Day 2 - The Real Journey Begins
Students got down to business as day 2 began with core Japanese classes. These are more intensive classes with smaller student/teacher ratios, and they serve as the backbone of the Academy's program. All of our students gladly met the challenges set before them. It is exciting to think how much they will learn and grow in these two weeks. Students stayed in high gear through to the second session of the day, where we introduced the Chiri Project. This is an overarching student research project, where students will learn and gather information about various regions of Japan, then present in small groups to the whole of the Academy. The students split into their respective groups, and met for the first time with their group members and team leader. From this point they will have a few synchronous classes in addition to their own asynchronous study time to use in researching and preparing for their presentations. We are all looking forward to seeing their final projects at the end of Week 2. The final class of the day was much more relaxed, but still very interesting. The Academy's students joined together in an analysis and discussion of the incredible works of Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli's works are famous in both Japan and the U.S., with Spirited Away winning the 2003 Oscar for Best Animated Feature. In case you're wondering, other animated features nominated that year include Lilo & Stitch, and Ice Age. In a testament to how wonderful the students in the Academy are, many of them chose to stay well after the class finished to continue the fascinating discussion.
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