The East Tennessee Japanese School is offering a basic Japanese language course that will
begin on Feb. 16 and finish on April 27. The class will have 10 sessions and will be held every
Saturday from 9-11:30 a.m. The class is open to anyone over the age of 10. Maryville College
students who are currently enrolled in Education 343: Practicum in Methods and Materials will
be teaching the course.
Students will learn concepts from the basic Japanese alphabets to basic conversational skills.
The class is focused not only on learning the Japanese language, but on introducing students to
Japanese culture and traditions.
This portion of the class will be taught by native Japanese volunteers for 40 minutes during
each class period, and students will have a chance to communicate with the volunteers in
Japanese during that time.
According to Maxwell Davidson who taught Japanese for the course last year, teachers and
students both benefit from the experience.
“I had taught this Japanese course for five semesters, and I saw progress from each student
I had taught every single day,” Davidson said. “Having an opportunity to have connection with
people outside the campus was also really great.”
During the EDU 343 class, students learn educational methods of teaching Japanese as a
second language. The class lasts for 75 minutes once a week and they discusses the specific
teaching methods for the next class.
Dr. Asami Segi, who is teaching the EDU 343 course, attends and participates in every class
her EDU 343 students teach, and encourages all four students to give detailed feedbacks to
each other during her class.
In order for students to be enrolled in EDU 343 class, it is required that they take Japanese
language courses in previous semesters at Maryville College. At the end of the course session,
teachers present to faculty members of East Tennessee Japanese School about the progress
made in the Japanese language sessions.
“Last semester, we had four teachers and eight students,” Segi said. “This semester, we
have six teachers and eight students. I probably feel more responsibility than I should, because
learning anything takes some time outside of the classroom, but learning a foreign language
takes even more. I think our teaching methods do have a great impact on how much material
our students are able to learn.”
“We have only had two classes so far this semester, but I can already see that the students
are progressing in Japanese,” said Whitney Bowers, another student teaching the course.
“Within these two weeks consisting of two classes, every student has made progress in reading
and writing Japanese.”
For more information, visit East Tennessee Japanese School located on the first floor of
Anderson Hall, or call 865-981-8108.