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Universities 2

Nov 20, 2016Canadian, Education, Female, Japanese

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Did you enjoy your high school life?


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José Cruz: Do you think that’s bad, not being able to choose your classes?

Yamashita Haruka: Ah, um But I, if I could I would like to have- I would like to choose classes- or I would like to choose English classes, but ah because of the size of this university, I guess I can’t.

José: Well I think it’s not just the- the problem isn’t just so much the styleJosé meant to say “size” (0:24), it’s the way of thinking about Japanese education. (Mm-hmm) I think Japanese education, uh just in general, (Mm-hmm) doesn’t see the need to give students a lot of choice.

Haruka: Ah yeah. That’s true,

José: Just one- Just one quick example is that only now (Mm-hmm) are you probably getting used to the idea that you’re going to school in your own clothes. (Yes) From junior high all the way to high school, for six years (Yeah) the school told you you have to wear a uniform.

Haruka: Yeah uniform! I don’t like it.

José: And to me that tells me everything about- not everything but it uh- it’s a good example (Mm-hmm) of the difference between- how education sees students (Yeah uh-huh) and controls its students, and how in Canada, (Mm-hmm) um we’re told very early on from junior high school (mm-hmm) that uh, you have a lot of choices these choices are yours and the choices that you make (mm-hmm) are yours to control but if there’s a problem remember it was your choice. And I don’t think that’s the philosophy in in Japanese um high schools or junior high schools, but what do you think?

Haruka: Um in Japanese high school or the junior high school we just um we just give, we just give everythingHaruka uses an American pronunciation “everythin'” (1:46) like classes, class schedule, and uniform and everything. So…

José: You mean “get” everything? (Get everything), Get everything, right.

Haruka: Get everything (Mm-hmm) and teachers, teachers or school give to the student everything so we just sit down and wear and take the class which they I mean, school give us and uh…

José: In high school did youPronounced quickly as “DIJU” (2:13) have any choices about your elective courses? Did you have any elective courses? (No) None? (No. No) You had no elective courses at all. (No. At all. At all) Nothingnote the difference in pronunciation between Jose’s Canadian enunciation and Haruka’s American style “NUTHIN” (2:20).

Haruka: Nothingnote the difference in pronunciation between Jose’s Canadian enunciation and Haruka’s American style “NUTHIN” (2:20). Yes. Uh just maybe just a cho- maybe just I can choose the sports, uh in the P.E. class

José: But that’s not really school right?

Haruka: Yes, Not in the class.

José: How about um How about the classes students? Uh as far as I know, if you were in the “B” group (B group yes) you were always in the B group. And you went through the whole year (mm-hmm) and everybody stayed in the same room, and that’s another thing. The students stay in the room and the teachers come in and out. (Yes. Uh huh) It’s completely different in in Canadian high schools.

Haruka: So you mean um in Canada- Oh sorryHaruka apologized for accidentally touching the mic (2:59) In Canada teachers stay in the room (Room) and tea- (Students move) students move? Ah I see.

José: And that gives the teacher so much more. The teacher can put posters on the wall, the teacher can have (Yeah) his or her own desk with their equipment um the if you’re- if you’re the music teacher, well of course the music teacher has to- but the music teacher, THIS music teacher can be different from THAT music teacher, this English teacher can have a completely different class style. (Ah) And the teacher feels much closer to their work, and it’s better for the students because you know how in my class, you you don’t just sit down and listen to me (Yeah yes) You stand up and move around (and move…Yes) Now I want to talk about that later, but that, I think that’s good because it gives students a chance to get up move around (Yes) and shake your head out (Very refresh my) completely different (Yes) person in front of you because you’re changing partners…

Haruka: I love your class.

José: And it’s the same thing with the rooms: 50 minutes is over, “OK let’s go to the next class” you can (So I can refresh) and you can spend five minutes talking to your friend (Yes, I like it) you’re you’re just physically moving around. And that’s better for the students. And that’s the style in Canada, or North America, I should say. (uh-huh)


What would you have done to improve the school where you went?

José is Haruka’s teacher. Do you find it easy to talk to teachers? How about talking to them in your second language?

This is an example of how unconsciously José changes how he speaks when he is talking to a student. He uses fewer word liaisons, and enunciates his words more, although he did speak at his normal speed of about 175 wpm.

Haruka shows several excellent conversational habits: her response speed, her speaking volume among others. Note also how she checks for meaning at 2:58.

Image courtesy:

Michael 1952

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José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia

Yamashita Haruka image

Yamashita Haruka


Oita City, Oita


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