For an International Day, ALTs and CIRs from different countries are invited to one school for an afternoon to give special presentations to the students about their home countries. The aim is to teach Japanese students about the wide variety of cultures around the world and help them appreciate foreign languages and cultures.
International Days can be implemented in many different ways, but for now we'll discuss a typical setup for Junior High Schools.
How the day goes
The format is ultimately up to the JTE and ALT, but we'll use the example of Tenno Minami Junior High School (Nanchu) in Katagami City.
After the school lunch break, several ALT's (and/or CIR's) arrive at school. They are escorted to their designated presentation room by an assigned teacher. From there they have about 15 minutes to set up and return to the principal's room for a quick meeting and orientation.
After a word with the organizers and principal of the school, the International Day opening ceremony begins in the gymnasium. The students MC the entire event, both in English and Japanese. During the ceremony, the ALT'S/CIR's give a short self introduction and briefly describe the topic for their workshop. After the opening ceremony, prearranged students escort the ALT's/CIR's back to their presentation room.
After a 10 minute break the students move to their first workshop, which lasts 20 minutes. Then they take a 10 minute break and move to a second workshop with a different ALT/CIR. They take another 10 minute break and then begin a "free session," which will last the final 20 minutes. During this time, students move around in groups and are free to communicate with any ALT/CIR they choose. They bring along a group worksheet along with space to take notes on their conversations. The ALT's/CIR's answer the students' questions and sign/stamp the group worksheets.
After the free session, everyone returns to the gymnasium for the closing ceremony. The ALT's/CIR's briefly give some comments on the day, and selected students say a personal thank you in front of their classmates. Then the guests go back to the principal's room, say goodbye, and the international day is over!
Here is an example schedule:
- 12:45-1:00 PM -- ALTs and CIRs arrive at school
- 1:30-1:50 PM -- Opening Ceremony
- 2:00-2:20 PM -- Workshop 1
- 2:30-2:50 PM -- Workshop 2
- 3:00-3:20 PM -- Free Session
- 3:30-3:50 PM -- Closing Ceremony
The following schools hold or have held International Days.
Junior high schools
- Tennō Junior High School
- Tennō Minami Junior High School
- Ujō Junior High School
- Ikawa Junior High School
- Gojōme Dai Ichi Junior High School
- Oga Higashi Junior High School
- Oga Minami Junior High School
- Oga Kita Junior High School
- Nishime Junior High School