Program Philosophy

We want our students to:
1) love studying a world language.
2) love learning Japanese.
3) develop a range of skills necessary for becoming proficient in any language, such as learning strategies and dealing with with “foreign" situations.
4) develop good communication skills for any situation, such as interpreting words in context, and using communication strategies. 
5) feel comfortable speaking in Japanese, to native speakers, non-native speakers, and their 

6) have a sense of the concept of culture in general and the Japanese culture in particular. They should know the products, practices, and some of perspectives of the people of Japan.                                     7)develop their knowledge of their own culture and language through learning about another language.
8) want to learn more about Japanese and Japanese people.

We have to remember:
1) that our students are young children
2) that our students only learn Japanese three times a week for 25 minutes
3) that any activity we create must be interesting and comprehensible for our students

Therefore, we:
1) speak Japanese about 90% of the class time.

2) establish a friendly, low-stress, yet disciplined classroom so that everyone has a safe environment in which to learn.
3) encourage students to use Japanese whenever possible.
4) give our students "hints" if they have trouble remembering a word.
5) create units that are age-appropriate and fun, with a strong beginning, middle, and end (like a story!).                                                                                  

6) create lessons that incorporate language, culture, comparisons, and subject area content.
7) introduce students to a variety of cultural games, items, crafts, songs, holidays, and customs.                                                                                                

8) give students an opportunity to use what they learn outside the classroom, through homework challenges, take-home projects, and a comprehensive website.

Waterbury Public Schools
236 Grand Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
Phone: (203) 574-8000

Fax: (203) 574-8010