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UWI St. Augustine Campus Centre for Language Learning Japanese Language Students Take Part in Sophia University’s ‘January Session’ Online

UWI St. Augustine Campus Centre for Language Learning Japanese Language Students Take Part in Sophia University’s ‘January Session’ Online

Students matriculating in the University of West Indies St. Augustine Campus’s Centre for Language Learning Japanese program took part remotely in Sophia University’s ‘January Session’ from January 8th to 29th, 2021.

Students matriculating in the University of West Indies St. Augustine Campus’s Centre for Language Learning Japanese program took part remotely in Sophia University’s ‘January Session’ from January 8th to 29th, 2021.

However, in 2021, the program’s sixth year, the spread of COVID-19 prevented students from coming to Japan, and in response the program was held exclusively online. This time APIC provided aid for students from Trinidad and Tobago studying Japanese in UWI St. Augustine’s Centre for Language Learning to take part in the program virtually.

This year, each student could choose one out of four subjects such as Japanese business and economics, media, contemporary culture and society, and others. Since this program was held entirely online with classes being live-streamed in Japanese local time with a 13-hour difference, there were concerns about maintaining students’ motivation throughout the program; however, of all nine students who participated, all of them finished the program without any major problems. One of the participants was a previous winner of the Trinidad and Tobago Japanese Embassy’s Japanese Speech Contest, making the sponsors of the program aware that there is a high demand for a program that delivers to students’ interests.

The following are comments from two students who participated in the “January Session” program.

1. Chelsie J Rochford
Major at UWI: Computer Science and Mathematics
Selected Course: Contemporary Japanese Culture & Society


Q1. Tell us about the amount of homework and classwork.
A1. It was not overwhelming, but it was slightly difficult to keep up once my university classes resumed.

Q2. Tell us about a class or topic that left a strong impression on you.
A2. My favourite lesson was Psychology of the Japanese. It was very interesting to learn how diverse various cultures are in different aspects and I also learned a lot about myself.

Q3. Tell us something about the program as a whole that left an impression on you.
A3. I enjoyed most the videos included in the lectures because it provided for visual learning and they were also entertaining.

Q4. During the program, what was something that was challenging for you?
A4. The most challenging experience personally was having to write the final exam at 2:30 am until around 4:00 am.

Q5. Was there a goal you had when participating in this online course?
A5. My main goal was to learn more about Japanese culture and society; I wanted to learn how they were similar and dissimilar to my culture and the different traditions they had.

Q6. Was this goal achieved?
A6. It was. I learnt a lot about the Japanese and enjoyed every aspect of the lectures because they were all eye-opening.

Q7. What effect do you think this program will have on your studies and/or student life?
A7. It definitely renewed my interest in the country and the culture, so I will be continuing to learn more about Japan and the language until I can visit myself.

2. Stephen Jogie
Major at UWI: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Selected Course: Japanese Business and Economy


Q1. Tell us about the amount of homework and classwork.
A1. It was very manageable. It was one in-class presentation and one essay.

Q2. Tell us about a class or topic that left a strong impression on you.
A2. My favorite topic from the classes was the Japanese economic bubble in the 1990s. This is because economic bubbles and the circumstances surrounding economic bubbles are very fascinating to me.

Q3. Tell us something about the program as a whole that left an impression on you.
A3. What I enjoyed most about this program was learning about Japanese culture and business and also about the many countries of my classmates. I greatly enjoyed learning a little about Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, Korea, and Mexico from my classmates.

Q4. During the program, what was something that was challenging for you?
A4. This experience was very positive for me, the only challenges that I had were when I had some technical difficulties.

Q5. Was there a goal you had when participating in this online course?
A5. My main goal was to learn about Japanese Business and gain a greater appreciation of Japanese culture and language. Another reason that I took part in this session was because it sounded interesting and was a pleasant change of pace from my usual schoolwork.

Q6. Was this goal achieved?
A6. My goals were accomplished as I greatly enjoyed learning about Japanese Business and Economy during this course and it strengthened my appreciation of Japanese culture and language.

Q7. What effect do you think this program will have on your studies and/or student life?
A7. It has made me more appreciative of learning Japanese and has increased my language learning motivation. It has also helped me to broaden my worldview a little as I was able to listen to my classmates from all around the world.

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