From July 23 to 26, a 4-day English Camp was held at Ritsumeikan Junior High School with eight international students from Ritsumeikan University (RU) as teaching assistants. This is the 7th English camp at the school and it aims to give the students an opportunity to use English they have learned so far by interacting with the international students, and to enhance their motivation and attitude toward English learning.

On the very first day, both the junior high school students (16 of them) and the teaching assistants were a bit shy to talk each other, but gradually opened up to one another, trying to communicate in English.

One of the highlights of the camp was the barbeque in the park along Yodogawa River in Osaka. The students and teaching assistants worked in groups to build a fire and grill meat and vegetables. They also had other activities and games during the barbecue, with English as the medium of communication.

Enjoying Barbeque
Interacting with RU international students

Their biggest task during the camp was preparing a skit based on Japanese famous old tales, “the Moon Princess” and “Urashima and the Kingdom Beneath the Sea”, which they presented on the final day. The teachers provided the English summaries of these stories and instructed the groups to “adapt” the tale to have a different ending. Each group came up with their own unique ending to the story assigned to them.

Teachers from the primary school were invited to be members of the panel of judges during the presentation. The winner of the contest was Group 1, which created an inspiring story and performed enthusiastically. The funniest team was Group 3 for their interesting and comical portrayal of the story of the Moon Princess.

Preparing for skit
Group 3, the funniest group of skit contest

Ms. Carpio, one of the English teachers at the school said that she got to know her students more through the camp and it was necessary to provide them these kind of opportunities so that they would be great motivated to use English outside classroom hours.

Teaching assistants from Ritsumeikan University were happy to participate in this camp and spent much time with the junior high school students. One of them said, “this camp is almost finished, but your English learning continues.” The school expects the students to continue their learning with this message in mind.


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