Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Domo-Kun is Dead, a few tales from class

We do a listening test at the start of every third grade junior high school class (9th grade by American counting). I read out a series of sentences that they have studied, and they write them down. However, the other day I accidentally read the wrong sentence and I saw 30 Japanese students looking up at me with their best `huh?` faces. I felt bad, but I couldn’t help laughing a bit inside, they just all looked so adorable in their puzzlement. 

I did an activity in class where the students broke up into groups and created a news interview based on a few options I gave them. Among the possible interview subjects I came up with were Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, a rock star, and Domo-kun, the cute fuzzy mascot of NHK, a Japanese TV broadcaster.
Most groups basically followed the example pattern I had laid out, but one group took the basics and ran for, and past, the goal line. While their reporter was interviewing Domo-kun in Tokyo Dome, a rock star came up from behind and shot him in the head! The nonplussed reporter then continued the interview with the assassin. I was absolutely flabbergasted at this unexpected turn of events.

Later in that same class, we were reviewing the sentence structure "Have you ever…"  and I asked "Have you ever seen Godzilla?" I pronounced it the American way, rather than the Japanese Gojira, and they didn’t really get what I was asking at first, so I did my best T-Rex/ Godzilla impersonation complete with sound effects, and the whole class just lost it laughing. There were quick calls for, "one more!" so I took an informal poll, and over half the class wanted more Godzilla, so I tucked away my pride and did it again. Ill be keeping the king of the kaiju tucked away, ready to dust him off if I need to.


Mia said...

This is the kind of thing I like to read about. I read a few blogs from expat teachers and they usually talk about travel. That's fine and well but I like the stories about amusing things that happened in class and experiencing the cultural differences.

Vesp said...

Sadly, the mental image of you stomping around a classroom pretending to be Godzilla will haunt me for years to come...