Enjoying learning Japanese

Primary School students learning Japanese have been extending their knowledge through a variety of fun and exciting learning opportunities.

This term, Year 5 Japanese language students have been learning about a variety of “gyooji” (annual events) and “matsuri” (festivals) celebrated in Japan.

“In order to use the language they are learning in more purposeful and meaningful ways, and become exposed to some cultural aspects of Japan, students went on an excursion to the Japan Foundation in Sydney, engaging in a variety of activities,” said Japanese Teacher Machiko Sensei.

The students put on “yukata” (a type of kimono worn in summer especially when Japanese people go to festivals). They then gave each other compliments saying “kawaii” (cute) and “kakkoii” (cool).


After learning about Japanese matsuri, they engaged in play activities at “yatai” (small shops at the festivals).

“Using the phrases and expressions they have learnt, they enjoyed playing typical Japanese festival games such as “yoyo tsuri’ (Yo-yo fishing), “suupaa booru sukui” (SuperBall scooping) and “wanage” (quoits),” Mahiko Sensei said.


Taking turns, they also played the role of shop assistants and customers. Shop assistants called out “irasshai” (welcome) to grab the attention of the customers, while the customers responded with “hitotsu kudasai” (this one please) to have a turn at ordering items.

“It was such an exciting experience for them,” Machiko Sensei said. “Tanoshikatta desu!” (it was fun!) added Billie Messiter.

Moshi moshi

For Year 3 students learning Japanese, their current focus is on communication, and one of the subtopics they have learnt making telephone calls in Japanese.

They have learnt phrases and expressions used to make and answer phone calls, as well as to invite their friends to do an activity together. The have revised their skills by practising with their peers, writing their own phone dialogue scripts. As props, the class made their own phones, using cups and string, decorating them with delicate origami paper and patterns.


“Chenelle invited Tilly ‘Luna park ni ikimasenka?’ (would you like to go to the park?), to which Tilly apologetically declined the invitation with ‘Sumimasen ikemasen’ (I’m sorry, I can’t), making the conversation more humorous and entertaining,” Machiko Sensei said.

“Hearing the unexpected response, Chenelle couldn’t stop laughing.”