• Phil

English Tea Parties in August


Our work in August has been a lot less stressful compared to last month’s sister-city exchange programme. Looking back over my diary now, there have been various things keeping me occupied:

- a few translation jobs - a couple of ‘guest teacher’ appointments (one at a private nursery school, one at a residential association) - an afternoon interpreting at the city’s health-check for 3-and-a-half-year-old children (serendipitously one week prior to my own son’s; ideal study for me!) - preparation of the exchange programme essay collection (including some fairly simple Japanese-English translation, and some horrifically difficult English-Japanese translation…), - a couple of meetings reflecting on last month’s exchange programme - some meetings preparing for the autumn’s guest teacher appointments - a meeting in preparation of October’s big event, the Halloween Party.

- joining/ preparing for the YIFA BBQ at the annual Dragon Canoe Race event in Yasu.

As well as the aforementioned BBQ, the main YIFA events of the month were three English Tea Parties. It was my first time to put them on, so I’d like to write a little bit about my experiences with them here.

Every August YIFA puts on these events in Yasu. The principle aim is to let Japanese people practice their English in a comfortable environment, and for Japanese and foreign residents to meet and interact with each other. The events also act as something of a replacement for the usual English Salon classes (which are often reduced in number during the summer holidays), and as an avenue into the English Salon classes for anyone who is interested in English, but not confident in going straight into a class.

Our Tea Parties this year took place at the Kitano Community Centre on August 2nd, 9th and 23rd. It was my responsibility to organise the content of the parties, to recruit native English-speaking volunteers to help with the event, and to make sure that everyone was happy during the event. If I have to self-reflect on my job (I do!), I would give myself the following marks:

Content: 4/5