校 長  楠野 宣孝

【English version】”Online Interaction with a Sister School in Taiwan”

From 10:30 to 12:00 on the morning of July 16th, we had an online exchange with a sister school in Taiwan, Shu-Guang Girls’ Senior High School. On the theme of environmental issues, a total of seven groups gave presentations on the current situations and problems of each country, and the efforts to solve them.

These exchanges between students through Skype started in July last year, and it seems to me that the contents of their presentations, as well as their English ability, has made considerable progress. I think this is because we experienced online exchanges with the sister schools in Taiwan, Hawaii and New Zealand previously. The students at Shu-Guang Girls’ Senior High School have also progressed in these areas.

In this year’s meeting, there were four groups of presenters from Shoin High School and three groups from Shu-Guang Girls’ Senior High School. Each group had chosen a theme from a list of environmental issues, and all the presentation were carried out all in English using PowerPoint. After each group completed their presentation, there was a short question-and-answer session in English about the content.

The environmental themes presented by the Shoin teams included deforestation, food waste, natural disasters, and microplastic waste. The students of Shu-Guang Girls’ Senior High School expressed their views about air pollution, ozone depletion, and dengue fever virus infection. Each was a brief presentation, so it was a pretty basic explanation, but I think they successfully made themselves understood.

By repeating this kind of experience, students will learn to study on their own, think in creative ways, organize their own opinions, and make presentations so that the audience can understand what they want to convey. Of course, in order to make the materials, they need to use PowerPoint and learn a lot of English expressions, which means they will have to do a great deal of positive learning.

In general, students are not good at asking questions in English, thinking on their feet in English, or answering questions in English. It will take quite a while for them to talk frankly and fluently about what they think, especially in English. Moreover, in front of a large audience, students also need the courage to speak out. Only through constant practice will it be possible to have this kind of smooth exchange in English.

For the next event of this kind, we are planning to have three-nation-online-exchange including another sister school of ours in New Zealand. When we deliver presentations, and ask and answer questions to one another, I think it will be a good opportunity for the students in these three countries to broaden their horizons.

Principal Nobutaka Kusuno