On Monday, January 27th, I was lucky enough to be invited to Doshisha International School (同志社国際中学・高等学校）in Kyoto. Visiting Doshisha was very interesting, because the curriculum is roughly a mirror image of the curriculum at Yokohama International School (横浜インターナショナルスクール), where I currently teach. While all subjects at Doshisha, apart from English, are taught in Japanese, all subjects at Yokohama International are taught in English, except for Japanese and other modern languages.
The Sessions - Why is it Important to be a Good Storyteller?
During seven sessions with students ranging from Grade 7 to Grade 12 (ages 12-18), we talked a lot about the importance of becoming a good storyteller. Not everyone wants to become a novelist, after all, and there are plenty of ways to tell a story (some of the other suggestions were films, online writing, manga and stage plays). Aside from telling a story through artistic media, it is also important to be a good storyteller in everyday life, whether at a job interview, in an izakaya, or on a date! Nobody likes people who tell boring stories, after all.
The Students - If You Could Tell Just One Story to the World, What Would it Be?
The Doshisha students had some great topics for possible story ideas, everything from bad behaviour in dormitories to tense table tennis matches to hip-hop dance competitions. One thing that was interesting was that in every group of students, at least one person wanted to tell stories about food! People tended to giggle when they heard this idea, but when I thought about it, I love books that include delicious descriptions of food. The only problem is that reading them makes me want a snack!
Thank you very much to all the students and teachers at Doshisha who made me so welcome at their school and asked so many excellent questions. And a very special thanks to my assistant-for-a-day, Chika-san.