Students benefit from exchange program
By CORAL COOKSLEY
ENGLISH practiced, cultural stories exchanged, and an action-packed program to see the best of Beechworth and surrounds has been an interesting learning experience for Japanese students on a visit to Beechworth Secondary College.
Tokorozawa-Nishi High School English teacher Akira Yaegashi who was part of the week-long journey that started last Thursday said it was a chance for students to further their English.
“It’s a good experience for the students so they can study Australian culture with different ways of thinking,” he said.
Another teacher Hiroko Sunago said it was important for the students to experience different lifestyles.
Ms Sunago said the students had been working hard to learn English but in Japan don’t have the chance to speak with many native speakers of the language.
“We’re hoping to have an exchange program where we can host Beechworth College students in the near future and welcome them to our school,” she said.
College principal Patricia Broom said an exchange for Beechworth Secondary College students was planned for next year.
Year 9 student Eliza Gray said it was a good experience to connect with people from other countries and learn about each other’s lives.
Beechworth Secondary College English teacher Anthea Scott, who participated in an exchange program to Japan some years ago, provided lessons based on known interest by Japanese people in Australian culture.
Among planned activities were visits to Mt Buffalo, exploring Beechworth’s historic precinct including the Burke Museum and the Ned Kelly Vault, a taste of Beechworth Honey and seeing the Gorge.
The students had an added learning experience of Australian family life staying with host families from the school community too.
Tokorozawa- Nishi High School located about 30 kilometres from Tokyo is in a city with a population of around 340,000 people.
Students from the school visited for the first time last year.
CULTURAL EXCHANGE: English teacher Anthea Scott welcomed Hiroko Sunago and students from Tokorozawa-Nishi High School in Japan to Beechworth Secondary College last week.