In 2021 due to ongoing travel restrictions, North Asia CAPE held its first ever digital language study tour over the course of two weeks from 10 April which was delivered online by the Ishikawa Japanese Studies Centre (IFIE) http://www.ifie.or.jp/ijsc/english/ijsp/       

The 2021 cohort was comprised of eleven students from the University of Auckland, the University of Canterbury, and Victoria University of Wellington.

The programme was designed to immerse participants in the Japanese language from beginning to end, honing their language skills and increase their knowledge of Japan’s unique culture. Students were placed in groups online at their level of Japanese language proficiency and taught solely in Japanese. This was supported by digital homestays and an online exchange with Izumigaoka high school.

Student photo
Japanese taiko drums

I personally think that my confidence in speaking Japanese has improved astronomically from the opportunity to participate in this language exchange. With excellent teachers, hosts and students, I had the opportunity to interact in meaningful, real and fun conversations that made me feel at ease using advanced grammar structures and vocabulary”.  A. Gasson, student at Victoria University of Wellington

The programme started and ended with two four hour deep-dive language and culture sessions in Auckland. The cultural component of the first session was taiko drums by Haere Mai taiko, and the last session delivered by Aoteakai was Japanese tea ceremony. Each session provided interactive language practice and the opportunity to participate in the activities, experiencing them firsthand

“Both activities left me interested in the areas of Japanese culture they introduced us to, enough so that I intend to pursue that interest moving forward”.  R. Tripp, student at the University of Canterbury

We would like to thank the University of Auckland lecturers Rieko Kondo, and Michiyo Mori for facilitating the deep-dive language immersion; and Haere Mai Taiko; and Aoteakai for delivery of the two cultural activities.

We look forward to engaging with the students from this year’s cohort as they continue with their Japanese studies.

Japanese Tea Ceremony
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