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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Language Education for “Children Crossing Borders" (University-Wide Open Course)

Understanding the true form of “children crossing borders"

Mariko Okumura
2nd-Year Student, School of International Liberal Studies

The theme of this class is “children crossing borders," a term which refers to children who move from country to country due to their parents work. This includes returnees. The class uses a book entitled I Was Also a Child Who Crossed Borders—Life Stories of Children Raised in Other Languages (Kurosio Publishers), which was edited by class instructor Professor Ikuo Kawakami. The book contains real-life stories based on the experiences of well-known people, providing insight on the experiences of “children crossing borders" in an unfamiliar environment and the feelings experienced by such children during daily life.

After reading the text, class discussions are held. Generally speaking, the experience of moving to another country is said to result in language difficulties and problems related to uncertainty of personal identity. During class, students discussed how to solve such problems.

Actually, many students enrolled in this class were “children crossing borders" themselves. In addition to their impression of the text, some students discussed their own experiences and way of thinking. This resulted in a very lively discussion.

Through this class, I learned that each one of “children crossing borders" has a different background. However, there are some events and feelings shared among such children. Personally, I was also a “child crossing borders." In class, learning about the past and feelings of similar individuals was a great experience for me. Through my own words, I am gradually becoming able to explain how I have felt thus far during my life, and how I intend to live in the future.

Includes experiences of TV personality Thane Camus and essayist Hanae.