Japanese Teaches Language & Culture

At Kalani High School, many students choose Japanese as their language elective. The class provides insight into the Japanese language and culture. It’s open to those who have had past experience with learning Japanese as well as those who have no prior experience. 

Mina Kohara (11), a student in Japanese 2, explains that in class they’re currently working on improving their reading and writing skills. 

“You practice stuff and use mostly hiragana, katakana, and a little bit of kanji, and I think the goal is for students to be introduced to the language and the culture,” Kohara says.

Ken Nakanishi (11), another Japanese 2 student, says the class can be described in one word: relaxing.

He describes a “normal day” as starting with a fact about Japan, followed by bell work and lessons. 

The class greets the teacher in Japanese, then practices saying dates, and days of the week. Every two weeks students are given verbal or written tests. On some occasions, the students cook Japanese food or play quizizz which creates friendly competition in the class. 

“During class, she does ask you to talk to your group a lot,” Kohara expresses. “It is pretty collaborative, but there is independent work at the end.”

Nakanishi and Kohara both said that their teacher, Mrs. Klein, is kind and easy-going.

“If she sees someone struggling, she’ll definitely go and help them,” Kohara said. “I think that her teaching style is just generally very accommodating.” 

Kohara also explains that the class is “interesting” and she would recommend it to others who are looking to take a language elective. 

I think it is a very open environment,” Kohara said. “She doesn’t mind talking to the students, and the students, a lot of them have friends in that class so it’s very warm and open.”