WASEDA ONLINE

RSS

The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > Education > Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Education

Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Open Course - "Course of putting into practice foreign culture exchange" Recommended course, where students can make foreign friends

Ms. Sayaka Takemoto
School of Letters, Arts and Sciences II, Senior Student

Interacting with Dalian Jiaotong University students with voice and text chatting. The author is the second from left.

Are you thinking that as long as you can speak English well, you can communicate smoothly with people from other countries?

If that comment made you stop, you might be involuntarily sending unintended messages when conversing with people from foreign countries. For example, nodding. Japanese people casually nod as a way of saying, "I'm listening to you," but in many countries, including Europe and America, this gesture conveys the clear message of "agreement or approval." If you nod while listening, and then disagree, the other person might be very confused and this might lead to a big misunderstanding.

Michiko Nakano, coordinator and professor of the Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences

With globalization progressing, the necessity of language ability is in the spotlight. However, knowledge about the difference between cultures and the misunderstandings that are caused, as well as communication skills based on this knowledge, is also essential.

That is where the "Course for putting into practice foreign culture exchange," comes in. It has a big name, but it is neither a difficult course nor a strict course. It is a course in which Japanese students can think about the influence our common sense and values, which we take for granted, have on communication with foreign people, and acquire these skills enjoyably.

Also, as can be seen with the phrase "put into practice" in the title, this course takes advantage of new networking, and students can actually engage in discussions with students of Dalian Jiaotong University in China. We can see the other's expressions, using a camera, and feel very close although we are very far. I became friends with Chinese students through these discussions, and even after finishing the course still keep in contact with them.

Congenial atmosphere of the course

I recommend this course for those who wish to learn about foreign culture exchange, those who want foreign friends, those who want to work overseas, and those who wish to marry internationally.

(The author took this course during the second semester of 2007)

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)