest that we travel back to the time of pirates, that we might enjoy the magnificent beards and choice beverages of the period. The nonsensical scenario was played out with the top over acting, accentuated with squealing guitar solo accompaniment for key phrases and finished off by an once-in-a-lifetime performance of “Time Travel” song.
Our goal was to make the presentation humorous, but with natural sounding Japanese. With this in mind, we wrote the dialogue of the skit first in Japanese, then gave rough translations in English. This way, we could stay closer to the native use of Japanese, but use it in a way that was anything but traditional. This allowed for a much more normal conversation flow, which in turn ended up with us using more than the required grammar points in an effort to express ourselves. By seeking to entertain our classmates, we gained a working knowledge of Japanese, and made the language more a part of ourselves. Giving the students freedom to express themselves and employ the language in a foreign manner proved to be, for our group, the key to making the assignment a productive, enjoyable, and memorable learning experience.

Chikahide Komura, Japanese Language Faculty
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