November 29, 2010

Let's Talk About World Heritage in English ! Todai-ji Temple!

On a beautiful autumn day,  high school students visit Todai-ji Temple which is famous for Great Buddha (大仏-Daibutsu) and designated as World Heritage Site. There they enjoy guiding in English.
This is part of the English lesson of Ikuei High School.  Away from textbook English, the students study living English through this lesson by serving as the temporary guides for foreign travelers. 

Before the lesson, in school  they make their own sentences to guide  Todai-ji Temple  based on  those copies given to them.

 They are advised to heed the three important things while their guiding.
1. Big smile
2. Eye contact
3. Clear voice

Now, they are ready to go.

The  students  ask foreign travellers to listen to their explanations. .

Student: "I'm a 2nd grade high school student. Would you give me 5 minutes? I would like to tell you about Todai-ji Temple."
As soon as the  English speaking travellers know this is part of English class, all of them  instantly answer "Sure!"
 They  listen to the students with smiles, encouraging them to speak English. We appreciate their generous kindness. But, the students are very nervous.

Student:  "This is Great South Gate, the entrance to Todai-ji Temple."
Traveller:  "It's huge!"

S: "The gate is supported by 18 solid ・・・・."
T: "Would you tell me again?"

S: "They are a pair of guardian deities, made of more than 3000 wooden pieces."
T: "Amazing!"

S: "He is one of the four directional guardians."
T: "He is very scary!"

S: "In Nara Park there are about 1100 wild deer."
T: "Oh, they are wild!"
The students  give a thank-you note with their messages to express their hearty thanks.

 Time flies. Now the students finish the exciting English class and  look relieved, relaxed with confidence and satisfaction.

Our groupe helps the students study spoken English and  accompanies them in Todai -ji Temple to make the lesson go smoothly.This is our annual event.

 We are the first students who graduated from the three-month "English Guide Course for Adult Students" held by Tezukayama University. Now the fifth students are studying in the university.


  1. Nara Park's colored leaves is so beautiful.Red or gold,too. I have to walk in it.
    Project of the high scool students is good idea, isn't it? They can have experience to touch foreiners at hand. Big smile,eye contact,clear voice are important to have good contact,aren't it? I felt it deeply in my recent trip.

  2. Your new header is very beautiful again.Did you take this photo? This is like a painting.

    I have not known that Tezukayama University had the English Guide course for adult students.

  3. Sarari、

    Thank you for your comment.

    Yes, really this project is a very good idea. Despite six years of middle and high school study、many Japanese are unable to speak English well.

    First the students were very tense, however gradually they got interested in communicating with English speaking visitors. All of the foreign visitors were very kind and earnestly
    listened to the high school students.

    Big smile,eye contact,clear voice, these three are very important in English, Japanese or any language conversation. Simple but difficult, isn't it?

  4. redrose,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Yes, I took this picture and all others. It's my hobby to take pictures.

    Today I changed the header to the new one.

    Really the former header looks like a oil paiting. At that time, the light and timing which have magical power to change the ordinary to the fantastic, stood by me!


Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and leaving warm messages. I will visit your site soon. keiko