Sources from Japan for the secondary English classroom
Author: Geoffrey Ainsworth
Format: 40 pp book
ISBN: 9781863663861 SCIS No: 927992
Publisher: Education Services Australia 1998
Audience: Student resource
Audience year level
These learning activities are designed to increase students' understanding of Japanese life while exploring similar aspects of their own.
Hanabi: Sources from Japan for the secondary English classroom introduces students to:
- traditional forms of Japanese writing (haiku and tanka)
- forms of language (tatemae and honne)
- popular narrative comics (manga).
The learning sources in Hanabi are all texts from or about modern Japan and are intended to enable students to 'explore meaning'. Some of the texts are by Japanese authors and others by non-Japanese who have lived and worked in Japan and have a considerable understanding of the country.
A variety of types of text are included and full-colour photographs of modern Japan, including a McDonald's window display, have particular appeal for adolescents.
Hanabi, means `fireworks`, is an anthology of Japanese texts, which is intended to take a step towards exploding popular stereotypes about Japanese people and society.
The superbly designed anthology includes a wide range of different kinds of texts: haiku, tanka, visual images and manga. As well as traditional haiku, the anthology includes modern haiku, and refers to the haiku sites on the Internet. The section on the tatemae and honne raises questions about the way we use language, when perhaps we convey meanings beyond the actual words we say.
An interesting varied range of classroom activities is presented. While intending for secondary English classrooms, the texts and activities could well find a place in The Arts and SOSE.
* Reproduced with permission
Literacy Learning: Secondary thoughts, Vol7
No1, February 1999
Lorraine Early,Teacher: Melba HTS
Hanabi is Japanese for fireworks and this book certainly explodes with text from Japan, both written and visual, to inspire discussion and writing by students. The texts introducing the poetic forms of haiku and tanka have an excellent historical commentary as well as presenting the work of contemporary Japanese poets. Links to the Internet are also outlined for students. The colourful photographs make Hanabi a very attractive text to read and study with students. Suggested student activities are organised according to "Understanding", "Oral Work and Discussion", "Writing" and "Further Exploration". These provide teachers with many different and appropriate possibilities in exploring these texts. Hanabi presents excellent texts for senior English classes to explore aspects of Japanese culture and society. The texts are contemporary and provide students, who may have no knowledge of modern Japan, with an opportunity to develop their understanding of that society. For students studying Japanese language the book provides valuable material for their cultural studies.
Unfortunately Hanabi is an expensive text. It would provide resources for a very worthwhile unit in the senior English classroom, but in times of economic restraint and with many demands placed on English faculties to provide a diverse range of texts, it would be difficult to justify the expenditure on a class set of Hanabi.
That said it is a most attractive and interesting publication providing refreshingly new texts to promote greater understanding of Japan amongst young Australians.
* Reproduced with permission
REACT magazine -Teacher Feature
Issue 6 October 1998
Judeline Wadhawani, VCE ESL teacher, Nazareth College, Noble Park
These four books (and Video Into India) are part of the Access Asia series funded by the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs through the Asia Education Foundation and published through Curriculum Corporation. All four texts are dynamic and contemporary in their presentation of content. The language is generally accessible but teachers are advised to cast a critical eye keeping in mind the year level before rushing off to the photocopier. These books are certainly recommended to teachers as reference texts, to supplement teaching of Asian Studies or whatever name the subject goes by.
Into India attempts to counteract the negative stereotypes about India that have abounded in the media. With the phenomenal changes that have taken place in the sub-continent the second most populous nation in the world, this text and video kit is highly recommended to teachers to present an account of contemporary India. It attempts to focus attention on some of India`s extraordinary achievements in particular, its emergence as a force to be reckoned with in the Asia-Pacific region. The video is an extremely good visual supplement to the text, providing good detail under each topic. It reflects the atmosphere that is India: the music, vibrance, the life in the villages. The book can be used across the English, SOSE and Technological Key Learning Areas. The first chapter threads of Time will be found particularly useful and informative by teachers of Materials Technology (Textiles).
Hanabi is a very unusual book which can be used by students and teachers. The first two lessons are about Japanese characters and poetry writing styles: haiku and tanka. Contemporary writer Madoka Mayuzumi is aiming to break haiku away from its traditional, elderly audience and reach younger Japanese. Readers are also told haiku is an ancient art by master Matsuo Basho and in this context, mayuzumi`s actions appear heretical. Is this really so? Discover for yourself or with your students. A variety of exercises follow each lesson. Readers are also instructed about cultural concepts of honne and tatemae, the understanding of which "is vital in interacting successfully with people." (p.29) Finally, a lesson on the reading and the structure of Japanese comics or manga as they are called. There are immense possibilities for encouraging writing Folio pieces based on material from this altogether interesting, innovative and enjoyable book.
A Thai Journey comprises seven units on such varied topics as Theravada Buddhism, Thai teenagers, Tourism in Thailand, Regulating Bangkok`s traffic, Thailand`s golden age (ancient Thai history), Managing Thailand`s water resources and Monarchy and Leadership in Thailand. It is likely to keep students interested thanks to the very topical nature of the issues. The chapter on Theravada Buddhism has been interesting for use in teaching World Religions. I particularly liked the idea of presenting aspects of the religion as primary sources (letters from an Australian student) to his family.
"Educators should strive to awaken among Australian students a level of interest about our region` (Introduction to Vietnam. Young People, Old country: p. 2). This text certainly provides practical and accessible material for classroom use through four units of work. Each of these contains teacher briefing notes and detailed suggestions for teachers about teaching and learning activities and resources needed. The unit Vietnam: A nation in change presents an interesting overview of present day Vietnam to students learning about this country for the first time. Useful features include good clear graphics and an interesting comparison between Australia and Vietnam in tabular form.
This is certainly a series with a difference: bold, adventurous, topical, interesting and able to yield some good lessons in content areas as well as language.
*Reproduced with permission
VATME - Newsletter No. 84
Maureen Young, Teacher librarian
This publication is part of a larger Assess Asia series of teaching and learning materials developed and published by the Curriculum Corporation. This particular title Hanabi is Japanese for fireworks, providing a nice little image to sum up this great resource.
An English text targeted for years10-11, containing items about present-day Japan, it has great content applicable to the school library and literacy programs. It contains text articles on Haiku poetry, Tanka poetry, Japanese language and meaning and a fantastic item on Manga and Anime comics. Each article has accompanying activities that require students/teachers to think about and engage in the text. Appealing pictures and images accompany each well-written article, which contain good basic content and new insights.
This publication is beautifully written and explained but it`s best feature is the fantastic layout and graphics. As a total package it has been well thought out and will find appeal with both students and teachers. Although the target is English and LOTE teachers and students, it would also be a luxury read for teacher librarians who want to keep up with old and new literacy conventions and text types.
*Reproduced with permission