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Junior Journalist Update from Addams – By Abigail W.

When people think of Japan they might think sushi, chopsticks, and tea. What they don’t know is that students in the dual language program at Addams have been learning the language for eight years (since kindergarten). Most people don’t realize that even though we are learning a different language, we still have the same amount of homework and the expectations are still the same.

On a normal day, we will start our Japanese day with some Language Arts. This LA time will differ from week to week. For shared reading, we have a packet filled with different stories that our teacher (Mr. Date) reads to us and asks us about. After we finish with our shared reading we will go into guided reading. Guided reading has another packet but this time as there are different levels of speakers, the packets contain different questions and texts. The expectation is that we are filling those questions in while in guided reading.

Then there is the writing week. In this upcoming writing week, we are presenting our own company’s slide show presentation. To make the company we had to come up with a name, a product to sell, what ages use it, and the benefits of this product.  The slide show is one style of writing we are practicing. It is important to practice these skills just like in English because when you grow up and have a job, learning skills like this will help you communicate with your client.

Not only do we have Japanese LA, but we also have Japanese world language. World language works on correct pronunciation of sentences. For example, when you say “I like ice cream” you have to change the words around to say “I ice cream like”. We also work on grammar. In Japan you can have one word mean the same in one context but in another it can mean the total opposite. When we work on grammar we have another packet, but this packet has real world problems in it. Right now we are working on different manners around the world and how to say different sentences.

A day in Japanese is a whole different day than what you would have in English. This program is super cool because it allows you to have a different way of thinking, it challenges you to to always push yourself harder, and it can help you in your future. Learning a different language is never easy, but the reward pays off in the end.

District 54’s Junior Journalists are seventh- and eighth-grade students from each of our junior high schools and Lincoln Prairie School who write monthly stories about their building for the District 54 website.