Various Experiences in ASEP
Horyuji Kokusai High School
I am truly thankful and privileged to take part in ASEP this year. Itfs my first time participation in this program after my affiliation changed to Horyuji Kokusai high school, which is one of public schools in Nara prefecture, Japan. Thanks to Mr. Ikedafs coordination and hosting of San-min vocational high school, our participation became possible. Throughout the program, surely, we had great experiences in Taiwan.
Making friends internationally!
One of the great experiences through ASEP can be making friends overseas, joining the international community. Students at our school seem to have enjoyed having a cross-cultural communications with Taiwanese students by way of both online and offline activities, understanding each other. This is the best part of ASEP, I think, that everyone can enjoy interacting with each other. It is such a great opportunity for them to connect on SNS such as on Facebook even after ASEP was over. One student told me that she had a chance to see one of Taiwanese students in Japan recently when she came to Japan. ASEP is not just a one-shot program but a program that enriches our lives in the long run.
Improving English skills practically!
Not only does this kind of interaction help us understand each other, but also it requires students in both countries to use English as a means for communication. This verbal communications in English, as a lingua franca, may play an important role in helping us improve English grammatical, sociolinguistic, strategic, and discourse competence in terms of communicative competence (Hymes, 1966). For those reasons, I believe students had great experiences of cross-cultural understanding and of improving English communication skills through authentic interactions in a practical way.
Working for the project cooperatively!
One more great experience would be working together for the project cooperatively. I think this experience of working for ASEP includes components of cooperative learning: positive interdependence, individual accountability, group processing, social and small group skills, and face-to-face interaction (Johnson et. al, 1993). In the project, each student had an individual part for which they took responsibility. As a whole, however, students seemed to be working in a group, negotiating with and giving advice to each other. Thanks to the help of San-min vocational high schoolfs students and teachers with plenty of experiences of ASEP, students at our school dramatically improved their performance on stage. To me, this experience of cooperative learning is far more valuable than anything in this program.
ASEP provides us with various experiences that we cannot have only by ourselves or in Japan. As a teacher, I also had a learning experience of coordinating an international program for our school and of helping students make a presentation as a facilitator. As ASEP or WYM is becoming a more sophisticated program by experienced professors and teachers, participants would have a more high quality learning experience in the future.
Hymes, D.H. (1966). "Two types of linguistic relativity". In Bright, W. Sociolinguistics. The Hague: Mouton. pp. 114–158.
Johnson, D. W. and Johnson, R. T., Holubec, E. J. (1993) Circlr of learning: Cooperation in the classroom (4th ed.). Interaction Book Company.